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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 5.20.21

The Seminole Compact may be D.C.-bound, but the pushback has just begun. Image via AP.

 By Peter Schorsch    

As expected, the Seminole Gaming Compact passed the House Wednesday, one day after getting the OK from the Senate.

The Legislature’s work is done.

That was the easy part.

Faith Based Events

The historic 30-year deal between Florida and the Seminole Tribe now heads to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming, which must also sign off before it goes into effect.

While the Compact moves along to D.C., probably the biggest question is how the feds will respond to a provision allowing the Tribe to offer sports betting across the state with wagers handled by servers located on Tribal land.

These deals, otherwise known as “hub and spoke,” are challenging, in part because the feds enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act more than three decades ago — in 1988.

It might as well have been the ice age, technologically speaking.

Those days, we measured connection speeds (dial-up!) in bauds rather than gigabits.

The Tribe is confident the deal will win approval, but a few are not so sure.

And even if it does get thumbs-up from the feds, the Compact is almost certain to face legal challenges over whether runs counter to the 2018 constitutional amendment requiring any expansion of gaming to go before voters. The group behind the amendment, No Casinos, is already preparing to file a challenge.

“This fight is just the beginning,” No Casinos President John Sowinski said Wednesday.

We will see.

Gaming experts and lawmakers — including many of those who voted for the Compact — concede that No Casinos makes a compelling case. Rep. Randy Fine, a former casino executive and chair of the House Select Committee on Gaming, said as much.

“Me personally,” Fine said, “I don’t think it’s going to survive.”

So, when will Floridians get to place their first bets? Odds are, it may be a little while.

 — SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

@RepValDemings: The January 6th Commission would be bipartisan and tasked solely with seeking and reporting the truth. Members of Congress who oppose it are engaged in a cover-up on the insurrection against our republic

@jacobogles: It appears the only Florida members to vote in favor of the commission were @RepCarlos (Giménez) and @RepMariaSalazar. All Dems supported it. All other #FlaPol GOP members were opposed.

@RepDarrenSoto: We @NRDems look forward to reviewing this proposed Fla gaming deal along with @SecDebHaaland. It requires @Interior approval to go forward. Shady side deals and unfair treatment of local tribes will be given particular scrutiny.

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