Sports gambling in Florida has come to a standstill just three weeks after a federal judge ruled that the originally formed compact that was forged between the state and the Seminole Tribe was in fact illegal. This comes after those in Florida were certain that now the issue of iGaming was resolved and that it would not be approved, online sports betting could finally come to the state. However, it seems now lawmen in the state studying the deal in detail have discovered holes in the legality of the deal.
A decision confirmed late on Monday by federal judge Dabney Friedrich, was in agreement with plaintiff West Flagler Associates, who own casinos across the state, that the decision allowing Seminole Tribe (a partner with Hard Rock) to launch their own mobile sports betting for customers not on the area of tribal lands was indeed violating the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act. Find out more information here for FL sports betting sites guide and event times as well as an up-to-date bulletin on the current Florida sports betting situation.
Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room, the original pari-mutuels who wanted to add sports betting to their own gambling offerings, previously argued in court back in early October that the Seminole Tribe of Florida had no right to stand in their way. The Tribe’s argument was that they were “indispensable” and would formally intervene.
The pari-mutuels implied the Tribe were simply delaying the inevitable, and that they would have had to convince a federal judge in Washington, D.CThe Department of Interiors clearance of a permit for the gambling compact was in violation of Indian gaming laws, already knowing that the case would fall apart because the Tribe as a Sovereign nation is immune from such lawsuits. Sports betting lawyer Dan Wallach said the decision was a no brainer and was surprised that an agreement was put together with the blessing of the The Department of Interior was even allowed to be forged in the first place.
When the Florida Legislature initially agreed to the compact, it ordered that sports betting could begin no sooner than October 15th. Last month, Seminole Gaming spokesman Gary Bitner said the tribe never announced a specific launch date and was never obligated to launch on October 15th, suggesting it would launch sometime in ‘the fall’. The Seminole Tribe started taking bets on November 1st after the deal was finally formalized in August.
They had entered a 30-year gambling compact with the state of Florida last spring in an effort to kill any federal lawsuits the pari-mutuels filed to block the implementation of the compact. The pari-mutuels then filed a lawsuit to reject that argument, arguing instead that the U.S. The Department of Interior, who agreed to the gambling compact, was however perfectly serving to represent the Tribe’s best interests, a promise to pay Florida 2,5 billion over the first five years for having monopolistic power.
If the pari-mutuels had succeeded in their efforts, the gambling compact and the Tribe’s monopoly over sports betting in Florida would be invalidated. The Department of Interior is involved because it’s Bureau of Indian Affairs is in charge of regulating Indian gaming nationwide. What comes next? Surely an appeal from the Department of the Interior and the Seminole Tribe.
This would also have opened options for the pari-mutuels to engage in sports betting themselves if legalized. A group backed by sports-betting titans FanDuel and DraftKings has also sponsored a constitutional amendment, proposed for the 2022 ballot, in a campaign to legalize the activity regardless of the gambling compact.
Dan Wallach was one of the very few to call for this decision and also anticipates that Florida will not be able to launch online sports gambling until a referendum is passed by a 60% vote. Back in 2018, when sports betting was actually legal in some states for a few months, the marketing power of FanDuel and DraftKings might be insurmountable and by then the Seminole tribe will longer have the power to gain a monopoly they so dearly craved.
Around three years ago, voters in Florida strongly shot down the right of the state for the authorization of sports gambling as Disney and the Seminole Tribe joined forces in spending more than $20 million each on campaigns in trying to give the state the freedom to do so.