For quite some time, lawmakers in Florida have been trying to decide on how gambling should be expanded in the state. One part of the equation is the Seminole Tribe. Governor Ron DeSantis and the tribe reached an agreement in April, signing a new 30-year compact. The agreement had several additions within the terms including the option for online poker. Unfortunately for poker fans, lawmakers removed the language, so there is no longer an opportunity for iPoker to come to the state right now.
The House recently voted in favor of the tribal agreement with a large approval vote of 97 to 17. A special legislative session was held to vote on the matter. The decision by the House came one day after the Senate decided to vote in approval too, with a 39-1 vote.
The tribe and the governor agreed to remove the online gaming language from the agreement so that the deal could move forward. The agreement had language that would have allowed the tribe to control the entire iGaming market with poker included in the mix. Several conservative legislators were worried about this portion of the compact.
Now that the language has been removed, Florida residents will not be able to see online poker come to fruition for several years. The legislative process in the state is long-winded and it takes time for any type of gambling change to come about.
For now, the compact allows the tribe to offer more table games and for a new casino to be constructed. They can also offer retail and online sports betting. The tribe continues its exclusivity involving casino games but the sports betting industry will be open to outside entities including the professional sports teams in the state.
It will be interesting to see if the compact moves forward and gains all the appropriate approvals so that it can be enacted.