Sports betting could be legalized in Florida thanks to a new bill

Do you want to bet on sports legally?

One Florida lawmaker is cashing in on the odds you do! He introduced a bill that would allow anyone 21 or older to take part.

The sponsor of the sports gambling bill says the revenue would be used to support education in Florida.

We asked you if you thought Florida should legalize sports betting, and the vote was pretty split.

But before anything can happen, the plan needs to overcome several hurdles.

Tamara Rucker lives to cheer for Kansas City. She says, there “ain’t nothin’ better.”

A fan of 56 years, she paints her nails for every game.

“Bleed blue and gold and red and gold and yeah, Kansas City all the way,” she said.

It’s her love for those teams that makes her a fan of Florida senator Jeff Brandes’ new bill which would legalize sports betting in the state.

“I think that would be awesome just to make a little money with the boys. That would be fun,” she said.

But not everyone thinks the bill’s a sure bet.

The Seminole Compact gives the tribe limited exclusivity over gaming activities and the Tribe is not mentioned anywhere in Brandes’ bill.

Sports gambling expert John Holden said the bill is dead on arrival.

“If a bill is introduced without the sort of tribal consent or blessing of that bill, it is not going to go anywhere,” said Holden.

But Brandes said he doesn’t need the tribe. His bill would put the state lottery in charge of sports betting operations instead.

“Frankly, there’s just no real need to go through the tribe if we already have our own lottery system set up perfectly capable of handling sports betting,” he said.

The state is already losing more than $300 million in revenue because the Seminole Tribe says the state has already violated the compact by allowing card games at horse and dog tracks and jai alai courts.

Rucker doesn’t care about any of that. She just wants to bet on her team. “Why not? Everybody else is doing it.”

A long shot? We’ll find out come January.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Briana Harvath
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