A new Florida sports betting bill, HB 1317, was introduced this afternoon by House Representative Chip LaMarca of Broward County.
The Sunshine State is preparing to begin its legislative session on March 3rd, and there have been several bills introduced thus far with the intent of legalizing sports betting in Florida.
Representative LaMarca’s bill attempts to establish a difference between Class III gaming and sports betting as defined by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
The bill also references several commissioned studies by the Florida legislature that were conducted in 2013 for the purposes of separating casino-style gambling from the activities involved with sports betting.
The intent of this declaration seems to be aimed at circumventing Tribal interests in Florida that will almost certainly want their cut of the action, however, there is a Native American casino provision included in the bill that would allow them to take part.
Betting on the NFL and other pro sports will be allowed, as well as wagering on college athletics, but HB 1317 specifically bans any action on high school games.
If passed, the bill would allow for prop bets for player statistical performances, as well as parlays and other styles of wagers that combine multiple bets into one. A minimum age of 21 years will be required to place a bet on sports in Florida.
HB 1317 grants governing authority to the Florida Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering, allowing them to issue and renew licenses, and provide general enforcement for the regulations that they set.
There are four proposed venues for legal sports betting in Florida:
- A “racino” or pari-mutuel facility licensed to operate in the state by the DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation)
- One of the state’s Tribal casinos that are already in-place
- Stadiums and arenas that host professional sports teams
- Online Sportsbooks
There is also mention of betting kiosks that would allow for wagers to be placed on sports via touchscreen gaming stations.
Sportsbook kiosks have recently debuted in other states to great success, as they attract bettors that require a less-personal experience when laying some action on a big game.
We’ve yet to see any kiosks installed in professional sports stadiums around the country, so Florida could end serving as a testing ground for the rest of the United States to source data from.
While these laws may keep in-person sportsbooks in Tallahassee and Gainesville from seeing the light of day, betting at Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando’s pro sports stadiums are sure to be a major draw if sportsbook legislation is signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The bill has a long way to go before it reaches the finish line, but Florida legislators are motivated to instill domestic sports betting operations in-state, and the citizenry appears to have an appetite for it as well.
HB 1317 also prohibits the following persons from participating in sports betting in FL:
- Any pro or college coach
- Any pro or college athlete
- Any pro or college referee
- Any member of a sports governing body
- Any team owner (greater than 10%)
- Associates of team owners
- Anyone from the executive office or staff of a pro or college team
- Team managers, trainers, and handlers
Source: The Florida Senate