Florida Education Champions (FEC) is giving Florida voters something extra to chew on ahead of Thanksgiving.
FEC, a political committee that seeks to expand online sports gambling beyond the recently stalled — and now appealed — Seminole Tribe Compact, released a new study on Wednesday analyzing the economic and revenue benefits from its 2022 proposed voting initiative. The FEC commissioned report found that the political committee’s proposed constitutional amendment is expected to generate $350 million in state and local tax revenue annually, including $247 million that would be directed to the Florida Department of Education’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
“The findings represent the significant benefits our proposed constitutional amendment will provide to Florida taxpayers, consumers, and to our public education system. We will continue our work to secure the necessary petitions to offer our amendment to the voters on the November 2022 general election ballot, so Floridians can competitively bet on their favorite sports teams where and how they want, and students have the resources they need to receive the highest quality education, all while the state economy further diversifies and thrives,” said Florida Education Champions Chairman David Johnson.
The study, conducted by Washington Economics Group (WEG), also indicated that the amendment will have a major year-to-year impact on the state, noting that it will support over 31,181 jobs and generate over $1.2 billion in household income statewide. Additionally, the proposal will also create over $2 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and carry a total economic impact of more than $3.5 bill every year throughout the Sunshine State.
“The Washington Economic Group meticulously examined the Florida Education Champions’ sports betting amendment and estimated that its eventual passage would result in substantial positive economic benefits, extending beyond those directly related to increased gross gaming revenue and state tax payments. In our minds, there’s no doubt that it’s a ‘win-win’ for Florida taxpayers,” said WEG Founder and Senior Advisor Dr. J. Antonio Villamil.
The FEC analysis comes on the heels of U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich invalidating the Gaming Compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida on Tuesday. The ruling stated that the agreement broke federal law and declared that the ability to place bets from anywhere in the state through the recently launched Hard Rock Sportsbook app violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that allows betting only on tribal lands.
The state and tribe had claimed that because computer servers processing the bets were stationed on tribal lands, bettors could wager from their phone or kiosks at other casinos or race tracks to meet the federal standard.
The Seminole Tribe has since appealed the ruling, filing a notice of appeal and a “motion of stay pending appeal” in federal courts. Marcellus Osceola, Seminole Tribe chairman, argued that the agreement reached between the Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis last April, and confirmed shortly after by the legislature, should be maintained. Notably, his lawyers asserted that the ruling will cause “irreparable harm” to the Seminole Tribe’s sovereignty and economic interests, adding that the tribe would “lose substantial revenue” from online sports betting
“The Tribe would be irreparably injured if it is required to cease online sports betting pending the outcome of an appeal,” Osceola wrote. “The Tribe would immediately lose the millions in online sports betting revenues the Tribe is generating. As a result, many of these jobs and outsourced positions would be lost.”
The sports-betting committee, formed in June 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, says they will continue to try and establish a competitive, legal sports betting market in Florida.
To view the full study, click the link below.