The Wait For Legalized Sports Betting In Florida Continues.
It’s been nearly four full years since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which forever changed the sports betting industry in America.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), basically banned sports betting in most parts of the United States. The state of Nevada was a notable exception.
But in 2018, the SCOTUS overturned the PASPA, arguing that it was a violation of the nation’s tenth Amendment.
Afterward, several states quickly moved toward legalizing sports betting. Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi soon legalized some form of betting, and other states have since followed.
The states of New York and New Orleans recently legalized gambling, and there is a push for sports betting apps to come into the state of Florida. There is no timeline on when the Sunshine State could open up sportsbooks.
Florida is home to many of the top professional sports teams in the United States, so one can only imagine how much of a player Florida could be in the gambling industry.
For instance, the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the prime favorites to win Super Bowl 56 next year. Only the Buffalo Bills have higher odds than the Bucs at prominent sportsbooks such as FanDuel.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again among the NHL’s elite teams, and they’re pushing for a historically rare three-peat.
Late in 2021, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich overturned a compact between Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
“Altogether, over a dozen provisions in IGRA regulate gaming on ‘Indian lands,’ and none regulate gaming in another location,” the ruling read, per CBS Miami. “It is equally clear that the (Interior Department) secretary must reject compacts that violate IGRA’s terms.
The Seminole Tribe is appealing the ruling from Friedrich. Until then, it’s anybody’s guess when the Sunshine State could join the list of U.S. states that run some form of sports betting.
A Hard Rock sports betting app was launched by the Seminole Tribe late last year, but it had to be suspended soon after Friedrich’s ruling. The app remained in place for payment methods purposes to accommodate customers.
Florida Could Be A Major Player In Sports Gambling Industry
According to a 2018 article published by World Atlas, Florida is the second most visited state in the U.S. by tourists. Only California is ahead of the Sunshine State.
Throw in Florida’s giant population (more than 21.5 million), and there are simply too many avenues for incredible growth in the gambling industry here. Residents could easily bring Florida hundreds of millions in revenue in a rather short period.
Per the New York Times, customers in New York placed more than $2.4 billion in bets over a five-week period. With so many tourists, popular casino resorts, and a giant population, there’s no doubt the state of Florida would quickly rake in high amounts of revenue in the sports betting world.
Among the “Big Four” professional sports leagues in North America, Florida has nine teams: The Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, the Lightning and Florida Panthers of the NHL, the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays of MLB and the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat of the NBA.
On top of that, there are four MLS teams in Sunshine State: Inter Miami FC, Miami Fusion, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and Orlando City SC.
Of course, the Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida State Seminoles have also enjoyed their fair share of success in the 21st century. As you can tell, there would be no shortage of popular sports teams to bet on in Florida.
From Jan to Dec. 2021, the state of Illinois made over $1 billion in revenue from gambling. And they only have five professional sports teams in the major sports leagues: The Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Bears.
When you look at the revenues other states are making, you can only wonder how much money Florida would net annually from sports betting. The general sports interest and the market are there, and fans have over a dozen professional sports teams in the Sunshine State to bet on.