If Florida gaming passes special session this week, what can you bet on?


TAMPA (WFLA) – As Florida lawmakers gather for a special session this week to decide the fate of gaming expansion in the state and potential billions of dollars of revenue are on the table, the impact is still unclear.

The proposed gambling expansion would create a 30-year agreement between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, with an expected $2.5 billion revenue for the state in the first five years.

Through the agreement, state residents will be able to place bets online for sports, craps and roulette, among other pari-mutuel business.

From the gaming compact signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, if the deal passes the legislature, here’s what you’ll be able to bet on.

Covered Games

From the compact, you’ll be able to place bets/gamble on slot machines, raffles and drawings, table games such as blackjack or craps, fantasy sports contests, as well as let residents participate in actual sports betting.

The compact also allows betting on “any new game authorized by Florida law for any person for any purpose.” This means that in the future, the state could add other options to bet on.

Nine bills have been proposed to legalize different sports betting options, including online. If the bills filed pass, online sports bets, online craps and online roulette, plus betting on horse races, jai alai, and other sports could go digital as well as in-person.

If the agreement passes the legislature, there are some rules for how everything is going to work, including for data storage and payment limits to winners.

Bingo Basics

For Bingo games, the compact creates rules for how the game is played. Electronic Bingo Card Minders will be used for Bingo Games. The devices must be certified in advance and approved by the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and must aid players by storing bingo cards that are bought by the player.

On top of storing images of up to three cards, the device has to compare the numbers drawn, then individually put them into the device to identify preannounced winning patterns.

The device won’t be able to accept or dispense any tokens, coins or other currency like dollar bills. It also can’t show game results except for highlighting the winning numbers or giving an audio alert when a player wins.

Bingo devices are not allowed to show graphics, images or titles that show slot machines, cards, craps, roulette or lotto.

Progressive prizes are capped at $2,500 and other prizes have a hard $1,000 limit to be awarded. The Electronic Bingo Card Minders cannot have more than one player position for playing bingo on them, and cannot be linked to more than one video display.

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy or simulation sports are included in the gambling compact. In the agreement, Fantasy Sports Contests are a fantasy or simulated sports game with a contest operator, or non-commercial operator, that has players managing teams of professional athletes.

Prizes in the games are made known in advance of the game start, and winning outcomes have to reflect what the compact calls relative knowledge and skill of contest participants. The knowledge and skills are “determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results” of individual performances, including athletes in sporting events.

Winning scores in fantasy games cannot be decided by the performance or performances of any single actual team or combination of teams, or based on an actual game or sporting event.

On top of the restrictions on what counts as a fantasy game, the compact says displays of graphics, themes, titles or depictions of slot machines, cards, dice, craps, roulette or lotto are also banned, just like the Bingo rules.

Historic Race Betting on Horses & Greyhounds

The gambling agreement offers up the option for players to bet on previous horse and greyhound races, as long as those races were recorded at licensed pari-mutuel facilities after Jan. 1, 2000.

Recordings must be stored in a secure format on the central server at the pari-mutuel facility in Florida, if the agreement passes. Three bet types can be used on Historic Racing Machines.

For the horse or greyhound races, you can place Win-Place-Show, Quinella, or Tri-Fecta bets. All Historic Racing Machines have to offer at least one or more from Thoroughbred races, Harness races or Greyhound races.

Just like Bingo, progressive prizes over $2,500 are blocked and other prizes cannot exceed $1,000.

After bets are in, the Historic Racing Machines have to show at least the last eight seconds of the horse or greyhound race before prizes are awarded. Displayed video has to be on at least 70% of the video screen, and the racing machines cannot be linked to multiple video displays.

No video or mechanical reel displays are allowed, no machine can have more than one player position to place bets, and the Historic Racing Machines can’t give out coins, currency or tokens.

Showing images or graphics of casino games, themes, or titles, such as slot machines, cards, dice, craps, lotto, roulette or bingo is not allowed on the machines.

Prizes can only be awarded based on the results of a previous horse or greyhound race, and no element of chance is allowed. Random number generators must be used to select the race for players to bet on, and to choose the designations of race entrants for Quick Pick bets.

Racers cannot be identified until after bets are placed to prevent players from recognizing the race during the wager phase.

Lottery Luck

The lottery options from the proposed gambling agreement between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state centers on using a lottery vending machine for different types of tickets.

The three types of machines either:

  1. Dispense pre-printed paper instant lottery tickets
  2. Dispense pre-determined electronic instant lottery tickets
  3. Dispense a paper lottery ticket with numbers chosen by the player or randomly by the machine

Each lottery type has its own restrictions.

Pre-printed instant lottery ticket machines do not read or reveal ticket results or let players redeem any ticket. They’re also not allowed to link to any online application that lets you buy a paper lottery ticket, cannot include or use video reels or mechanical reels, or other depictions of slot machines or casino game themes for the game play.

The pre-determined electronic lottery ticket machines shows players an image of the ticket on a video screen on the machine and the player has to touch the image to reveal the ticket’s outcome. The lottery machine can only reveal the ticket if it does not let the player redeem winnings, or display slot machines and casino game themes for game play.

Lottery machines with paper lottery tickets showing numbers chosen randomly or picked by players cannot reveal winning numbers and cannot be used to redeem winning tickets. Winning lotteries are chosen separately and at a different location drawn by the Florida Lottery. Machines using paper lottery tickets cannot include or use video reels or mechanical reels or other video depictions of slot machines or casino game themes for game play.

Slot Machines, Sports Betting, Online

Slot machines are about what you’d expect, a mechanical device or electronic terminal with slot games that can take inserted coins, bills, tokens, or tickets to let players win merchandise or money. The compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida says the machines may not be able to download slot games from a central server system.

Slot machines, as defined by the compact, includes machines that use video or mechanical displays of roulette, wheels, or other table games. Payoff is made automatically from the machine or manually, giving players cash, billets, tickets, tokens or electronic credits to be traded for cash or merchandise.

Sports betting is defined as wagering on past or future professional sport or athletic events, such as Olympics or college sports, any motor vehicle race, including individual performances by athletes or participants. This includes wagering on in-play events for combinations of events or parts of events, but is separate from Fantasy Sports Contests.

Wagers for sports betting is to be done exclusively through sports books conducted and operated by the tribe or an approved management contractor, which includes the servers and devices required to do so at a Tribal Facility. All wagers placed by a patron in Florida but not physically on Indian Lands can be placed via internet, web application, or through a qualified pari-mutuel permitholder, regardless of the location in Florida.

When the tribe offers online wagering, they must have a written contract with a qualified permitholder which authorizes them to perform marketing or similar services for the tribe’s sports books for wagers done through electronic devices using digital sports books provided by the tribe.

Digital interfaces used for online sports betting must be provided by the tribe to their qualified pari-mutuel permitholders to market digitally, including through the permitholders’ development or procurement of customizable web or mobile assets.

Permitholders must receive accurate and published data, and must be compensated by the tribe for losses not less than 60% different from the net win earned by the tribe on all wagering by patrons through online bets. The tribe must remain the exclusive operator of the sports books, and total payment for all marketing by permitholders must not be higher than 40% of the tribe’s net win on sports betting.

Permitholders must enter into written contracts with the Tribe within three months of the effective date of the gambling agreement, and negotiations must be made in good faith with all qualified pari-mutuel permitholders. Failure to have valid written contracts within three months would make the tribe pay an additional 2% to the state until valid contracts have been secured.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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