Legal Sports Betting in Florida and New York Heats Up With the Summer Months
More than 20 states plus the District of Columbia currently offer legal betting on sports in some form. The biggest industry news these days is which states will be able to join that list in time for the upcoming football season in the NFL and college ranks.
Two major markets trying to head in that direction are Florida and New York. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis worked hard on a new Tribal Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe to bring legal sports betting to the Sunshine State.
Florida lawmakers were quick to pass the necessary legislation to approve the new compact and The Department of Interior (DOI) has begun its official review in order to gain final approval.
While everything appeared to be moving forward, the most recent development is strong opposition to the new deal from Dan Gelber as the mayor of Miami Beach. In a recent letter that was published by the Miami Herald, the mayor asked the DOI to reject the terms of the new compact.
His main concern is the expansion of casino gambling in Miami through the Trump Doral property and the city’s historic Fontainebleau Hotel. Since the new gambling compact is with the Seminole Tribe, this appears to be an effort to derail the expansion of casino gambling and sports betting as a whole.
Gelber believes that the current terms of this expansion plan are not in line with the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). He has made a personal plea to Deb Haaland to reject the new compact as the Secretary of the Interior.
The DOI has 45 days to complete their internal review and render a decision. The timing on this would be mid-July. Florida is viewed as a major market for the legal US sports betting industry, so this situation bears watching over the next few weeks.
Sports betting in New York has been confined to retail sportsbooks in certain upstate casinos. The much bigger picture is legal online betting through mobile sportsbook apps. In April of this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill for the 2022 state budget that included revenue from legal mobile sports betting.
The actual bill he signed did include language to legalize this form of betting and it is currently under review by the New York State Gaming Commission. The actual length of this process will determine a potential launch date in the state.
Best case projections point to mobile sports betting in New York ahead of the NFL’s Super Bowl LVI in early February of 2022.
Current plans call for official details on the Request for Proposal (RFP) to be released on or before July 1. This gives sports betting platforms as well as operators all the information needed to submit a bid. The added legislation calls for at least two betting platform providers and at least four different sportsbook skins in the state.
The application process lasts 30 days. The commission will then have up to 150 days to announce which platforms and operators have been selected.
The RFP process is considered to be critical to New York’s success as a legal online sports betting market. The final rules and regulations to operate in the state must be appealing to both sportsbook companies as well as New York sports bettors.
Outside competition is already fierce. It has been estimated that as much as 25% of New Jersey’s monthly sports betting handle can be attributed to New York bettors. Pennsylvania is another very strong sports betting market as a neighbor to the south. Offshore sports betting still commands a strong presence in this region of the country.
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