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Online sport betting platforms are on their way to being legalized

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB) - The sports betting initiative would legalize sports betting at Parimutuel Facilities and on online sports betting platforms, including those run by national companies like Draft kings and Fan duel.

Christina Johnson, Florida Education Champions

“We see this as a win for Floridians.”

Christina Johnson with Florida Education Champions, the group backing the initiative, says the tax revenue would have to be used to boost education funding, similar to the way the Florida lottery is structured.

Christina Johnson, Florida Education Champions

“We know it’s in the millions of dollars because other states have done the same.”

The initiative has already drawn enemies, with a spokesperson for Seminole Gaming calling it a political hail mary from out of state corporations trying to interfere with the business of the people of Florida.

During the special session to approve the new gaming compact, lawmakers were warned the state could lose $50 million a year from the tribe.

Joseph Webster Attorney, Seminole Tribe

“The tribe would stop paying, but only on sports betting, because in that scenario the tribe would no longer have exclusivity for sports betting.”

Jake Stofan

“The initiative is just getting off the ground and has a long way to go before making the 2022 ballot. Supreme Court approval and nearly 900,000 signatures stand in the way.”

Florida Education Champions is waiting little time, already launching a website where petitions can be requested.

Christina Johnson, Florida Education Champions

“Simply get it, sign it, date it, and mail it back to us and we’ll begin the verification process.”

One thing the initiative does have going for it, is that unlike the Seminole Gaming Compact, if passed, it would automatically satisfy the requirement that any gaming expansion be approved by voters.

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