Galvano instructed members of the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee to have a draft proposal prepared by the end of this month. Though the specifics of the bill have yet to be released, Galvano did tell The News Service of Florida that he prioritizes sports betting regulation and a new compact with the Seminole Tribe.
Lawmakers in the state, in the upcoming session, will try to “stabilize and present new terms or modified terms” to an existing company Florida has with the Seminole tribe. Under that compact, Florida receives a piece of the revenue generated by the tribe’s casinos and the tribe gets exclusive control over blackjack in the state. The current compact expires in May.
Galvano asserted that both sides – the government and the tribe – will need to come to an understanding this spring in order to sign a new compact. This will allow the state to secure revenues of what should amount to about US$3 billion over a seven-year period. The senator was one of the principles involved when the state signed its previous contract with the Seminole tribe in 2010.
Galvano cited the revenue already being lost by the state to sports betting, insisting that Florida has its share of citizens who wager on sports without any current regulations. He mentioned the need to be collecting and sharing revenues from that activity.
Any attempts at introducing legislation can only go so far. When voters in Florida took to the polls last November, they signed off on the Voter Control of Gambling amendment, which puts the power over the industry squarely in the hands of the electorate. Any legislative measure introduced cannot become law until voted on by the state’s residents.