October 4, 2023

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/13/2023

Sports betting is legal again in Florida, under Seminole Tribe compact. The only question is when it will return.

With its refusal to re-hear a challenge to the Seminole Tribe’s gambling agreement with the state of Florida, a federal appellate court opened the door again this week to online sports betting in the state. On Monday, the U.S Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided not to re-hear a legal challenge from two gambling competitors, Magic City Casino in Miami and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida, against Florida’s 2021 Compact with the Seminole Tribe that previously legalized sports betting on Tribal lands. The result is that the Seminoles could capitalize on a monopoly in online betting when the practice starts again, possibly in time for the Super Bowl and March Madness. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Zombie deer? Yes, and chronic wasting disease is now in Florida. 12 things you should know

Zombie deer? It's not the latest Hollywood movie but a real concern for wildlife agencies around the country, and now, Florida. The sickness some refer to as zombie deer disease actually is chronic wasting disease. It's a 100 percent fatal neurological infection found in members of the cervids family, including deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. So what is it and is it a threat to humans? [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Opinion: Congress must help low-income Floridians unlock their full economic potential

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), passed into law under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, allows for households making less than 60% of the median income to receive a $30 per month voucher for internet service (or $75 monthly on tribal lands). On top of that voucher, recipients also get a $100 credit for a laptop, tablet or other tech upgrades. As Florida TaxWatch has opined in the past, the importance of extending this program cannot be overstated — and yet Congress continues not to act. [Source: Florida TaxWatch]

This federal ruling will keep many Cubans from getting green cards to stay in the U.S.

Thousands of recently arrived Cubans who have come to the United States through the U.S.-Mexico border will not be able to obtain permanent U.S. residency because the paperwork federal authorities gave them does not make them eligible for it, the Board of Immigration Appeals said in a ruling Monday. [Source: Miami Herald]

Settlement talks afoot in Florida lawsuit over gender discussions in schools

A federal appeals court has put on hold a battle about a 2022 Florida law that restricts instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation in schools, after attorneys said they were in settlement talks. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week issued a stay of an appeal filed by students, parents and teachers after a federal district judge in February rejected their constitutional challenge to the high-profile law. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› AI platforms, tech startups secure big investments from Techstars Miami
Twelve companies were selected to receive funding and mentorship support from Techstars Miami. The selected startups will participate in Techstars Miami Powered by J.P. Morgan, a 13-week accelerator program that focuses on helping founders reduce the time it takes to reach product market fit. Participating startups will receive $120,000 in initial funding and assistance in raising additional capital.

› Demand prompts Royal Caribbean to open more Icon of the Seas sailings
What will be the world’s largest cruise ship doesn’t debut until January, but already demand has prompted Royal Caribbean to open up its 2025-2026 itineraries three months earlier than planned The seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from PortMiami have proved a popular money maker for the line, which said it saw its single largest day of booking for cruises and highest volume week when the new ship’s 2024 sailings were made available last October.

› Florida cannabis company, VidaCann, selling to competitor, Planet 13
Las Vegas-based Planet 13, a multi-state cannabis company, has signed a deal to acquire Florida-based VidaCann to speed up expansion in the medical marijuana market in the state. Two of VidaCann’s 26 stores in Florida are in Bonita Springs and Cape Coral, according to the company’s website.

› Mote Coral Reef Restoration Crab Hatchery opens – here's why that matters
A key cog in the restoration of the Florida Reef Tract – Mote’s Florida Coral Reef Restoration Crab Hatchery – formally opened Monday, even as a portion of the facility is being used to house corals rescued from a mid-July potentially devastating underwater heatwave. The hatchery is the first of its type and once it reaches full production is projected to produce roughly 250,000 Caribbean king crabs a year, or 2.8 million over the next 10 years.

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