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Black Lives Matter?

Not to other Black people!

Blacks couldn’t care less about other blacks and statistics prove it…stats don’t lie, people lie!

Looking at web site after web site, they all show the same things…blacks commit the greatest crimes on other blacks and whites are mostly responsible for most crimes on whites. AND ... Black people commit a higher percentage of crimes on whites than white people do to black people.

Fact…Some 95% plus of the criminals, who are incarcerated, are either Black or Illegal Aliens.

Fact…Over 80% of all Black children are raised by single parents…take a guess which parent!

Now, the Radical left…let’s call them what they are…Marxists, Obama Socialists, Communists, take your pick, are coming out of the closets and making their move…big time!

What does that have to do with BLM or ANTIFA? It has to do with the overall plan to destroy your Constitutional Republic, and jam Socialism down your throats!

Problem is… many people are too ignorant or just not paying attention to understand what’s happening…

Socialism is where there is no personal ownership of business, except for those close to the Rulers. They are called Oligarchs.

In this new America that Hussein Obama is forming…the Rulers (him and his friends) will decide what Rights you will have as there will be NO Constitution, no Equal Rights, no “right to bear arms”, no Free Speech, no Freedom of Religion as State and Church will be ONE…as it is in Islam… only he decides who gets what jobs, who gets what house, Rights, food, transportation …he will decide everything!

Every single thing Obama is doing, through his puppet Howdy Doody Obiden, is aimed at destroying our Republic! To “change America” is to “Destroy America”, in furtherance of his cause…Islam… all of which is
Sedition, Treason, Espionag.

Obama has committed every crime a former public office holder could possible commit against the Office that took him from a Net Worth of $250,000 to $10+ million in 8 years… Barack Hussein Obama… I got your number Hussein!

If you disagree… I want you to put pen to paper and write down all the good things that have happened to America by closing the construction/operation of the Keystone pipeline.

Then write how reducing “Oil Production” has benefited our economy.

Explain how reducing coal, fossil fuel use has benefited ANYTHING and start with the production of power plants that were coal fired…which WAS 45% of our power production. That was reduced to 15 coal plants by Obama! Explain how that helped relieve the power loss to millions in Texas a few months ago!

Explain how Wind and Solar came through in the Texas debacle!

Then do the same for “opening the Border”.

Then explain how rejoining the Paris Accord will help America.

While you’re at it, include the WHO, World Health Organization…how valuable they were in fighting CHINA 19.

Open Borders, free everything…cell phones, money, food, housing…all elements of communism.

How many times do you have to be slapped across the face by Obama before you wake up and smell the BS? How Many?

Soon, Comrade, if you don’t get rid of those “leaders” who are spending us into oblivion, releasing prisoners so that they can vote and kill our children while they wait…your children will be wearing Burqas and praising Allah, or in their graves!

Why do you think they wanted the schools closed? They are up to no good behind your backs…that’s why!

They are ridding the schools of the old books, curriculums, pictures of Freedom Fighters like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and replacing them with…?

You had better get off your asses, parents, and get involved, see what the NEW school books from which they will be teaching…which form of Socialism…Marxism, Islam, Communism…which would you prefer?

Some people really amaze me, they really do.

China’s Wuhan, houses labs that irrefutably were “working” with, weaponizing, a very dangerous Covid virus 19. People who worked in the lab. .as scientists, escaped and obtained asylum in your country.

They tell stories on how they helped to create that weapon, how it was weaponized, how those who questioned anything were killed…and this “president” is going to “start” to look into where Covid 19

This president (with a small “p”), out of pure disrespect for him, and NOT the office… couldn’t find his own arss with his own two hands and while he’s looking, he wants us to believe (from President Harry
Truman), “you can pick up a piece of shit from the clean end and not get your fingers dirty”.

Let convicted criminals, like Herman Bell, out of jail, allow arson, looting, armed assaults…then wonder why crime is so bad…blame Trump. Allow Portland and Minneapolis and Chicago and Ferguson, to burn…then ask “golly gee, what’s happening”?


It don’t take a genius to figure it out…get rid of the radical left…they are killing your souls!


J. Gary


Going to a musical has always been a trip down memory lane for me, my mom loved musicals, I remember her always singing as she did her chores around the house.... always!

