The ever-changing odds of sports activities playing in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG — We now have casinos and we’ve betting apps. We now have offers with the Seminole Tribe and we’ve ravenous parimutuel websites. We now have tons of playing commercials and we’ve costly campaigns for constitutional amendments underway.

What we shouldn’t have — checks for white smoke from the Florida Governor’s Mansion — is legalized sports activities betting within the state.

Oh, it was right here for some time. For just a little greater than three weeks in November, to be exact. The Seminole Tribe had agreed to pay the state $2.5 billion over 5 years in alternate for creating on-line sports activities betting, in addition to introducing roulette and craps video games of their casinos.

The federal authorities signed off on the pact and Florida joined about two dozen different states within the sports activities playing enterprise, following a U.S. Supreme Courtroom ruling that opened the door in 2018.

There was only one small drawback. Two, really.

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The Seminole playing operation is meant to be restricted to tribal land. Whereas their pc servers could have been situated on that land, the app clearly was obtainable in every single place.

Additionally, the state’s structure had been amended in 2018 to place the growth of casinos in Florida within the fingers of voters. Including sports activities betting, craps and roulette appeared like a type of growth.

That’s why a federal district courtroom choose put a halt to the Seminole pact on Nov. 23, successfully ending sports activities betting lower than a month after it was launched.

Decide Dabney L. Friedrich stated utilizing the concept of pc servers on tribal land as justification for a statewide app was “fiction.”

So this was a victory for anti-gambling forces?

Nicely, sure and no.

Keep in mind that constitutional modification that put playing growth within the fingers of voters? Now, there are a number of campaigns underway for a brand new modification that will allow sports activities betting throughout the state. And after we say throughout the state, we’re not simply speaking concerning the Seminoles and their operation.

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On-line sports activities betting giants DraftKings and FanDuel are bankrolling the petition drives which can be required to get the constitutional modification on the poll and in entrance of voters in 2022. (And so they don’t have loads of time to get the nearly-900,000 verified signatures required, which is why they have already got coughed up tens of tens of millions on the marketing campaign.)

If this enterprise succeeds, legalized sports activities betting will really loom even bigger in Florida, and the governor might want to redo the playing compact with the Seminole Tribe as a result of they’re not going to fortunately pay $500 million a 12 months to the state in the event that they not have exclusivity.

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That’s not difficult in any respect, is it?

Don’t really feel too responsible in case your eyes started to glaze over a number of paragraphs in the past. Sports activities betting in Florida could have been one of many greatest tales of 2021, however it is going to stay firmly entrenched within the headlines all through 2022.

Hiding from actuality just isn’t a successful technique

Dan Mullen prepares to lead Florida on the field at Missouri on Nov. 20. That would be his last game heading up the Gators.
Dan Mullen prepares to steer Florida on the sector at Missouri on Nov. 20. That will be his final recreation heading up the Gators. [ L.G. PATTERSON | Associated Press ]

Florida coach Dan Mullen appeared to assume it was a good suggestion to deflect questions on his less-than-impressive report of recruiting. “We’re within the season proper now,” he stated after dropping to Georgia. “We’ll do recruiting after the season. When it will get to recruiting time, we will discuss recruiting. Okay? Subsequent query.”

Seems, UF directors had questions of their very own. A couple of weeks later, after dropping to Missouri, Mullen was fired. “Folks take a look at losses as a trigger to do away with a coach,” athletic director Scott Stricklin stated. “However loads of occasions the losses … are signs of different points.” Per week later, the Gators employed Billy Napier as their new coach.

Guess who’s shopping for drinks? (A minimum of when he turns 21.)

Rays shortstop Wander Franco hugs owner Stuart Sternberg during a news conference on Nov. 29.
Rays shortstop Wander Franco hugs proprietor Stuart Sternberg throughout a information convention on Nov. 29. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Whereas the Rays have not often chased big-money free brokers, they haven’t been shy about opening their wallets for homegrown expertise. Evan Longoria, James Shields, Matt Moore, Brandon Lowe and Blake Snell are simply a number of the gamers signed to long-term offers in Tampa Bay.

