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House OKs pact to allow sports betting in Florida

FILE: This Sept. 9, 2018 file photo shows football fans waiting for kickoff in the sports...
FILE: This Sept. 9, 2018 file photo shows football fans waiting for kickoff in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, FILE)(Wayne Parry | AP)
Published: May. 19, 2021 at 12:41 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) - The Florida House on Wednesday gave final approval to a gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida that would include allowing sports betting in the state.

The House, during the third day of a special legislative session, voted 97-17 to pass the bill. The Senate voted 39-1 on Tuesday to approve it. Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida announced the 30-year deal, known as a compact, last month.

The deal would lead to the state receiving $2.5 billion over the first five years. The tribe would operate sports betting and would receive other benefits, including being able to offer craps and roulette at its casinos. The compact is expected to face a legal challenge because of the sports betting provision.

– Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. issued the following statement on behalf of the 4,300 members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida regarding today’s ratification of the Gaming Compact by the Florida Legislature:

Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. praised the House vote in a news release Wednesday. “Today, all the people of Florida are winners, thanks to legislative approval of the Gaming Compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  It is a historic and mutually-beneficial partnership between the State and Seminole Tribe that will positively impact all Floridians for decades to come.”

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