So when we have a chance to, we love going to musicals, especially ones that are meant/written to be a musical, I can remember watching West Side Story, the King and I, and Elvis movies.... as one comedian said, "he sang so well they just let him sing all his lines....."

I swear, at one point when I was a kid, it seemed to be all we watched, Beehive is that kind of musical, where the music and singing is the whole play! It's an exciting and colorful salute to the powerful female voices of the 1960s, from the earliest part of the decade of fun and innocence to the unrest of the mid ‘60s and finally to the era of women discovering their own empowerment.

This cast of talented women will have you singing along and begging for more!

Beehive brings you along a journey through song, while documenting the dramatic changes that America underwent during the ‘60s. The talented cast sang and danced to hits made popular by the Chiffons, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Connie Francis and much, much more, including some 40 beloved songs that take you back in time to the look, sounds and feel of the 1960s such as My Boyfriend’s Back, Son Of A Preacher Man, Me and Bobby McGee, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and so many others!

Beehive The Supremes sm

Broadway Palm is continuing to follow CDC guidelines while providing a delicious meal and exceptional entertainment in a safe and socially distanced environment. The buffet was open and fantastic, the menu a la carte was awesome, and my favorite 'Macaroon' cookies were great as usual.

It is important to note that Broadway Palm is asking guests that are not fully vaccinated to wear a face mask while not eating or drinking, but I didn't see many masks being worn.

Beehive: The 60s Musical is playing at Broadway Palm now through June 26, 2021.

Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees.

Tickets are $48 to $73. Children and group prices are available.

Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

If you are looking for a good time night out... we highly recommend this Musical!

Remember to tell them Bobby from SunBay Paper sent you!

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Tuesday, 25 May 2021 08:18

On Memorial Day - Remember the Fallen

Memorial Day is different than Veterans Day where we celebrate all Veterans who have served our country. While, Veterans Day belongs to all Veterans. Memorial Day is about the heroes who gave their lives in service to our great nation. Most important, it’s a time to remember the women and men who never returned home to their families while fighting for ours.

Memorial Day’s History

Depending on who you ask, Memorial Day’s history and meaning is sometimes forlorn in our busy lifestyles. At the same time, the history of Memorial Day isn’t being taught to the next generation. For this reason, let’s have another look at why we observe Memorial Day each year. In other words, so that we can pass this history and tradition onto the next generation of Americans to honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and began during the Civil War period. Historians argue that graves of soldiers were decorated long before the Civil War period. However, in the late 1860s, national cemeteries were established for the fallen soldiers of the Civil War which had claimed more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history. As a result, after the war ended in 1865, many Americans began decorating the graves of the dead with flowers and reciting prayers for the fallen.

Consequently, on May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for Decoration Day to be observed annually and nationwide. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield delivered a speech at Arlington National Cemetery where more than 5000 Americans decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers and flags.

Disputed Birthplace of Memorial Day

It’s disputed exactly where and who first began the tradition. In fact, several cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day which has been the subject of several studies. However, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Namely, because there was a community-wide event held 100 years earlier on May 5, 1866, which the town businesses closed, and the residents decorated the graves of soldiers.

While the story of Waterloo may be true, the decision to make it the birthplace has been the subject of dispute by many historians. For example, women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate Soldiers’ graves in 1862 with flowers according to the Savannah Republican. Furthermore, in 1863, the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was decorated and a ceremony was held at the grave sites. Finally, many scholars argue that President Abraham Lincoln was the actual founder of Memorial Day with the Gettysburg Address and commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers in 1863.

Traditions and Observations

Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May each year since it became an official federal holiday in 1971. Cities and towns across our country hold ceremonies and decorate cemeteries to remember our heroes. In addition, active military and veterans hold parades in our largest cities to remember the fallen. In particular, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. are historically among the largest gatherings.

At the same time, instead of parades some folks will observe Memorial Day in a different way. Many will observe Memorial Day by simply enjoying some time off from work. Many families will have a barbecue or party to remember the fallen. Likewise, some Americans will take a trip to unite with family or friends they have not seen for a while. Memorial Day for some is simply the beginning of Summer. Above all, we must remember why we are lucky enough to have these traditions. Frankly, it is because of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.