The largest signing of all got here in November when the Rays inked 20-year-old Wander Franco to a deal that ensures him $182 million over 11 years. It’s the richest contract given to an athlete in any sport in Tampa Bay.

Nicely, that was unlucky timing

Rowdies players react after a 3-1 loss to Orange County SC in the USL Championship title game on Nov. 28.
Rowdies gamers react after a 3-1 loss to Orange County SC within the USL Championship title recreation on Nov. 28. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

The Rowdies made their mark in 2021 with stellar protection. Then goaltender Evan Louro tore up his knee throughout a postgame celebration the week earlier than the USL Championship title recreation. With Louro out of the lineup, the Rowdies gave up three first-half targets to Orange County on the best way to a 3-1 loss.

Champa Bay nonetheless going robust in November

Minutes after the final point was fired down, Calvary Christian senior Noelle Walsh, holding phone, and teammates begin celebrating a 3-0 victory over Miami Westminster in the Class 3A state final.
Minutes after the ultimate level was fired down, Calvary Christian senior Noelle Walsh, holding cellphone, and teammates start celebrating a 3-0 victory over Miami Westminster within the Class 3A state ultimate. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

Calvary Christian didn’t have the lofty nationwide rating Miami Westminster had (No. 7 within the U.S.), however the Warriors had simply as a lot coronary heart and talent. And by the tip of the night time on Nov. 18, they’d the Class 3A volleyball state title, too. Calvary Christian beat Westminster 25-21, 25-20, 25-21.

Plant, in the meantime, added to its spectacular haul of state volleyball titles with a Class 7A championship victory in opposition to Windermere. Plant now has 11 state championships in volleyball, which is fourth greatest in Florida historical past.

There was plenty for Plant to celebrate after a 3-2 victory over Windermere in the Class 7A championship match .
There was lots for Plant to have fun after a 3-2 victory over Windermere within the Class 7A championship match . [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

Taking the lengthy path to the clubhouse

World No. 1 and Bradenton native Nelly Korda kisses the Pelican Women's Championship trophy after winning in a four-way playoff.
World No. 1 and Bradenton native Nelly Korda kisses the Pelican Girls’s Championship trophy after successful in a four-way playoff. [ BEN SOLOMON | Pelican Women’s Championship ]

It’s not usually you may triple bogey the 71st gap of a golf event and are available again to win. However, then once more, there aren’t loads of golfers like Nelly Korda.

The Bradenton native birdied the ultimate gap to reclaim a share of the lead, then received the Pelican Girls’s Championship on the primary gap of a four-way playoff. It was her fourth victory of the season, essentially the most by any American on the LPGA Tour in virtually a decade.

Make room in these trophy instances

After a stellar season, the Rays' Randy Arozarena was named Rookie of the Year.
After a stellar season, the Rays’ Randy Arozarena was named Rookie of the Yr. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

As anticipated, Randy Arozarena was named the American League Rookie of the Yr in November, making him the fourth Rays participant to win the consideration since 2008. Kevin Money received his second straight Supervisor of the Yr award, becoming a member of Corridor of Famer Bobby Cox as the one back-to-back honorees.

On second thought

Ronald Jones reacts after rushing for a touchdown against the Colts on Nov. 28 in Indianapolis.
Ronald Jones reacts after dashing for a landing in opposition to the Colts on Nov. 28 in Indianapolis. [ MICHAEL CONROY | Associated Press ]

With Ronald Jones spending most of his Sundays on the bench behind Leonard Fournette, everybody wished to know if the Bucs would deal him to Tennessee earlier than the November commerce deadline.

“It must be one thing actually, actually particular,” head coach Bruce Arians stated of a commerce risk. “It’s only one nick on Leonard and RoJo is the man once more.” Seems, Arians was proper. Fournette suffered a hamstring pull and Jones is again within the beginning lineup.

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