The states of Colorado and Florida both face obstacles in their path to legalizing sports betting. Colorado is nearing the end of their legislative session, putting any potential bill on the clock. Florida requires citizen approval to pass any bills. Here’s what the landscape for sports betting looks like in each state.
The state of Colorado has had quite a tough battle when it comes to sports betting. They’ve been discussing it for almost a year, but now the official legislative session is almost over.
Operators of casinos within the state worked together to draft a sports betting bill that would legalize the act both at in-person casinos and on mobile. Unfortunately, the bill has not been proposed to legislators yet.
The proposed tax rate for the bill is an acceptable 10%, and has three different tiers of licensing that can be acquired. This is the same type of bill that has seen approval in multiple different states this year.
There are two major obstacles blocking the bill from succeeding. First are the lawmakers of Colorado, which have been fairly against any gambling expansions. The most recent rejection came in 2014 when they vetoed the introduction of casinos operating as racetracks.
The other obstacle is time, as the legislative session ends on May 3rd. For the bill to be fully discussed, reworked, and agreed upon will take quite a while, so it’s likely the bill doesn’t pass this legislative session.
That spells bad news for sports betting in Colorado, but at least representatives for the state can clearly see the benefit of legalizing sports betting.
Florida has the unique position of negotiating with the Seminole Tribe for a new gambling bill. The state also passed an amendment last year that required any new casino operations to be approved by the public.
There has been some disagreement as to whether or not sports betting should be included in that amendment. Some say it doesn’t require a vote because of some special language used in the amendment, but it appears their opinion doesn’t really matter in this situation.
In order for any bill to approved, the public will have to vote on it. Because of the timing and stipulations surrounding a new bill, it looks like Florida won’t be legalizing sports betting this legislative session.