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Florida Senate Signs Off On Gambling Deal

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In a nearly unanimous vote, the Florida Senate on Tuesday approved a gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida that would include allowing sports betting in the state.

Senators voted 38-1 to pass the proposal (SB 2A) on the second day of a special legislative session. Only Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, voted against it. The House could vote Wednesday on the deal, which was announced last month by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe.

The deal, known as a compact, would lead to the state receiving $2.5 billion over five years. The tribe would operate sports betting and would receive other benefits, including being able to offer craps and roulette at its casinos.

“I believe this is a good deal. I believe it’s a great deal, actually,” Senate sponsor Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, said. But Brandes said the deal would create a “statewide monopoly for one entity” because of money. “This is not about the money for me,” he said. “It’s about the principle.”

The News Service will have a full story later Tuesday.