Sports betting is not only banned in Florida, but the local government imposes very strict regulations on traditional and online casinos as well. Games like roulette and poker are available, but you can’t bet money on them. This is very disappointing to fans of gambling in Florida. However, there’s some good news for them – measures are being taken in the direction of legalizing the activity. Here’s a brief history of sports betting in the state to provide some context.
The government of Florida has debated legalizing sports betting for some time. Major efforts must be made to achieve this, and there are quite a few potential complications associated with the whole process. After doing some research, it emerged that the government and the Seminole Tribe have to make a deal for sports betting to become possible. This tribe owns Florida’s Hard Rock Casino franchise.
By offering them the option to operate sports betting in their casinos, one might have a solution, but that doesn’t seem likely at the moment. Still, some parties involved in negotiations are optimistic, and there have been signs of slight progress in 2021.
There’s really no way around talks. Insiders report that sports betting is possible through the casino franchise only. Naysayers are ever-present, pointing out past battles between Disney and the Seminoles, which were never brought to a satisfactory or amicable outcome.
Was it Always Like This?
Those unfamiliar with the history of sports betting in Florida might wonder how long this stalemate has persisted. During the Great Depression, the Sunshine State was optimistic about betting and gambling. Florida legalized these activities in 1932 – a great milestone by anyone’s standards. The future of gambling and betting in Florida seemed bright. The legislative measure attracted a lot of tourists to the southern state, and with them, a lot of money poured in.
Three years later, the state also legalized slot machines. This is when the industry really began to flourish. All local casinos ended up removing their slots in 1973, though.
Cruises to Nowhere
Now,the biggest surprise of all: 11 years later, a couple of smart entrepreneurs hatched a plan to “bend the law” in their favor. They set up so-called cruise services with onboard casinos, where people could gamble to “ensure a more pleasant overall experience.”Of course, the cruise itself was of no significance whatsoever. Everything revolved around gambling. The ships were not associated with any particular destination.
Florida Legalizes Casino Gambling
The state legalized casino gambling in 2004. This came after a complex, protracted process that involved the Seminoles and other powerful local tribes. Of course, gambling is only permitted at their franchises.
Some online casinos catering to the Florida population may present themselves as being based in Florida.They are actually offshore and do business in a gray area, making it possible for people in Florida to place wagers online. Very few of these wagers are on sports.
Perplexing State of Things
The state of things is quite perplexing, considering how much Florida stands to gain by legalizing sports betting. The Hard Rock chain is many tourists’first port of call in Florida. Floridians support their sports teams passionately, and sports betting will bring the local government even more funds. The Sunshine State is well-known forteams like Magic, The Panthers, Inter Miami CF, the Jaguars, the Dolphins, Orlando City FC, Heat, and the Marlins. Enthusiasm for sports betting is correspondingly high. The only option available to Floridians is betting from another state.
In a now-infamous tweet, the Miami Dolphins called on Florida residents to support the team by placing a bet, formulating the encouragement as “protecting their right to bet on sports.”It’s unclear what the repercussions of this were. The situation was awkward in every event, especially considering that the Seminole tribe is one of the Miami Dolphins’biggest fans.
By all accounts, Florida is a great place to live, but the lack of sports betting is one big downside for gambling fans there. At the moment, some efforts are being made to legalize it, but things are even more complicated than they seem. The most critical aspect in the situation is the course of negotiations between the government and the Seminole tribe and the parties’ underlying relationship, which has not always been exactly solid.