My Final Thoughts

In short, in appreciation it is never too late to give something back to those who sacrificed it all. Sometimes, even the small things we do can make a difference. For example, a few years back, around Memorial Day while driving by an old cemetery I noticed some of the flags had fallen over. So, I decided to stop and pick up the flags and put them back at the headstones of the fallen soldiers. Small as this was, it made me feel pretty good inside. Hopefully, if their family visited the gravesite, it made them feel good as well. And, I remember thinking, hopefully a long time from now, in a similar situation someone might come along and do the same for me for serving this country.

Finally, in 2000, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed into law, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.” The National Moment of Remembrance Act “encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.” I would encourage all Americans to educate the next generation about the history of Memorial Day and give something back to the country which provides them with so much freedom and opportunity. God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.


John McGeever 

Millions of Brits had their location tracked without permission. A government report revealed the tracking, which was intended to find out whether being vaccinated against COVID-19 resulted in people being more willing to spend time away from home.

The report discloses 10% of British mobile phone owners were included in a study that used cell tower data to track approximate locations …

The Telegraph reports.

A report from the SPI-B committee of Government scientists admitted that data from one in ten peoples’ phones were tracked in February, without their owners’ express knowledge.

The figures were used by researchers at Oxford University, who carried out studies for the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), which advises the Sage group of Government scientific advisers […]

By comparing the movements of the vaccinated people against a different control group the scientists found that their “average pre-vaccination mobility increased by 218 meters [sic]”.  

The government defended the action by saying that user privacy wasn’t compromised as data was anonymized, and locations were approximate.

[The data source was] a company that collected, cleaned, and anonymized the data.

“The data is at cell tower rather than individual level and the researchers were granted access to the dataset under a research contract with ethical approval provided to the researchers from the University of Oxford, working on behalf of SPI-B”.

A Government source said: “This analysis is at the cell tower level of anonymised data and is therefore not individual surveillance.”

While it’s true that locations derived from cell tower data is far less granular than GPS data, it can still be accurate to less than a thousand feet within cities. It’s worth noting that the claimed mobility difference is smaller than the resolution of the location data, so may well be meaningless.

I’m struggling to see how the study could have been carried out in a totally anonymous fashion. At the very least, the government would have to take phone numbers provided for the purpose of scheduling vaccination appointments and flagging those numbers as belonging to vaccinated individuals. So while the researchers may have received anonymized data, there has to be a point at which the phone numbers and vaccination status were held by the company conducting the study.

I should note I wouldn’t have any issue with this personally, and would gladly consent, but it does seem to me that consent ought to have been sought.

Ben Lovejoy

In accordance with Major League Baseball and Lee County health and safety guidelines, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels have revised their health and safety protocols for the 2021 season.


Effective for the team’s next homestand beginning on June 1 – Hammond Stadium capacity will increase from 28 percent to approximately 90 percent. While most of the venue will return to full capacity, socially distant “pods” will remain available in Sections 101 & 201. 


Hammond Stadium fans will no longer be required to wear masks. However, masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing is still recommended and encouraged.


Some Mighty Mussels employees will still be required to wear masks and gloves. All food and beverage products will be prepared and served in accordance with CDC, FDA, American National Standards Institute and Servsafe standards.


Credit card and touchless payments are still recommended at all points of sale. The no bag policy and daily health monitoring standards remain in place.


The organization continues to strictly adhere to MLB’s policies for players and on field staff. Therefore, autographs are still prohibited.


The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels will always make the health and safety of their fans and staff a priority, while balancing the enjoyment and satisfaction of all guests.


The Mighty Mussels look forward to welcoming all members of the community to their remaining 54 home games.


The Mussels celebrate “The Office” Night this Friday, June 4 – featuring a Meet & Greet with Kate Flannery, who played Meredith in NBC’s hit show. In addition to the two homestands in June.


Three fireworks shows highlight Independence Day Weekend – with 7pm games scheduled for July 2nd, 3rd & 4th


Tickets and group deals are available now on or by calling (239) 768-4210


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Last month, we wrote a story on Circadas, telling you of their coming this year.

Well they have arrived and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. They are emerging in the central US States.... Broods have already been reported an area that spans from upper mid Texas, Mid Kansas, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa all the way to upper-central Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, with broods expected to emerge in N & S Carolinas, and Virginia too.

Many are planning viewing trips as this won't happen again for another 17 years!

