It feels like there’s been no good news for Florida sports betting fans over the past 6-8 months. As a matter of fact, just when you think there’s a chance of something positive coming, the opposite is the case. Take the latest update from the Sunshine State, as a Florida casino exec predicts the 2025 sports betting launch to be the case. Wait, we’re now going to have to wait until 2025?
That’s exactly what Magic City Casino executive Scott Savin said in a recent interview. Remember, the Magic City Casino is the reason there are no sports betting in Florida now; things were all set to launch in the fall, but the Magic City Casino owners were part of the lawsuit in stopping things from going down, as they contested the deal between The Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis was illegal.
The U.S. District Judge ended up siding against the tribe and DeSantis, which now has Florida sports betting in complete and total limbo. Now, Savin doesn’t think that anything will get settled in the near future, as there’s a great chance this fight could continue in the courts for a while now. There’s no way we’re going to see sports betting this year, and the idea of 2023 is becoming less and less likely.
People in Florida had their eyes on Florida sports betting for 2024, which was disheartening in the first place. If we now have to wait until 2025, it’s going to be a complete and total disaster for the state. They continue to lose millions of dollars in potential revenue. Elsewhere around the country, though, we’re seeing more and more states rake in a tremendous amount of money. This only makes the current status that much worse for Florida.
The Seminole Tribe continues to fight for sports betting
While Savin’s latest comments have upset plenty of people, it’s important to keep in mind that the Seminole Tribe continues to fight for sports betting, and that’s not going to be changing in the near future. The tribe and DeSantis feel like they’ve been robbed of this massive project, which was highlighted by a 30-year agreement between the two sides. It’s also worth billions of dollars.
With the U.S. District Judge shutting down this project, though, the tribe is furious with how things have transpired. There was an agreement in place, and Florida sports betting was all set to be a popular activity for people to take advantage of. When things were briefly launched via a mobile app through the Hard Rock Cafe, people were flying to check the NFL betting odds to place their wagers.
With people getting that small taste of things, it added to the thrill of legal betting for the state. Not only that, but people were also eyeing the World Series betting odds in the fall as well. Imagine if things were legal now. Not only would NFL betting be through the roof, but no question MLB wagers would be high too. That’s always going to be the case, thanks to so many great pro teams in Florida.
That’s why people are calling for sports betting to come as soon as possible. The issue with that, though, is that people like Savin and his partners at the Magic City Casino don’t want the tribe to have full authority over sports betting for the state. That’s an incredible amount of power, and billions of dollars will be on the line. Savin and his crew want the money and opportunities to be spread out evenly. Who knows if that will ever come.
EXCLUSIVE: Seminole Tribe of Florida gave $2 million this yr to the Republican Governors Association, which is writing big checks to DeSantis, who gave Tribe exclusive rights to sports betting. Lots of FL special interests keen on influencing DeSantis policies are RGA donors
— Zac Anderson (@zacjanderson) June 23, 2022
A 2025 Florida sports betting launch would be devastating
With all of that said, a 2025 Florida sports betting launch would be devastating for so many people. What you can’t forget is that a lot of businesses invested heavily in their locations with the thought that sports betting would have been legal by now. When it was announced that Florida and The Seminole Tribe reached their agreement, the wheels were truly in motion for sports betting to be finalized.
This hasn’t worked out the way anyone thought, and now more illegal bets have come in. With the NFL season here too, things are only going to spike. During Week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys faced off in primetime for a Sunday Night Football showdown. People were betting legally on this one all over the country. In Florida, though, people had to go through their bookies or off-shore accounts. That’s just brutal.
Those same kinds of illegal bets will be on the way consistently until something changes in Florida. If we really do have to wait until 2025, that’s three years until good news arrives. This impact the economy, sports fans, business owners and so much more. People are losing hope left and right and you can’t blame them for that. The Savin prediction is deflating and we can only hope he’s not right. If anything, people will keep their fingers crossed that he turns out to be way off.
I joined the CBS affiliate in Orlando (@news6wkmg) this morning to discuss the timeline and prospects for legal sports betting in Florida and why the Seminole Tribe’s federal court appeal is likely to fail (+ tie the issue up in court for 2 years): https://t.co/FbNohP3Koq
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) September 11, 2022