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Sports betting; Medicaid unwinding; Florida’s wildlife

A gambler plays a slot machine at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Aug. 8, 2022.
Wayne Parry
A gambler plays a slot machine at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Aug. 8, 2022.

Sports betting 

Florida is far from the first state to have legal sports betting. But it will be the biggest state so far.

The Seminole Tribe relaunched its sports betting app to a limited group of people this month. It plans to offer in-person sports betting at its six Florida casinos in early December. The journey to online sports betting in Florida has taken years.


  • Daniel Wallach, founder of Wallach Legal, a law firm in Hallandale Beach focused on gambling laws.
  • John Sowinski, president of the group No Casinos Inc.
  • Jessica Cattelino, author of “High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty.”

Medicaid unwinding 

As the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold in the spring of 2020, the federal government sent billions of dollars to states to keep people enrolled in Medicaid. That’s the program that provides health care to low-income adults and children. The pandemic money allowed people to stay enrolled even if they no longer met the income requirements.

But with the public health emergency over, and the federal government’s budget approval last year, the rule requiring states to keep people enrolled in the program ended. It’s a process that goes by the word 're-determination.' As a result, around 260,000 children have been disenrolled from Medicaid across the state.

  • Joe Mario Petersen, health reporter for WMFE in Orlando. 
  • Stephanie Colombini, covers health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. 
  • Jennifer Tolbert, associate director of KFF’s Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Florida’s wildlife 

Between the Panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico is where Apalachicola River meets the ocean creating a bay known for oysters. It’s also a story of heartbreak through the years.

Once the source of livelihood for families throughout the community, the bay collapsed in 2020, and with it the wild oyster industry. But as Margie Menzel reports from our Tallahassee partner station WFSU, a group of kayakers found hope on a recent trip down the length of the river.

Down the peninsula in Southwest Florida, it was a mixed year for loggerhead sea turtles on Sanibel and Captiva islands this year along the Gulf Coast. Florida has the largest number of nesting loggerheads, which are on the Endangered Species Act list of threatened animals. Today’s efforts to protect the turtles are very much linked to the past, as Janine Zeitlin reports from WGCU in Southwest Florida.

And in Central Florida, Disney World has become one of the most important links in a wildlife corridor spanning the length of Florida. Steve Newborn from our partner station in Tampa, WUSF, was able to visit.

If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, you can call or text The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or chat with a specialist online. Inquiries are answered 24/7 and remain confidential.

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