Sands Initiates a Ballot Seeking more Casinos in Sunshine State

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Las Vegas Sands, a magnificent casino and a new entrant in Florida’s gambling market, seeks three new casinos in the State. A political committee was called up to steer the ballot process, which will allow the Northern Florida cardrooms to offer casino games. North Florida is the main target for two proposals seeking gaming expansions. A political committee based in Jacksonville made the proposal submissions recently to the Florida Division of Elections.

The applications are in writing, avoiding confronting the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Seminole tribe was granted the monopoly of casino operations in the Southern part of Florida through the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis through unanimous support from the Florida Legislature.

The Two Proposals

Once the application dubbed “Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming” goes through, all cardroom licensed gambling businesses will offer casino games, including craps, blackjack, slot machines, chemin de fer, roulette, and baccarat, among others which are not included correctly in the casinos. The proposal will only apply to casinos if they are “more than 130 miles on a straight line from all Tribal Facilities.” These businesses have the liberty to relocate to another location after 31st December 2025. They are also required to make an initial investment of $250 within three years.

The other application is dubbed “Authorizes a Limited Number of New Casinos.” This application seeks to allow Florida Gaming Control Commission to have at least three other casinos in the State within proximity of 100 miles on a straight line from the tribal facility. 

Sands Corporation features accommodation, gambling, entertainment, restaurants and clubs, and exhibition facilities. The casino and resort facility also hosts an art and science museum in Singapore. Sands is one of the two resorts on the Las Vegas Strip; Venetian and Palazzo.

However, the proposals do not allow online sports betting but leave the service to Seminole Tribe exclusively. The tribe made a 30-year deal through a $500 million per year deal stamped by the governor and Seminole Tribe of Florida. The agreement allows the tribe to offer mobile sports betting on its tribal land in Florida exclusively. Sports betting is also present through the mobile app and existing pari-mutuels.

However, the battle for sports betting is rising, with international betting giants, like Fan Duel and Draft Kings, popularize ballots to voters with the aim of sports betting approvals on the Florida pari-mutuels professional sports stadiums any mobile betting platform in the State. Should the approval go through, the tribe will withhold at least $100 million on its annual payments?

Proposals won’t Contrast Tribe’s Deal

The organizers of Florida Voters in Charger affirmed that the proposal would not violate provisions between the Seminole tribe and State-owned monopoly provisions. In a press release, Sarah Bascom, Florida Voters in Charge spokesperson, said, “The radius is outside of the mileage requirements that are in the compact so as not to impact the revenue-sharing agreement with the Seminole Indian Tribe.”

Gary Bitner, Seminole tribe spokespersons, added that “Unlike the proposed sports betting ballot initiative, neither of these initiatives would interfere with the new gaming compact, nor would they impact the $2.5 billion revenue-sharing guarantee for the state of Florida over the compact’s first five years.” 

Sands disposed of its Las Vegas facilities and is eyeing this opportunity to expand its reach within the US. There are rumors that Sands is considering a partnership with Bestbet in Jacksonville and the Creek Indians, Poarch Band. 

Las Vegas Sands did not give details on why they choose the Florida market over other US states or whether it aims at one or both constitutional amendments in the 2022 ballot. However, Bascom noted that “both of these ballot initiatives are options we are exploring.” He also said that it’s the political committee that “will decide which option we will begin gathering signatures for soon.”