Last Call for 5.19.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

The Seminole Gaming Compact cleared the Legislature, but it’ll likely need to clear the courts, too.

Shortly after lawmakers approved the sweeping agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a group opposed to the changes made clear that it will challenge the gaming deal.

“This fight is just beginning,” No Casinos President John Sowinski said. “We are committed to ensuring that the will of the people, who voted by a remarkable 72% landslide to give Florida voters the exclusive right to authorize casino gambling in our state, will be respected.”

Since the Gaming Compact was first revealed, No Casinos has warned it has a lawsuit waiting in the wings.

No Casinos was the group that sponsored the 2018 constitutional amendment requiring future gaming expansions to be approved by voters.

The amendment allows the state and Tribe to negotiate Gaming Compacts, but No Casinos believes the so-called “hub and spoke model” for sports betting — where the Tribe is the hub and pari-mutuels are the spokes — is a violation because bettors aren’t on tribal grounds.

Sowinski has also said decoupling, which allows pari-mutuels to operate game rooms without running horse races, runs afoul of the amendment.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 2,256,645 FL residents (+2,749 since Tuesday)

— 42,951 Non-FL residents (+62 since Tuesday)


— 18,152 Travel related

— 905,945 Contact with a confirmed case

— 24,547 Both

— 1,308,001 Under investigation


— 93,598 in FL


— 36,999 in FL


— 16,770,779 Doses administered

— 9,749,726 Total people vaccinated

— 2,021,573 First dose

— 707,100 Completed one-dose series (+8,988 since Tuesday)

— 7,021,053 Completed two-dose series (+67,589 since Tuesday)

Evening Reads

Mitch McConnell comes out against Jan. 6 commission, imperiling its chances of becoming law” via Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post

‘We definitely have our work cut out for us.’ Joe Biden’s Supreme Court commission holds its first public meeting.” via Charles Savage of The New York Times

How the Republican Party could splinter (or stay the same) after Liz Cheney’s ousting” via Alex Samuels of FiveThirtyEight

Colonial Pipeline CEO tells why he paid hackers a $4.4 million ransom” via Collin Eaton of The Wall Street Journal

Troubled vaccine maker and its founder gave $2 million in political donations” via Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Chris Hamby and Rebecca R. Ruiz of The New York Times

As Val Demings looks at Senate run, Aramis Ayala eyes her congressional seat” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

The country is on the cusp of a new era” via Kimberly Wehle of The Atlantic

Florida OKs sports betting operated by Seminole Tribe” via Brendan Farrington and Bobby Caina Calvan of The Associated Press

‘People are going to sue’: Gaming compact passes House, lawsuits expected” via Haley Brown of Florida Politics

Last-ditch effort fails to save harness racing at Pompano Park” via Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

State gaming commission proposal headed to Governor’s desk” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Charity-based bingo comes out a winner, removed from new gambling regulations” via Laura Cassels of the Florida Phoenix

Some Florida manatees still struggle with starvation after peak die-off” via Zachary Sampson of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“The breakdown of the 2010 Compact has denied the state of Florida any revenue derived from the Seminole Tribe’s ongoing gaming operations — including what is the most profitable casino in the United States, located in Hillsborough County. This changes today.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, after lawmakers approved the new Gaming Compact.

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