Once they make it to the surface, they shed their original bodies and emerge with wings and will only be alive for 6 weeks’.....

1 - 17yr Cicadas have many different color eyes. Most 17yr Cicadas have red eyes, while others could have white, grey, blue or even 2 tone color eyes.

2 - Cicadas suffer with STD's. The STD's are transferred to other Cicadas with mating. The massive Massospora fungus infects Cicadas by filing their abdomen to the point where their whole abdomen will completely fall off. This will then prevent the Cicadas ability to reproduce.

3 - If you want to get close and personal with Cicadas the go mow your lawn. The sound of the lawn mower tricks the Cicada into thinking the noise coming from the engine are other Cicadas. Although if you ever heard a Cicada you know they sound nothing like a lawn mower. So I don't know why they flock to the sound.

4 - Cicadas are very nutritional and are eaten by humans world wide. If your interested in experiencing the delicious taste of Cicada go have yourself some....I don't know...Cicada Gumbo or Cicada Soup. If you live in VA you can get your hand on Cicada Crunch ice cream made with real 17yr Cicadas. YUMMY !??!

5 - Not all Cicadas make sound. ONLY males can cake that iconic sound we all know and love. I'm not saying females Cicadas are mute but the female Cicadas make noises by flicking their wings to respond to the males. Which sounds very similar to a cricket.
Here is a Bonus...

6 - There is roughly 1 Cicada for every Human. As of 2021 there are approximately 7,900,000,000 (7.9) Billion people on this planet. And yes there are about 7.9 Billion Cicadas sharing the planet with us.

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Last year, the Salty Crab, located on Fort Myers Beach, held their 5th annual Rum Bucket fundraiser benefiting Golisano Children’s Hospital!

Each year, during the fundraiser, $1 from every Rum Bucket is collected for the fundraiser.

Even though last season was affected by the pandemic with all Florida restaurants being closed on March 17th, cutting the fundraiser short. 

With the help of local patrons and visitors alike, they were able to collect $6,400 for their fundraiser. Which due to circumstances is quite a lot but was less than their projected goal. However due to a local patron Jesse Schmid who donated an additional $10,000 for the event, The Salty Crab was able to present the hospital with a donation of $16,400,

saltly crab2

which was considerable more than their projected goal of $9,000. This year the funds will be going towards Pediatric Neurology.

"The hospital is such an important part of the community and we love giving back, we have 11 restaurants throughout Florida each one gives back, and its vital to the community" said Jamie McElhone, the marketing director for the Salty Crab.

jamie McEnorhan

Jamie McElhone

Despite the challenges of 2020, this is a great example, when we come together as a community to help out, we can all make our world a better place. In this case.... one Rum Bucket at a time!

More than 53,000 Florida homeowners will be looking for property insurance on June 1, the day hurricane season begins, if Gov. Ron DeSantis approves requests by three state-based insurers “in hazardous financial condition” to shed policies.

The contractions are another upheaval in Florida’s stressed property insurance market after state-based insurers reported $1.7 billion in 2020 losses, approximately 60 independents remain after corporate insurers left the state 15 years ago.

The wave of early cancellations and non-renewals comes as the state’s 6.5 million businesses and homeowners are seeing – or will see – double-digit rate increases as high as 45 percent in property insurance premiums when they renew policies.

The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) reported it approved 105 property insurance rate changes in 2020, including 90 for increases and 55 for increases above 10%.

The rate hikes are necessary to stay solvent, claim insurers, citing ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes, coastal flooding and excessive litigation in a market “spiraling towards collapse,” according to a January report, “Florida’s P&C Insurance Market: Spiraling Towards Collapse,” co-authored by Tallahassee-based James Madison Institute.

Among the report’s findings is about 6% of Florida homeowners insurance claims are in litigation, amounting in annual costs to a “solid Cat 3 hurricane.”

Florida lawmakers addressed roof-related litigation during their recently-concluded session by adopting Senate Bill 76, which slashes the time to file claims from three years to two, reduces attorney “multiplier fees” and allows insurers to cover only depreciated value of roofs more than 10-years-old.

The bill, which goes into effect July 1, has not been signed by DeSantis. If he doesn’t veto the measure, it is enacted after 15 days without his signature.

