News Stories

U.S. Supreme Court ruling could change gambling rules in Florida

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday that a federal law banning sports gambling in a lot of states was unconstitutional.

The court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 unconstitutionally interfered with the state of New Jersey modifying its sports gambling laws.

How will this affect Florida? Well, nothing might change for a while.

The biggest reason being that the state has an agreement with the Seminole Tribe to regulate slots and casinos. Any gambling regulation changes would be negotiated with the tribe.

“The reality is that it will take some time and study to understand what the Supreme Court ruling means for states and tribes,” Gary Bitner with the Seminole Tribe said.

Amendment 3 is on the ballot this November.  If it passes, you would have to approve all gambling expansion and regulation changes.

“It’s legalized it’s regulated and it’s taxed. The tax revenue dollars that it can create for the state to do more good than harm,” Chris Deluca, who works at Caloosahatchee Jack’s Sports Bar, said. “It goes with anything, it’s going to come with a certain risk but so does alcohol.”

The sports gambling industry is an industry worth at least $150 billion a year, according to the American Gaming Association. Competitive Sports Enterprises estimates illegal gambling is worth between $150 and $400 billion.


The only state where sports gambling is currently legal is Nevada. Five states have passed laws to put a structure in place now that the Supreme Court made a decision and 14 other states have introduced legislation to do the same. Florida is not included in these states.

Local sports radio hosts Craig Shemon and Pete Shepard said it’ll be a while before sports gambling is legal in Florida, and even longer before it’s on our phones.

“If you can get it done by the fall in Florida I think it would be great, but I think more realistically I think you’re looking at probably nine months.”