May 18, 2021 - News
No dice for online gambling in Florida
Illustration of an animated slot machine with Florida, orange, and palm tree icons, landing on three no-smoking symbols.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A weeklong Florida Legislature special session to determine the state's future of gambling kicked off Monday.

What's happening: Lawmakers will discuss a new gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe. If approved, the state is expected to pull in $2.5 billion over the next five years and $6 billion through 2030, Florida Politics reports.

The first decision: No online gambling. That decision sweetened the deal for some hesitant lawmakers, meaning the compact could be approved before the week is over.

  • Also on the table: Bills to legalize fantasy sports betting and bingo.

The other side: Former Gov. Jeb Bush came out against the compact, saying "now is not the time to expand casino gambling which will benefit a handful at the expense of many.”

What to watch: Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) told Axios he's concerned about OKing the compact so quickly without voter approval.

"These are major, major decisions for the state. I feel like trying to get this thing approved in a 72-hour special session is not giving it the special attention it deserves."
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