Sports Betting Re-Emerges For 2021 Session

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Sports wagering is back on the board for state lawmakers.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a proposal (SB 392) on Monday aimed at legalizing sports betting in Florida.

Under the proposal, the state lottery department would oversee wagering licenses, which would mean revenue from the games would bolster education.

The proposal outlines an array of options for sports wagering, while also listing people who would be prohibited from wagering, including athletes, coaches, referees and people working with sports governing bodies.

Brandes’ bill is filed for the 2021 legislative session, which will start in March. A similar proposal failed to advance during the 2020 session.

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In 2019, Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson, now the Senate president, and representatives of the Seminole Tribe of Florida negotiated a deal that included the possibility of sports betting at the Seminoles’ casinos and at pari-mutuel facilities, with the tribe acting as a “hub.”

But the proposed deal was not approved.

Numerous states have moved to approve sports betting since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court opinion struck down a law that had largely prevented states from offering such wagering.

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