TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A U.S. Supreme Court decision viewed as a major win for the gambling industry opens the door to sports betting in nearly two dozen states, but Florida almost certainly won't be one of them at least for now.
Monday's decision in Murphy versus the National Collegiate Athletic Association found the federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting is unconstitutional.
In anticipation of the ruling, some states filed legislation authorizing sports betting should the federal law be struck down.
But in Florida, two major obstacles - a ballot initiative and a special legislative session - stand in the way.
"Florida has a perfect economy," said Marc Dunbar, a pro-gambling attorney. "We are a tourist-based economy, and sports wagering thrives in tourist-based economies. A place like Oklahoma is not a heavy tourist destination, so this would be an amenity that our hoteliers would be able to benefit from."
A proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot will allow Florida voters to decide if they want to control decisions about gambling.
If Amendment Three passes, voters statewide would have to sign off on future gambling expansions.