Record Gambling For Super Bowl; Not In SFL

The American Gaming Association’s numbers for the 54th Super Bowl are in and records are set to fall except in South Florida where the game will be played. With a record 14 states now enabling sports wagering and a total of 20 having some sanctioned form of sports betting, the AGA said a record $6.8 billion is on the line for Sunday’s game. That’s a 15% increase over a year ago. The growth in the industry has been huge since the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling paving the way for lawful sporting gambling nationwide. What’s clear is that more opportunities in more states equal more money on the line. Ironically for Florida, we’ve gone the other way over the same window of time. The state is actually taking in less revenue from gambling than a year ago due to the now essentially defunct Seminole Compact. That's $330 million less per month the state is seeing from gambling at a time when the industry is rapidly growing statewide. The question is what’s next for Florida? 

The potential in Florida is huge. We’re the third most populous state. We’re home to numerous sporting events, like Sunday’s Super Bowl. So, what gives? When will something give? Florida Senator Jeff Brandes filed a bill to enable sports betting for this state session, though it hasn’t been taken up as of yet. Instead, Florida’s House and Senate began discussions on a potential deal with Governor DeSantis to enable sports gaming in Florida. The idea would be to propose legislation that all parties could agree to expedite the process. We’re already a couple of weeks into a 60-day session. That’s a lot of scrambling that would have to happen to get something done this year, though it is possible.

Florida’s in a weird spot this week. The biggest gambling event ever will be played here this weekend and record numbers of states will be participating but Florida won’t be one of them. Record revenues from it will be derived from gaming across the country, though Florida’s losing revenue over a year ago. Something’s going to happen. But what and when? Certainty not in time for the Super Bowl LIV. 

Photo by: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

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