Last night, a Federal Judge made the decision to overthrow the Florida’s gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe. This is because she says their sports betting plan violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Therefore, No Online Sportsbook by the Seminole Tribe leading to a big blow to the sports betting industry in Florida.
The ruling by U.S. District Court, Judge Dabney Friedrich, means sports betting will need to cease in the Sunshine State. This means that their online sportsbook will no longer be able to take online wagers outside of their reservation. That is, pending an appeal and a potential stay of the order of course.
The West Flagler Associates vs. Haaland case was brought by Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room. According to PricePerPlayer.com, their owns brought the case to court to challenge the gambling deal by state lawmakers. The deal gave the Seminole Tribe a 30-year gaming compact to be the excusive online sports betting hub in Florida.
No Online Sportsbook by the Seminole Tribe for Florida
Earlier this year, the Seminole Tribe said it would pay the Florida $2.5 billion for control over sports betting. Since then, the tribe had their online sportsbook app go live on November first. The deal made by Florida lawmakers had the e online sports betting servers on tribal land. Therefore, as long a someone had access to the internet, they could place their bet anywhere in Florida.
The argument of the Seminole Tribe was that since the servers are on Tribal land, the bets are made there. Ultimately, Judge Friedrich said, “federal statute authorizes an activity only at specific location”. Therefore, “parties may not evade that limitation by “deeming” their activity to occur where it does not”.
According to sportsbook pay per head providers, this decision also blocks the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Casinos from further expansion in Florida.
Even though this is a setback for online sports wagering in Florida, it is by no mean the end. This is because the state can make a new compact with the Tribe or pass a new citizen initiative. However, what is certain is that online sports betting will not be available in Florida until at least 2023.