DeSantis is also required to endorse consent orders authorized by the OIR allowing the three companies to pare policyholders as “an extraordinary statutory remedy reserved to address insurers which are or may be in hazardous financial condition.”

“Allowing for the early cancellation or nonrenewal of policies is not a decision made lightly and requires a finding that such action is necessary to protect the best interests of the public or policyholders,” OIR said in a statement.The three companies combined insure about 250,000 Florida properties and seek to shed 53,205 policies:

• Universal Insurance Co. of North America (UICNA): The May 6 order allows UICNA to drop 13,294 of 57,000 residential policies in Florida as part of a merger with Texas-based Universal North America Insurance Co. and in response to losing $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.5 million in 2020.

• Gulfstream Property & Casualty: The May 6 order allows Gulfstream to drop 20,311 of 56,000 residential policies in Florida or it “will deteriorate to an unsustainable level by mid-2021.”

• Southern Fidelity Insurance Co.: The April 28 order allows Southern Fidelity to not renew 19,600 of 133,000 Florida residential policies over 14 months, with approximately 2,300 removed June 1.

In early 2020, the OIR agreed to Southern Fidelity’s request to raise rates by 31%. But the order states the company remains in peril.

“Without the approval of this plan of non-renewal, (Southern Fidelity) would not be able to satisfy the surplus requirements of (Florida law), nor complete its long-term restructuring plan,” the order states.

The stressed property insurance market is placing increasing pressure on the state-backed “insurer of last resort,” Citizens Property Insurance Co., which is seeing its ranks – and the state’s potential liability – grow as private insurers constrict.

In January, Citizens President/CEO Barry Gilway said the state-subsidized insurer was adding about 3,000 new policies a week.

In February, Citizens held 630,000 homeowner policies, up from 542,000 in December. By the end of 2021, the number is expected to top 700,000.

John Haughey
The Center Square

The meetings usually begin with public comment but that was preluded with discussion of the timing requirements for the performance evaluation of the town manager and the approval of the final agenda.

If you were a speaker and I got your name wrong, I will apologize in advance, but it isn't posted anywhere and hard to hear.

First speaker for public comment was Janet Kirtin? asking why Beach Talk Radio was denied a permit to broadcast from Times Square, and asking for consistency from the Town Council.
Next was Jessie Hallman? subject: Consistency of permitting process in zoning and building. Talking about the new zoning change ... "10 foot setback" ... he said "other residence of the community whom filed in Jan and Feb were granted an extension on that 10 foot setback reducing it back to the 7 foot 6 setback.... and I ask the council to consider allowing me that same extension to the 7 foot 6 setback on my lot so I can continue with my project"

His second issue with planning and zoning, he purchased a property that has plants that were legally permitted for plants in the old setbacks, but now that he wants to move his home 3 feet in the air, without disturbing the plants at all, he is told it is now encroaching the new setbacks. Asking for consistency in zoning, and where he can find said rules that prevent me from lifting a home from its original footprint 3 feet in the air.

Third speaker was Tommy Kolar from Light House Resort, subject: Sidewalk from Crescent Street and 3rd Street connecting to Old San Carlos being proposed by the town. Stating they like the sidewalk Idea, asking for it to be put in at ground level like another property on San Carlos where it seems to work very well.

Town Council continues to review location options to provide Mooring Field upland services.

In continued discussion about acquiring or building a facility to be owned by the Town to provide upland services for Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field, Town Councilors reviewed a list of seven possible sites at their regular meeting on Monday, May 17.

These four sites were chosen for further review by Town Council:

• Property for sale at the north end of the island on Estero Boulevard

• Property at San Carlos Maritime Park on San Carlos Island owned by Lee County

• Lots behind Town Hall on Chapel Street that are privately owned

• Bay Oaks Recreational Campus

In other business related to the Mooring Field;

Town Council authorized staff to apply for and execute a grant agreement for approximately $41,000 with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the Clean Vessel Act Grant.

