Major sports betting operators DraftKings and FanDuel are tapping into their Florida player base in order to meet a petition threshold that would give Florida voters a say in the expansion of sports gambling.
The colossal sports betting platforms, which recently funneled $20 million to spearhead a voting initiative led by Florida Education Champions that would expand online sports gambling beyond the proposed Seminole Tribe Compact, are targeting their Florida betting pool in emails on Friday, calling on users to ‘sign the petition to bring more sports betting’ to the Sunshine State.
“Do you want a say on what sports betting looks like in Florida? Do you want to decide whether sports betting tax revenue will fund public education in Florida? We think you should have that choice, which is why we’re joining a movement to add sports betting to the statewide ballot in Florida,” the email reads. “The ballot question would give you an opportunity to have the best sports betting experience in Florida and the ability to bet with apps that you already know and trust, like DraftKings. It would also ensure that sports betting tax revenue goes to Florida’s public education system.”
The call-to-action comes as the Florida Education Champions touted a massive haul to its committee coffers on Monday after both DraftKings and FanDuel pushed $10 million in contributions into the PAC. The newly-established sports-betting committee, formed to secure placement on the November 2022 ballot to authorize sports and event betting at professional sports venues, pari-mutuel facilities, and statewide via online sports betting platforms, could play spoiler to the $2.5 billion deal struck between Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida in April.
The new gaming compact is expected to give the Tribe exclusive rights over sports betting in the state, allowing the Tribe to open statewide mobile sports wagering, as well as retail sportsbooks, which would only be offered through their own Hard Rock facilities, as well as through state pari-mutuels. The deal would put the Seminoles in the driver’s seat of the state’s gambling scene, allowing Floridians across the state to place sports bets on their cellphones, with all wagers being hosted through computer servers on tribal lands.
Both platforms say they hope to place the sports betting hub back into the hands of Floridians.
“Floridians love their sports – professional, college, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, car racing – we love them all. Many Floridians also enjoy betting on sports games and events – it’s a fun way to participate in the excitement of the game. By signing the Florida Education Champions petition you can allow Floridians, 21 and older, to use their favorite online sports betting platform and any new revenue MUST go to supplement education in Florida,” the email continues.
Under the new law, groups will need to secure 891,589 signatures for their issues to make the ballot in 2022. Additionally, they will need to submit 222,898 signatures to receive what can be make-or-break Supreme Court reviews. If an amendment passes these checkpoints, they will require 60 percent of the vote to pass.