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Supreme Court ruling on betting could help local restaurants

Posted at 10:22 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 22:22:30-04

At Stevie Tomato's sports bar it's hard not to find a TV with your game on it.

"We have all the packages and all the programs, we have plenty of TVs to watch every game every day," said manager Larry Douglas.

Douglas expects there to be even more interest in watching sports at his restaurant due to the Supreme Court ruling striking down a federal ban on gambling.

"You're going to have people that walk in and say, hey: I've got money on Miami, New York and Dallas, can we get those games on."

Douglas says even if a sports book opens in Cape Coral he would still reap the benefits of those who want to put some action on a bunch of games.

"Unless they open up a bar or a restaurant themselves, they're gonna come here, so anything that gets people out to watch sports, is a good thing for a sports bar obviously."

It could be several months at minimum before sports betting becomes legal.

The state legislature won't reconvene until March.

In November, Floridians will decide on an amendment which would require 60 percent of voters to approve new gambling.

It's not clear whether it would apply to sports wagering, but Douglas says legal or not it's already happening.

"With it being legal, more people will be public about it, I really think it generates positivity."

Critics of sports betting worried it would create a surge in gambling addiction. All four of the major sports leagues expressed concerns legalized betting it could hurt the integrity of their sports