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Get A Grip — The Week In Sports Betting: It’s All About Florida

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It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.

Top stories around our network this week

We all know Florida is big, just like its bugs and hurricanes, but is it so big that it should dominate the news of the gambling industry world so much? Well, this week, one could certainly make a case for it.

In one fell swoop in the course of a few days, we had the Seminole Tribe going statewide with its Florida Hard Rock Bet sports betting app; the debut of retail sportsbooks, craps, and roulette in the tribe’s casinos; a legislative proposal to regulate fantasy sports contests; and the latest in a round of legal filings over the compact granting the Seminoles a Florida sports betting monopoly.

That’s a lot to cover, considering there are also 49 other states to keep track of (even if we can pretty much rule out time spent covering legalized gambling issues in Utah). But Florida’s interesting in oh so many ways for this industry, whether as the third-largest state in the nation, as one where tribal control over new sports betting is a model for Indian Country in California to emulate, or as one with a tribal-state compact that could lead to a U.S. Supreme Court decision broadly affecting tribes nationally.

On the latter, the Florida Seminoles are protected from being sued as a sovereign nation, but they have a deep interest in the parallel legal cases challenging their compact with the state of Florida at both the state and federal levels. Sports Handle’s legal and legislative analyst Jill R. Dorson found Friday that the tribe has filed an amicus brief supporting state officials in the case brought to the state Supreme Court by parimutuel operator West Flagler and Associates.

The tribe argues that the 2021 compact, which WFA claims is invalid because the state went beyond its powers, “resolves years of disputes” and should stand. The Seminoles say that not only did West Flagler fail to “meet the high standard” of trying to prove Florida law is unconstitutional, but that the compact is within the bounds of Amendment 3, which requires any expansion of gaming to go to the state’s voters. The compact and enabling law allow for bets placed anywhere in Florida to be considered having been placed on tribal land if the bets flow through tribal servers.

We’re awaiting a Florida Supreme Court decision at some point on whether to accept West Flagler’s case, just as we and others will be looking next year to see what the U.S. Supreme Court will do, if anything, with West Flagler’s separate petition to it to have the compact thrown out. In the meantime, Floridians are able to bet like they have never have before — whether in casinos or sitting at home — and they’re presumably only too happy to do so.

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Count on Dorson and the rest of Sports Handle’s staff to continue reporting on those developments and everything else relevant to the sports betting industry, as the past week’s stories linked below demonstrate. And for additional gaming industry news, be sure to check out US Bets, including its weekly Double Down recap and Gamble On podcast.

A record meant to be broken

Breaking down September’s record $11.55 billion national sports wagering handle

If you don’t like it, just sue me

As sportsbooks and teams cozy up, a winning lawsuit by a bettor is no longshot

Just imagine what could happen in Texas

Cuban-Adelson transaction could have implications far beyond NBA

Another California twist

California initiatives amended to remove “problematic provisions,” up revenue share

Getting ready for North Carolina

North Carolina Lottery receives mobile sports betting application requests

FanDuel leans on PGA Tour for 2024 North Carolina market access

ESPN BET partners with Quail Hollow Club for North Carolina mobile access

Fanatics makes its way to the Rockies

Colorado the latest state where Fanatics Sportsbook goes live

Show us what you can do, Missouri

Try, try again: Missouri lawmakers, pro teams will continue push for legal betting

A special journey out of addiction

Schuetz: Carol O’Hare and the search for Ned

OK, they’ve put it in writing

New York lawmakers pen op-ed hyping online casino hopes

Not the kind of fantasy you want to live

Attorney says ex-Jaguars employee’s gambling losses led to theft

A bet too big to believe?

Report: UNLV-New Mexico investigated for suspicious wagering activity

There’s good money in this thing

New York pushes U.S. monthly sports wagering handle record to $2.1 billion

FanDuel and DraftKings socked it to Virginia bettors in October

Maine sports bettors generate $37.6 million monthly handle in opening month

Georgia senator to give betting bill another go

State Sen. Brandon Beach plans to bring a Georgia sports betting proposal back to his colleagues next month, telling a Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism this week that his bill would send the decision on gambling expansion to the voters, according to The Center Square. Beach’s bill would allow for destination casinos as well as sports betting and parimutuel betting.

Beach has been carrying the torch for sports betting for multiple sessions in a state where lawmakers can’t seem to agree whether a constitutional amendment is required for legalization. In 2021, a deal for legalization was all but complete before Democrats withheld votes because of their objections to a Republican bill covering election voting. Since then, lawmakers have not been able to get the issue over the finish line.

“I’m all for sports betting, but I will tell you from an economic development [and] job creation standpoint, sports betting is done through this,” said Beach, who told committee members legalized gambling could bring $900 million in tax revenue to the state. “From a job creation standpoint, if we would have three destination resort casinos and one parimutuel track or maybe two, we would create a lot of jobs.”

— Jill R. Dorson

Tweet of the week

More of the most important, interesting stories

IT’S A START, AND ONE ESPN LIKES: ESPN BET: The view from the top [iGaming Business]

AWARDS VOTING HAS NEVER BEEN SO COMPLICATED: Baseball writers looking to formalize rules to address growing gambling partnerships in MLB [Forbes]

A REVERSAL OF MOJO: Mojo Sportsbook Exchange shifts focus to fantasy sports, lays off 20% of workforce [CDC Gaming Reports]

GAVEL HOLDER IN TEXAS GAVE NO OPTIMISM: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says GOP senators don’t support casinos in Texas [KWTX]

HONEY, WE’RE GOING TO IOWA! Crossing into Iowa to use sports gambling apps? Plenty of Nebraskans are doing it [Omaha World-Herald]

ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH: Mississippi lawmakers could consider online sports betting [WJTV]

IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR, BUT …: First year of mobile sports betting in Maryland generates revenue, but also concerns. Could ‘iGaming’ come next? [Baltimore Sun]

A NEW LOOK AND NAME IN NEW YORK: Turning Stone casino to debut its new sports and betting lounge this month, with new branding []

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