Heading into December, there were no sports betting bills in Florida. Yesterday, when the state’s legislative session kicked off in Tallahassee, there were six.
The surge to a six-pack came thanks to Reps. Chip LaMarca and Anika Omphroy. LaMarca proposed a pair of bills that would set up policy and licensing requirements for sports betting. Omphroy’s bill deals with tax structures.
Sports wagering is not legal in the state. The closest legal betting options are Mississippi (retail) and Tennessee (online).
LaMarca’s bill features $7.5M licensing fee for operators
LaMarca said that the goal of his and Omphroy’s bills is “to give Floridians access to safe and regulated domestic sports wagering.”
His use of “domestic” may indicate that LaMarca is hoping that, through legalization, Florida can bring to an end offshore betting in the Sunshine State.
The representative’s pair of bills provides a backbone for the regulatory side of wagering.
This bill focuses on the general mechanics of what would happen on the regulatory side of Florida sports betting. A few of the regulations the bill introduces are:
- Authorization of sports betting
- Duties of the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering
- Outlaws sports pools for anyone but licensed entities
- Background checks for sports betting employees
- Banning certain bettors from making or accepting bets
This second LaMarca bill deals exclusively with the application and renewal fees for sports betting licenses.
LaMarca proposed the following:
- $7.5 million one-time application fee
- $1 million annual renewal fee
Omphroy proposes 22.5% sports betting tax rate
- Rhode Island (51%),
- New Hampshire (50%-51%)
- Delaware (50%)
- Pennsylvania (34%)