As the push for online gambling in Florida moves forward in the USA’s third most populated state, the compact did go through, but with an amendment that pushes out iGaming meaning that the state’s Seminole Tribe will only have the option to offer online sports betting.
In the original deal, the Seminole Tribe has a clause that would allow the outfit to begin negotiating for online casino deals, and with a population of 21.5 million, it would have become the USA’s largest iGaming market. Currently, Pennsylvania holds that crown with 12.8 million people able to sign up and play online casino slots from a variety of software providers and live dealer games from the Evolution PA studio.
Michigan is the next largest state with 10 million people and currently plays host to Playtech’s live dealer studio while New Jersey hosts Ezugi and Evolution live dealer studios, of course, both brands are on in the same company. However, what will happen is Florida is to become the largest state to allow online sports betting as 2 ‘House’ committees were in agreement with the proposal, which of course hinged on the condition that any reference to online gambling is removed.
The exact words used by Chris Sprowls, House Speaker, were that collective concerns about the language referring to online casinos were such that the language could lead to what he described as a ‘backdoor’ for state-wide online casinos. Therefore, any reference or terminology relating to this ‘back door’ needs to be removed so the Seminole Tribe can then begin with negotiations to bring online sports betting tech to the Sunshine state!
All servers that will accept bets from Florida residents will follow the same laws as other states. That is that the technology’s location is within tribal casinos that already have permission to offer gambling services. In all states this is a rule that helps to include land-based casinos in the online casino industry and to keep licensing more streamline!
Would-Be Live Dealer Battleground!
Had Florida allowed iGaming, this would perhaps have become a major battleground for live dealer studio brands like Playtech and Evolution/Ezugi. We may have even seen Pragmatic Play make a move into the US market. With Pennsylvania and Michigan states perhaps too small in terms of the target market to house more than one live dealer studio/brand, Florida could have become an exciting battleground where for the first time in the US market, we could have seen competing live casino companies.
However, for that news report to come to life, we still have hope as New York (19.5 million) is edging close to legalising online casinos while Texas (29 million) and California (39.5 million) are still not written offs just yet with legislation still being thrashed out although slowly. One of these states is sure to offer iGaming in the new future which will then jump-start one of the most interesting live dealer markets in the US.
Florida casino players are not the only state to receive bad news in regard to online casinos, in Alabama, state legislative could not come to an agreement which means the next time the subject will find its way into the house could be as far as way as 2025!