Florida Sports Betting Petition Far From Goal Despite Portnoy Video

Written By J.R. Duren on January 20, 2022
florida sports betting petition

Dave Portnoy, the polarizing Barstool Sports founder, recently posted a Twitter video encouraging Floridians to support a Florida sports betting petition backed by DraftKings and FanDuel. Portnoy coupled the roughly two-minute video with the following tweet: Emergency Press Conference – I Am Here to Save Sports Gambling in Florida.”

So why would he ally with DraftKings and FanDuel in Florida? They need signatures for the Florida sports betting petition.

“We are fighting tooth and nail,” Portnoy said. “We need a million signatures across the state of Florida–registered voters–to get sports gambling on the ballot for November.”

Seminole-only sports betting is “bad for people”

Portnoy, whose company runs a sportsbook with Penn National Gaming, said voters will benefit from the amendment because it allows bettors more choices.

“Do you just want the Seminoles?” Portnoy asked. “If you just have the Seminoles you’re not getting the sharp lines, you’re not getting the promos…You’ll have one option. It’s bad for people.”

When the Seminole Tribe of Florida launched sports betting in November through Hard Rock Sportsbook, it offered deposit promos to bettors, as well as specials on, for example, Monday Night Football matchups. However, just two weeks after launching, sports betting shut down after a federal court decision.

So right now, Floridians cannot bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to repeat as champions in Super Bowl futures or make any other bet whatsoever.

Portnoy went on to note that his “enemies” have asked him to help the push for sports betting in Florida. Presumably, Portnoy is referring to DraftKings and FanDuel, the operators that are funding Florida’s sports betting initiative.

“Let people decide,” Portnoy said. “Tell your friends, tell your enemies. My enemies asked me to help. We just want the choice.”

DraftKings promises $100 to account holders if initiative captures enough signatures

Dave Portnoy and his push for Florida sports betting is one facet of a multi-front PR push to Florida voters.

DraftKings, which has contributed $22.7 million to the initiative, according to Florida Division of Election records, is offering $100 DK Dollars to its Florida customers if the initiative gets the signatures it needs.

The promo includes a link customers can use to sign the petition. The fine print notes that customers don’t have to sign the petition to be eligible for the $100 bonus.

How Many Signatures Do They Have?

As for the number of signatures the petition needs, there are three key numbers:

  • 222,898: The statewide total needed for a judicial and financial impact review
  • 891,589: The statewide total needed to get the initiative on the November 2022 ballot as an amendment
  • 381,276: The number of signatures the initiative had as of Wednesday morning

In addition to the total number of signatures, the initiative must gain a minimum number of votes in at least 14 of Florida’s 27 congressional districts. The initiative has met that qualification.

Should the initiative make it to the November 2022 ballot, it will need a 60% yes vote from voters in order to become law.

What sports betting would look like if initiative becomes law

If Portnoy, DraftKings, and FanDuel have their wish, sports betting will go live in Florida in 2023. The launch would look like this, per the text of the initiative:

  • The Seminole tribe would have to launch their sports betting platform(s) within eight months of the amendment going into effect.
  • The Seminole would operate exclusively until the 21st month after the amendment goes live.
  • In the 21st month, any sports betting operator that’s gone live in at least 10 states for at least one calendar year can launch.

Legal bets would include single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under moneylines, pools, exchange wagering, in-game wagering, in-play bets, prop bets, and straight bets. Bettors would be able to place wagers on professional, amateur, Olympic, international, and collegiate sporting events.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has written for a wide variety of publications, both online and print, including Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, and Barcelona Metropolitan. He has thrice been recognized as a winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest.

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