Sports betting proposal would fund education with tax on gambling

TALLAHASSEE — Steering money from gambling to public education convinced Florida voters to sign off on a state lottery more than three decades ago.

Now, sports-betting behemoths are banking on a similar strategy to legalize sports gambling across the state in a move that could unravel the cornerstone of a $2.5 billion deal recently struck by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe.

A political committee backed by DraftKings and FanDuel, two major online sports-betting platforms, have filed a proposed constitutional amendment with the state Division of Elections that would legalize sports betting and direct the state’s proceeds from the popular activity to education.

The proposed constitutional amendment, sponsored by a political committee known as Florida Education Champions, would authorize sports betting at professional sports venues, pari-mutuel facilities and statewide via online platforms.

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