Jeff Brandes again wagers on legalized sports betting
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Revenue would benefit educational services.

Sen. Jeff Brandes filed a bill on Monday that aims to legalize sports betting in Florida.

The Sports Wagering bill (SB 392) would allow individuals who are over 21 to wager money or items on a sports event — as long as the bet is placed with the state’s Department of the Lottery or a licensee. Brandes attempted to legalize sports betting in the 2020 session, but was unsuccessful.

The new law would authorize the Department of Lottery to administer annual licenses for those seeking to operate a sports pool. The application fee and renewal fee for the license is $100,000, according to a related bill (SB 396) by Brandes.

And, because the Department of Lottery would oversee and regulate the operations, the revenue created would go to bolster education in the state, with the department providing funds for public schools, college scholarships and educational services in Florida.

The proposed law sets strict rules around sports wagering.

Licensees must maintain an allotted amount of cash reserves, as well as provide patrons with warnings about gambling addiction and information on where to get help. The law would set a limit on how much a person can wager on a single sporting event, although that number is not yet defined.

The bill would also allow for self-service betting kiosks, which would be strictly regulated by the department.

The bill also blocks certain people from betting — athletes, coaches, referees or a director of a sports governing body. An individual who owns more than 10% of a sports team, as well as a person who holds a position of authority or influence over players, like a manager, handler or trainer would also be prohibited from betting.

Violations would come with stiff penalties, as detailed in the bill.

If a person provides false information on an application or on records related to regulations, they can be subject to an administrative fine or civil penalty of up to $10,000. If a sports pool is operating without a license, an individual can be subject to a third degree felony.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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