Town Councilors also:

• Approved allocating $15,000 from the Town Hall remodeling project to contract for monitoring and surveying the beach profile along the entire length of Fort Myers Beach, and surveying the burrow area offshore of North Estero Island;

• Authorized the Town Manager to execute the professional services agreement for beach renourishment not to exceed $170,000 and allocate the funds to be reimbursed by the Tourism Development Council (TDC);

• Conducted first public hearing on Ordinance 21:04 for amendment to the Land Development Code related to residential uses and setbacks on non-conforming lots and administrative setback variances; second public hearing is scheduled for the June 7 Town Council meeting;

• Authorized vacation of a portion of the School Street Right of Way to the Lee County School Board;

• Authorized the Town Manager to execute a supplemental task authorization with Tetra Tech for additional services not to exceed $241,780 for North Estero Phase 2 Side Street water and stormwater improvements.

During Councilmember, Town Manager, and Town Attorney reports, topics included a proclamation to designate May 18 as Casey Bishop Day for her success with the American Idol Show on ABC.

Dates for the Lee County Household Chemical Waste Collection days at Bay Oaks.

Use of the FMB Community Pool by a community organization.

Council employee’s review process,

the Lee County Sheriff’s Office search for a new space for the outreach center.

Lake Okeechobee water releases and Red Tide,

and ................ using feral cats to control rats. yup you read that right!


Town Council meetings are broadcast live on YouTube and Comcast Channel 98.

The next Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, June 7, 2021, at 9 a.m.,at Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard.

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The Florida Legislature is sending a ratified Seminole gambling compact to Gov. Ron DeSantis and kicking questions about its legalities to the courts.

Lawmakers ended their three-day special session Wednesday by endorsing the 75-page pact that grants the Seminole Tribe of Florida exclusive control of blackjack, craps, online fantasy and sports betting at its seven casinos and on non-tribal pari-mutuels via its Hard Rock Digital platform.

In exchange, the Seminoles will pay Florida at least $500 million annually for the first five years of the 30-year pact.

But the online fantasy/sports components of the deal, signed by DeSantis and Seminole Tribal Council Chair Marcellus Osceola, Jr., on April 23, are only in principle. In practice, they cannot be implemented without enabling legislation.

Lawmakers tabled several special session bills implementing what critics contend would be an illegal expansion of gambling, such as the Fantasy Sports Contest Amusement Act, which would have created sports/fantasy gaming regulations.

Despite withdrawing the bills until 2022, and Monday’s one-page addendum deleting a requirement that the state and Tribe “engage in good faith negotiations” within 36 months “to authorize the Tribe to offer all types of covered games online or via mobile devices,” nearly all agreed Wednesday the compact is certain to be challenged in court.

“I don’t think there’s any chance of doing a gaming deal of the size and scope negotiated by Gov. DeSantis without a legal challenge,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, told reporters after the House approved the pact in a 97-17 vote.

The Senate adopted the compact, outlined in Senate Bill 2A, Tuesday, 38-1. Once signed by DeSantis, it must be endorsed within 45 days by the U.S. Department of the Interior to ensure it complies with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

SB 2A would allow the Tribe to build three more casinos, add new games and spells out a “hub-and-spoke” model between pari-mutuels and servers on tribal lands processing sports bets placed on mobile phones.

Critics say the “hub-and-spoke” provision, even if servers are on tribal land, grows gambling and therefore violates 2018’s Amendment 3, which requires voters approve any gaming expansion.House Select Committee on Gaming chair Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, a former casino executive, said the “hub-and-spoke” model is on shaky legal ground.

“Me personally, I don’t think it’s going to survive,” he said, but added lawmakers did the right thing by adopting the deal because even if the provision is removed, “the compact still goes forward.”

“We still get every dollar we’re entitled to based on those revenue-sharing rates for the enormous business (the Seminoles are) operating today,” Fine said. “The only difference is we lower the minimum payment a little bit.”

Rep. Sam Garrison, R-Fleming Island, said there isn’t legal precedent for whether the model is an expansion of gaming.

“It is an open question, and it’s going to have to be litigated, because it’s not a black-and-white answer that specifically tells us whether the hub-and-spoke model is going to be permitted,” he said.

All 17 “no” votes were lodged by Democrats who submitted amendments stipulating how the $500 million in annual revenues should be spent. Each were deemed “outside the sole and exclusive purpose of ratification” and gunned down.

Rep. Mike Grieco, D-Miami, said it’s a slam-dunk that courts will require Florida to comply with Amendment 3 and ask state voters to approve mobile sports betting in November 2022.

“We’re going to be in court,” he said. “We’re going to lose, and we’re going to see this on the ballot.”

John Haughey
The Center Square