Image for Mike Lukas Mike Lukas - October 14, 2022

FL Gaming Panel gets First 3 Members as Sports Betting Debate Awaits Jan Session

Florida Gaming Panel Gets First 3 Members
  • FL Gov. Ron DeSantis Announced First Three Members of New Gaming Panel 
  • After U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling, Florida’s Sports Betting Market on Hold
  • Agreeable Compact with Seminole Tribe to be Debated at Jan Legislative Session

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FL Gov. Ron DeSantis Announced First Three Members of New Gaming Panel

The Florida sports betting scene has been filled with drama in 2021, ever since the amended gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state was tossed after a Federal Judge ruled that it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

While that issue awaits further resolution, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is doing his part to move things forward by naming the first three members of the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC), a new panel that will oversee gaming in the state starting in 2022.

The three appointees now awaiting approval by the state Senate are:

  • Julie Imanuel Brown, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary
  • Michael Yaworksy, Office of Insurance Regulation Chief of Staff
  • Charles Drago, a former law enforcement officer

The FGCC originated out of legislation passed (Senate Bill 4) during the same session where Florida lawmakers ratified the amended gaming compact between the state and the Seminoles, and the panel is to have five total members who were to be appointed before the end of 2021.

The commission’s role is spelled out clearly by SB4:

In addition to having regulatory authority over the state’s tribal gaming compacts, the newly created commission will also oversee pari-mutuel operators, cardrooms, slot parlors, and other forms of gaming allowed by the state constitution, excluding the Florida Lottery.

Meanwhile, the Florida sports betting market is still on hold.

After US Court of Appeals Ruling, Florida’s Sports Betting Market on Hold

As we reported back in November in Federal Judge Halts Florida Mobile Sports Betting, Tosses Amended Seminole Compact, the mobile sports betting app that the Seminole Tribe had up and running in November was quickly suspended after a Federal Judge turned down the Tribe’s request for a stay.

The conflict stems from a loophole that the amended compact allowed for letting the tribe offer mobile sports betting statewide outside of tribal lands (where it is supposed to be restricted to) because the computer servers were located on tribal property.

The other challenge to a potential Florida sports betting market is whether outsiders who are not a part of any tribe should be allowed to participate, with local parimutuels and other gambling operators charging the Seminoles of essentially operating a gambling monopoly in the state.

All of these issues should be on the table when the debate begins again at the next Florida legislative session.

Agreeable Compact with Seminole Tribe to be Debated at Jan Legislative Session

In the state of Florida, the next legislative session begins on January 11, so lawmakers, tribal leaders, and industry leaders and insiders have until then to prepare arguments for their version of an updated gaming compact.

For Sunshine State bettors, patience is wearing thing as another exciting NFL season will have come and gone without any legal wagers getting placed, that money no doubt spent anyway using illegal bookies, offshore sportsbooks, and neighboring states where it’s already legal.

With billions of potential tax dollars at stake, it’s no wonder so many parties want a piece of the Florida sports betting pie, a story just beginning to unfold with no clear winners yet so check back for all the latest news and updates.

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Mike Lukas

1211 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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