Florida sports betting shut down could impact California in a big way

Hearts were broken all over Florida earlier this week, as a U.S. District Judge ruled against the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe to launch sports betting in Florida. It was a massive bummer for everyone involved. With that said, Florida sports betting shut down could impact California in a big way as well. That’s because there are similar plans for initiatives that are set to be presented on the 2022 ballot.

With the U.S. District Judge essentially stopping Florida sports betting straight in its tracks, this has people nervous who want California sports betting to be approved. Both California and Florida are two of the biggest states in the USA, yet neither have had sports betting legalized. The same can be said for Texas, which is still waiting to move forward too.

California has high hopes of getting things moving in the right direction in the near future. However, this Florida news could end up pushing things back too. Keep in mind that “The Age-Verified Tribal Online and In-Person Sports Wagering & Homelessness Solutions Act” in California has been presented as a ballot measure to push forward with mobile sports betting on serves through tribal lands.

The setup is incredibly similar to what the Seminole Tribe was trying to get done in Florida starting this fall. However, the U.S. District Judge claimed that part of the pact was against the rules, giving her no choice but to not allow things to move forward. The California ballot measure mentioned above is yet to be approved, but folks were hoping it’d be on the ballot for a vote. Now, things feel up in the air.

California sports betting sure might be impacted by the latest Florida decision

Again, California sports betting sure might be impacted by the latest Florida decision that was made. To say this is stunning would be an understatement. The Seminole Tribe even quietly launched mobile sports betting earlier in the month. Now, that service will have to be shut down, with fans no longer able to check out the different NFL odds or anything else they liked to get in their betting fix on a daily basis.

For California, there are currently four sports betting initiatives on the table for the 2022 ballot, with one already receiving the green light. The one that folks will already be able to vote on is the “California Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative.” With this particular act, it would allow for sports betting to be made legal at tribal casinos and also at a select number of different racetracks.

With that one all set, this means that the other three being considered still have time to make some changes to their proposals. With the latest news out of Florida, it could be wise for them to get back to the drawing board and see if things could be made better. Remember, though, that in order for any of the proposals to move forward, the groups will need 997,139 signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot.

Once people do get to vote in 2022, the wide expectation is that voters will race to try and pass sports betting. This is LONG overdue in California and people continue to be frustrated with how long this has taken. Millions and millions of dollars are illegally being exchanged on a consistent basis and that needs to be regulated as soon as possible. Making sports betting legal in California will surely do that.

Florida appealing the judge’s decision will be key for California as well

Another key thing here is that Florida appealing the judge’s decision will be key for California as well moving forward. If something were to happen and Florida and the Seminole Tribe were to get things switched and sports betting were to move forward, it’d be a major victory not only for Florida, but California citizens as well. This will help planning much more clear moving forward for sports betting.

“I fully expect that the D.C. Circuit will overturn Judge Friedrich, and if not the D.C. Circuit then the U.S. Supreme Court,” gambling law expert Bob Jarvis told Gaming Today in an interview. “I think it’s a crabbed interpretation of IGRA, [it] does not take into account what Congress would have done had it foreseen the rise of the internet at the time (1988) that it wrote IGRA.”

So yes, while one U.S. District Judge ruled against Florida for sports betting in this case, this doesn’t mean that the battle is done at all. The decision could be overturned or the U.S. Supreme Court could step in and let things to go through at the end of the day too. This is something that people in Florida are hoping for. Obviously, Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe wants this to go down as well.

Californian citizens will be watching this closely to see how things shape out. At the end of the day, the final result in Florida will be crucial for California as well, as things really feel like they’re hand in hand in this case. People want it, as a recent survey showed massive support for California sports betting. Only time will tell if people get good news or not.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.