The announcement of the deals come just about a week before a hearing in federal court in a case involving two other parimutuels. The Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room are suing Gov. Ron DeSantis and the U.S. Department of the Interior in seeking an injunction to prevent the start of legal wagering.
According to the Seminole press release, the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Hialeah Park Casino (card room and racing simulcasts), Ocala Gainesville Poker/Ocala Breeder’s Sales Company (poker and jai lai), Tampa Bay Downs (horse racing), and Tampa and TGT Poker & Racebook (card room and racing simulcasts) all signed deals with the Seminoles that will allow them to offer sports betting at their facilities.
The compact between the state and the Seminoles required that the tribe have deals in place with at least three parimutuels within 60 days of going live with legal wagering. Parimutuels will be required to pay the tribe 40% of gross gaming revenue, and all bets will flow throw servers based on Seminole land.
The tribe is expected to announce additional deals going forward.
“As was promised when it was signed, this historic compact is expanding economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation in Florida,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis via the press release. “Not only will this compact bring a guaranteed $2.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, but it also brings together Florida parimutuel businesses from across the state in a creative partnership with the Seminole Tribe providing increased access to safe and transparent sports betting in Florida.”
Parimutuels can also offer mobile betting
The tribe is required to pay the state a minimum revenue share of $2.5 billion over the first five years of the agreement. The compact, which has faced multiple court challenges, gives the Seminoles a monopoly on sports betting, but it also allows for wagering off tribal lands.
Under the compact, any wager placed anywhere in the state must go through the Seminoles’ servers, meaning that the parimutuels and their operating partners will have to work out a technical solution to make that happen. The parimutuels are entitled to offer in-person wagering, but can also offer digital platforms. A parimutuel could partner with any sports betting operator.
Florida signature campaign….
The battle over sports betting centers on your signature https://t.co/vszpmieu7p
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) October 23, 2021
That said, major operators are financing a proposed referendum for the November 2022 ballot that would allow commercial digital platforms without requiring them to partner with the Seminoles. DraftKings and FanDuel are financing that campaign.
Likely the most well-known of the five parimutuels to enter an agreement with the Seminoles is Tampa Bay Downs, host of the Tampa Bay Derby. Street Sense, the 2007 Tampa Bay Derby winner, went on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Gulfstream Park, home of the Florida Derby and two-time host of the Breeders’ Cup, has not announced a partnership. Twenty Florida Derby winners have gone on to win at least one leg of the Triple Crown, including nine that have gone to win two of the three races.
Two lawsuits still pending in federal court
FLORIDA SPORTS BETTING UPDATE On Monday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Interior Dept., withdrew their request to transfer the case Florida parimutuel operators filed against them to a Florida federal court or have it stayed in the DC Circuit.
— Steve Bittenbender (@CasinoOrgSteveB) October 27, 2021
The partnerships could weaken the case brought by Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room. That lawsuit argues that any expansion of gaming is required to go through the voters as a result of Amendment 3 being approved in 2018. The Magic City suit and a second lawsuit, brought by a pair of Florida businessmen also in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., both contend the Department of the Interior should never have approved a compact that takes that right for voters away.
A hearing in the Magic City Casino-Bonita Springs Poker Room case is set for Nov. 5. The Seminoles, meanwhile, have been pointing to a Nov. 15 go-live date for wagering.