FanDuel and DraftKings Give $20 Million to Campaign for Florida Betting Approval
To earn money, you must spend money. This is the strategy that FanDuel and DraftKings are taking in Florida to operate mobile sportsbooks in the state. The tribal gaming compact in FL does not have a place for mobile operators because the Seminole Tribe controls wagering through Hard Rock Gaming.
Florida has the potential to be a massive sports betting state because of the number of residents, tourists, and professional sports teams. Operators like FanDuel and DraftKings are pushing hard to attain licensure in the Sunshine State.
FanDuel and DraftKings Contribute $20 Million
There is a chance that statewide mobile sports betting is decided on the 2022 ballot thanks to the Florida Education Champions, which is a newly established Political Action Committee (PAC). The group is trying to gain support to expand sports betting’s framework in Florida.
PAC wants expanded sports betting because it will benefit public education throughout the state. Their effort is coinciding with financial support from operators like FanDuel and DraftKings.
The two largest operators in the United States contributed $10 million each to the committee to garner support in the state. The donations were made during last month’s filing period, which concluded on June 30.
The financial gifts were announced by the Florida Division of Election campaign finance records. PAC proposed a constitutional amendment for sports betting which states that if sports betting was expanded, the tax revenue must be dedicated towards public education.
If the ballot initiative is passed, sports betting will be allowed throughout the state through the internet. Additionally, there will be retail sportsbooks allowed at professional sports venues and parimutuel facilities.
Cory Fox, VP of Government Affairs for FanDuel, spoke about the hefty contribution.
He said, “It is our shared goal to have a safe, legal and regulated market for offering online sports betting in the Sunshine State. Once passed by Florida voters in November 2022, this initiative will ensure that the State of Florida shares in the sports wagering revenue that is currently going entirely to the offshore, illegal market.”
Competition with the Seminole Tribe
The Seminole Tribe has a monopoly on sports betting under the updated tribal compact, which was signed in May. The tribe and legislature are waiting for federal approval from the Department of the Interior.
Operators can benefit from the gaming compact, but the tribe receives a cut of the revenue. Additionally, operators would have to use Hard Rock Gaming technology because all bets must run through tribal servers.
However, the tribe does not have to partner with any providers, but they will receive a tax penalty. Nevertheless, it’s not large enough to force the Seminoles into a gaming partnership.
For sports betting to end up on the 2022 ballot, PAC must receive signatures from 8% of the number of legal voters. Based on the 2020 presidential election, 877,263 will be required.
If sports betting is placed on the ballot, it must receive approval of 60%. As of June 30, PAC had raised $159,824.81 in donations.
David Johnson, the Chairman of the Florida Education Champions, said, “Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition.”