Florida Gambling Deal; Florida Democrats Want To Win In 2022

May 21, 2021

Florida’s new gambling deal (which still has to be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior) would make it the largest state with legal sports betting.

This week lawmakers held a special session focused on gambling. It was spurred on by a deal in late April between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe. 

The two agreed to a new gambling compact giving the tribe exclusive rights to certain kinds of gambling in exchange for paying the state billions of dollars.

That deal allows the tribe to offer craps and roulette and opens the way for legal sports betting for the first time in Florida. It will also allow the Seminole Tribe to build three new casinos on tribal land in Broward County.

We discussed all of this - as well as the legal challenges the plan is likely to face - with state Rep. Randy Fine, who will chair the Florida House Select Committee on Gaming; John Sowinski, The President of No Casinos; and POLITICO reporter Gary Fineout.

Florida Democrats And The 2022 Elections

After their losses in the 2020 election, Florida Democrats have begun repositioning for 2022. Congressman Charlie Crist has already declared that he’s running for governor, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is expected to do so soon. Meanwhile, Central Florida Congresswoman Val Demings is expected to challenge Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a move her fellow Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy is also reportedly considering.

We discussed all of this - and how the state’s Democrats are hoping to defeat incumbent Republicans - with Gary Fineout.

Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org.