Legal Sports Betting Push in the South is Great for the Florida Appeal

Here we are in late April and there have been no new updates for the Florida sports betting appeal. However, even though the appeals court is yet to make any kind of a decision, that doesn’t mean that things are all bad for the Sunshine State. That’s because the legal sports betting push in the south is great for the Florida appeal. In case you missed it, things are back on the table for Georgia, while Kentucky is also trying to get things done.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is trying to push forward as well. With so much movement in nearby states, it’s only giving people in Florida even more hope that something good could be coming from the courts. Not too long ago, the opening statements were delivered, as The Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis are hoping that their original 30-year pact will be able to launch once again.

However, the owners of the Magic City Casino are doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening. From the moment that the tribes and DeSantis were able to get on the same page, the team over at the Magic City Casino went all-in on getting the decision reversed. However, despite the casino being adamant that Florida’s original sports betting plan was illegal, not everyone sees it that way.

We knew from the start that the appeals court was going to take its time with any kind of a decision here, but people are starting to lose patience. With that said, the fact that we’re starting to see a bit of a push for Georgia and Kentucky could lead to the appeals court revealing their decision sooner than later. Plenty of folks think they’ll overturn things and allow for legal sports betting in Florida to arrive once again. We’ll wait and see what happens.

Illegal March Madness bets rained in for Florida

One of the main reasons there’s some urgency for legal wagers to be allowed is because illegal March Madness bets rained in for Florida. From start to finish in the tournament, basketball fans across the state were checking the March Madness betting odds and placing their bets – doing so illegally either through a bookie or an off-shore account. This has been a massive issue for Florida in recent years and we saw more of the same in 2023.

One of the main reasons for this was that we saw both Florida Atlantic and the University of Miami make the Final Four. With two teams from the state among the four finalists, we don’t have to tell you that countless students, alumni and fans were ready to place bets on both of the schools from start to finish. With Florida Atlantic in particular, the Owls went on an unforgettable run this year, and people not only checked their Final Four betting odds, but they put down serious money on them too.

No one gave them much of a chance to even make it to the Sweet 16, yet they silenced all of their haters by recording several upsets. As much fun as this was to see for the supporters in Florida, it no question led to a lot of illegal activity. With the Hurricanes being so dominant as well, it only led to more illegal bets. This is something that DeSantis had to be aware of, and there’s no doubt it made him furious.

Florida is leaving billions of dollars each year by not having legal betting as an option for its citizens. We have seen the high success of regulated betting across the USA, but nothing has been able to change for Florida. Once the appeals court nears its decision, people are going to be sitting on pins and needles to see how things turn out. There’s plenty of money, especially for revenue purposes, on the line for Florida.

When will the appeals court make its Florida betting decision?

With all of that said, when will the appeals court make its Florida betting decision? We wish we had an answer for you there, but no one knows when in the world something will arrive. From the start, it was made clear that the court would take its time. However, DeSantis and The Tribes keep asking for something to come to light. As of now, things are still being reviewed and both sides are having to wait a little longer.

From our chair, we almost feel like the longer it takes for a decision to come, the better it is for Florida as a whole. Had something come in right after the opening comments, then you’d think that the appeals court would have stuck by the original call from the U.S. District Judge for no Florida sports betting. That would have set back the effort for years.

However, the longer they take, the more they have to think about. Also, it gives Florida and the Seminole Tribe even more time to provide evidence that they didn’t break any laws with their 30-year pact. Within the next month or two, a final decision should arrive. Will it be good for Florida? We can’t want to find out.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is a renowned sports journalist with a lifelong passion for the industry. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he is a key business development figure in college athletics, with over a decade of experience with the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, and Mountain West Conference. Boline holds an MBA from the University of Nevada. He has received MVP and "Best of" honors from the NBA/Sacramento Kings, Nevada Press Association, and more. His work has been showcased statewide and nationally. Boline has established himself as an expert in MLB and legal sports betting developments. When he's not immersed in the world of sports, Chris finds joy in exploring nature's wonders.