Seminole Warns Florida Government over DFS Bill
Florida is currently considering two pieces of legislation that could see Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) legalized in the state. This news hasn’t been well received by the Seminole Tribe, who have reportedly sent a letter to Florida legislature. In this letter, the Seminole tribe warns that legalizing DFS without regulations, which is what these new bills propose, would violate the agreement between the tribe and the state.
Seminole Says DFS Bills Violate Agreement
The Seminole Tribe operates several Florida casinos and even has an agreement with the state for exclusive rights to offer certain games. Because Seminole casinos are the only ones allowed to offer certain games, business is booming. In exchange for the exclusive rights, the tribe pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the Sunshine State every year. However, the tribe is warning that if these new DFS bills become law, the agreement with the state would be broken and the money would stop.
The bills in question would make DFS 100% legal in Florida. They would also exempt them from gambling regulations. The two bills were introduced by Representative Jason Brodeur and Senator Dana Young. Both bills are very similar. The tribe has said that it wants this letter to be seen as a warning and not a threat.
Senator Surprised by Seminole Comments
The Seminole Tribe is hoping that the letter it has sent will ensure that the state doesn’t inadvertently violate the compact it has with the Seminole. In the letter, it was also stated that any reduction in the exclusivity that the tribe enjoys must be balanced.
Senator Dana Young was surprised to hear what the Seminole tribe had said, especially since the state has been dealing with the question of DFS legality since 2015. She added that DFS are not gambling and should be considered contests of skill. She referred back to a legal opinion from former Florida Supreme Court Justice, Ken Bell. This opinion was issued back in February, in favour of DraftKings.
She believes that, because DFS shouldn’t be classified as online gambling, it won’t affect the agreement with the Seminole. Since 1991, DFS has been in a difficult place in Florida. This was after the state attorney said, in their opinion, it constituted illegal gambling. This made things difficult. DraftKings and FanDuel do accept players from Florida, however, other DFS operators do not.