Corporations Campaign for Gambling Expansion in Florida

Florida Hard Rock Casino

Since the signing of Florida’s Seminole Gaming Compact, corporations from all over the nation have been taking advantage of the state’s newfound leniency and pushing for casino expansion.

Corporate Push for Corporate Interests

DraftKings and FanDuel spearheaded the gambling expansion by proposing a constitutional amendment to allow for mobile sportsbook operations in June. Now, several out-of-state corporations seem to be following their lead.

This week marked the addition of two constitutional amendment campaigns. The campaigns are titled, “Authorizes a Limited Number of New Casinos” and “Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming.

The first attempts to authorize the licensing and operation of three new casinos in the state at least 100 miles away from the nearest tribal casino. The second would allow for casino gambling at three cardrooms at least 130 miles from the nearest tribal casinos.

Slighting the Seminole

The compact signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe is supposed to hold up for 30 years. However, the compact still must be ratified by the Federal Government, as the Seminole Tribe is federally designated.

The government has until the 5th of August to officiate this document. But Ron DeSantis has already shown his cards, making the state vulnerable to pressures from outside gambling entities.

However, the state must be careful. Any new gambling legislation risks the integrity of the Seminole Gaming Compact. This aspect of the issue is significant because the state had already violated a previous compact with the tribe, costing the state millions of dollars in taxes.

Florida has worked hard to ensure a favorable relationship with the Seminole Tribe. The Tribe maintains certain leverage over the state and has federal protections around their autonomy. That being said, it’s unimaginable that Florida would sacrifice decades of diplomacy for out-of-state interests.

The prospect of increased gambling revenues is always enticing to legislators. Nonetheless, the future of these constitutional amendments is in the hands of voters.

Where Priorities Lie

Because the proposed amendments are still in their campaign phase, they will need nearly 900,000 votes to appear on the 2022 ballot. Even so, the proposals have several million dollars worth of campaign funding to gain the favor of Floridians.

Overall, these ballot initiatives come off as aggressive. With multi-million-dollar investments from external entities such as Las Vegas Sands Corporation, it’s hard to believe that this push for legislation is in the interest of Florida residents.

Floridians will soon have access to domestic sports betting through tribal casinos, which is only a supplement to the long-time option of offshore sportsbooks.

Regardless of the fate of these ballot proposals, it is important that bettors keep an eye out for their best interests. Commercial gambling operations will always try to justify sticking their hand into the indigenous cookie jar. But know that their actions aren’t made for your benefit.

Always remember, offline options don’t have to sweeten up politicians or impose on another’s territory to make their money.