Pro-Education Group Proposes Florida Sports Betting Amendment

Written By JR Duren on June 24, 2021 - Last Updated on May 25, 2022
A pro-education group filed a constitutional amendment to significantly expand sports betting access.

Florida’s sports betting saga just hit a new high.

A group named “Florida Education Champions” (FEC) has a constitutional amendment on file with the Division of Elections that would allow retail sports betting at professional sports venues and pari-mutuel facilities and mobile sports betting throughout the state.

The proposed amendment would have to pass through multiple hurdles to become law, including a popular vote by the Florida residents.

Amendment calls for staggered rollout of sports betting

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of FEC’s proposed amendment is a two-tier rollout of sports betting.

Per the amendment, legalized sports betting in Florida would work with “Native American tribes” that have a gaming compact with the state (presumably the Seminole tribe).  The tribe would have eight months to roll out retail and mobile sports betting in Florida.

Eligible sports betting operators would include any operator that’s running online sports betting in at least 10 states and has met that benchmark for at least one year, according to the proposed amendment. FanDuel would qualify to operate mobile and retail sports betting in the state because it has operated in at least 10 states for at least one year.

The Seminole tribe would then enjoy a full 12 months before other entities could launch sports betting in the state—pari-mutuels, for example.

The amendment would allow those other operators to choose their preferred sports betting operator.

Furthermore, individuals could register for sports betting accounts online rather than being forced to sign up at retail locations, as was the case in Illinois and Iowa.

No shortage of bet types or sporting events

FEC’s proposed amendment places few restrictions on the types of bets and sports upon which bettors could place a wager.

For example, the amendment would allow the following wagers:

  • Single-game bets
  • Teaser bets
  • Parlays
  • Over-under
  • Pools
  • Exchange wagering
  • In-game wagering
  • In-play bets
  • Prop bets
  • Straight bets

As for the types of sports available for betting, the FAC proposed all professional, amateur, collegiate, Olympic and international “sports or athletic” event. Motorsports are included, too.

All sports betting taxes would fund education

The final section of the proposed amendment calls for the state legislature to create licensing procedures, betting and sport regulation, consumer protections, and provisions for responsible gambling.

Furthermore, the amendment notes that, should the legislature tax online and retail sports betting, all taxes would go toward the Department of Education’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

What happens next?

The sports betting amendment will have to complete the following steps to become law:

  • Create a petition.
  • Earn 222,898 petition signatures from Florida voters so it can go through a judicial and financial impact review.
  • Then, earn 891,589 petition signatures to make it onto a ballot.
  • Win at least 60% of the popular vote to become law.

At the time of publishing, the amendment had no signatures in any of the state’s 27 counties.

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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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