Florida’s special legislative session draws to a close on Wednesday, with one crucial vote remaining on FL sports betting.
It will mark the final hurdle for the compact after passing out of a House committee Tuesday. The Senate also approved it by a 38-1 vote.
Ahead of that crucial final session, LSR caught up with state Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Broward County, for a quick-fire briefing.
LSR: It’s been reported DraftKings is lobbying against this compact. Does that suggest we won’t see an open competitive market as you hoped?
LaMarca: Everyone is lobbied up. I’d like more questions today about whether FanDuel, DraftKings and Barstool will actually be allowed to participate.
I support a fully competitive market. One thing that could be up for discussion is the 60/40 revenue split between pari-mutuel and tribes. I don’t know where the Seminole Tribe is willing to go on that.
I hope they make it as easy for people to place bets as possible. That means not having to go to a casino and having multiple platforms to use.
This is not a monopoly. There’s meant to be multiple platforms for people to wager through. That really expands the market and gives the tribe a piece of something extra.
LSR: What happens if mobile sports betting does get stripped out of the compact by the federal government or a court, as some predict?
LaMarca: There are other ways to get this to market. The tribe says there is a $700 million black market in Florida, and if they’re even half-right, that’s a huge opportunity for the state.
One option is taking this to a referendum. I think mobile sports betting by itself polls much higher than other forms of gambling expansion like resort casinos or iCasino.
People understand this already happens on phones.
LSR: Does the compact get approved by the House today?
LaMarca: I believe so.
There will be significant votes against this because of social issues and because the governor (Ron DeSantis) supports it. But I think there will be enough yeses.