A prominent Florida political action committee received a contribution of $20 million from DraftKings and FanDuel, the PAC reported Monday, as the companies continue to drum up support to place a statewide mobile sports betting measure on the November 2022 ballot.
Florida Education Champions, a newly established PAC, indicated that DraftKings and FanDuel made a contribution of $10 million each to the committee’s coffers. The contributions were made during last month’s filing period that expired on June 30, according to the Florida Division of Elections campaign finance records.
Last month, the new PAC proposed a constitutional amendment which stipulates that if sports and event betting revenues are taxed statewide, the taxes must be used to supplement public education across the Sunshine State. If passed, the ballot initiative will allow sports betting at professional sports venues and parimutuel facilities throughout the state, via online sports wagering platforms.
“It is our shared goal to have a safe, legal and regulated market for offering online sports betting in the Sunshine State. Once passed by Florida voters in November 2022, this initiative will ensure that the State of Florida shares in the sports wagering revenue that is currently going entirely to the offshore, illegal market,” said Cory Fox, vice president, government affairs, FanDuel.
Competing mobile sports betting frameworks
While this sounds like an impressive amount, it's not even half of what went into funding the victorious campaign to get Amendment 3 passed in 2018. The Seminole Tribe alone spent more than $24 million. https://t.co/gm9vKJyD3s
— John Holden (@Johnsportslaw) July 12, 2021
In May, Florida became the largest U.S. state by population to legalize digital sports betting when the House of Representatives ratified a new gaming compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe. Under the compact, every sports bet placed in the state must go through a server located on tribal lands. The state’s pact with the Seminole Tribe is still under review by the U.S. Department of the Interior. While commercial sportsbooks can enter the online sports betting market on a limited basis, the Seminoles stand to receive a cut from every wager.
The proposed referendum essentially asks voters to determine whether Florida should establish an open market for mobile sports betting. A section in the amendment authorizes entities and organizations that conduct online sports betting “in at least 10 states for at least one calendar year” to offer sports wagering and event betting in Florida. In addition, Native American tribes with a gaming compact with the State of Florida will be allowed to conduct online sports wagering and event betting no later than eight months after the effective date of the amendment.
SCOOP: The coming ballot initiative to break open online sports betting in Florida would require that sportsbooks be authorized to conduct online betting in at least 10 states.
Here's a look at the 2022 ballot initiative:https://t.co/f3hxzcBWlt
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) June 24, 2021
Backers of a Florida referendum are required to collect signatures from 8% of “the number of the voters voting in the last presidential election” to get an initiative on a ballot. More than 10.9 million Floridians voted in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Based on the turnout, the initiative will require at least 877,263 signatures. Florida referendums need 60% voter approval to pass.
“Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition,” said David Johnson, chairman, Florida Education Champions.
As of June 30, Florida Education Champions had $159,824.81 in expenditures, campaign finance records showed.