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DeSantis signs Florida gambling bills, bringing sports betting a step closer

Pending federal approval, Seminole casinos could also add craps and roulette

It could mean sports betting in Florida, and craps and roulette at Seminole Tribe casinos, pending federal approval.
It could mean sports betting in Florida, and craps and roulette at Seminole Tribe casinos, pending federal approval.

With no fanfare, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bills related to the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe on Tuesday afternoon, bringing sports betting a step closer in Florida and craps and roulette closer to some tribal casinos.

If you expected the bill signing to come in a flashy event with slot-machine sound effects as a backdrop, you were disappointed.

The governor’s office sent news of the official signings out in a brief press release after 5 p.m.

There was no suspense that the Republican governor would sign the dotted line.

Last Wednesday, Florida lawmakers approved the gambling agreement reached by DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe in April.

It allows the Seminole Tribe to add roulette and craps to its casinos, including the popular Hard Rock facilities in Hollywood and Tampa. The state is expected to receive an estimated $20 billion over the 30-year compact.

To become official, approval still needs to go through the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees tribal gambling operations.

If that happens the tribe can begin sports betting Oct. 15. and operate sports wagering at horse tracks, jai-alai frontons and former dog tracks for a share of the income. Online sports betting operated by the tribe would also be allowed.

Florida’s legislature held a special session to consider the agreement a little more than two weeks after ending its annual 60-day session.

DeSantis was in South Florida on Monday, signing a bill aimed to stop “big tech censorship” at an event at Florida International University where he made remarks and took questions from reporters.

Tuesday’s signing, however, wasn’t done as publicly.


About the Author:

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.