First Bill Decides the Rules About Who Can Place Sports Bets in Florida

December 6, 2019 Matt Speakman

In the forthcoming legislative session of 2020, sports betting within Florida will be formally open for discussion. Senator Jeff Brandes introduced three sports bills a few days ago that would make the Florida Lottery responsible for everything related to sports betting.

Money from sports betting

Holding dollars © Money Images/Flickr

FL SB 968 was the first bill introduced. The specific piece of legislation sets the rules for who can run a Florida sportsbook, who can bet on sports, as well as setting out the responsibilities of the Lottery Department when it comes to wagering sports.

Only those above the age of 21 will be allowed to bet on sports in Florida under the current language of the law, however, those who work for somesports organization within the state of Florida would not be allowed to place a bet. In addition, those in a sports organization who have a financial or legal stake will also be prohibited from betting on that team.

Furthermore, organizations that make the choice to establish a partnership with the Florida Lottery would have the chance to offer bookmarking services through betting kiosks. What’s best is that sports betting licensed providers would also have the chance to offer online sports betting and create sports betting mobile apps that would be available to anyone within the borders of Florida.

Second and Third Bills Deal with Financial Aspects

The second bill, FL SB 970, outlines the charges for obtaining and keeping a license for sports wagering. According to the bill, businesses wanting to become state-owned sports wagering operators will have to pay $100,000 a year to get their license and retain it.

The third sports betting bill in Florida, FL SB 972, looks a little deeper into the financial aspects of what prospective sports betting companies will need to remember.

As this bill is currently being written, after paying out winnings, a tax rate of 15% will be applied to keep the number of money sports wagering operators. The bill also determines when payments will be made to the government as well as a late fee of $10,000 for each day that the payments will not be received.

Seminole Tribe and The State of Florida Can’t Come to an Agreement

In addition, the Seminole tribe made some attempts to come to an agreement with Florida lawmakers with a purpose to allow the tribal operators to run some sports betting activities at Hard Rock casinos. Despite the fact that the state of Florida allowed pari-mutuel operators to establish kiosks, the rate it offered to the tribes was not something they were ‘impressed’ by which is why the negotiations have stopped. Nevertheless, there were some consequences from these actions – the revenue of the state was affected.

For this purpose, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis published a budget of $91.4 billion including factoring any gambling revenue meaning that the state will rely on other sources of revenue.

In other words, SB 968, SB 970 and SB 972 will aim to legalize sports betting in retail locations such as casinos and iLottery kiosks, as well as online, especially mobile betting which is proving to be the most profitable type of gambling in other states.

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