• Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s Sports Gambling Battle Finds Its Way to the U.S. Supreme Court


Sep 18, 2023
Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s Sports Gambling Battle Finds Its Way to the U.S. Supreme Court

Owners of two Florida pari-mutuels are organizing to seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in a case that inquiries the legality of a multibillion-dollar deal that grants the Seminole Tribe handle more than sports betting all through the state. They argue that the outcome of this case could establish a precedent for expanding gaming beyond Indian lands, and thus, the Supreme Court’s involvement is critical. A current ruling by a Washington, D.C.-primarily based appeals court upheld the legality of the agreement beneath the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Nonetheless, the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Space contend that this selection contradicts other appellate rulings and has the prospective to bring about a drastic shift in public policy on legalized gambling.

The dispute dates back to a 2021 gambling agreement signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., which was later authorized by the state Legislature. The deal was initially halted by a federal judge in November 2021, following a legal challenge from the pari-mutuel owners. They argued that the inclusion of sports betting in the compact violated federal law and would have a serious influence on their firms. The agreement permitted for a mobile sports-betting program, exactly where bets could be placed on the net from anyplace in the state, with the wagers processed by way of servers positioned on tribal lands. According to the compact, these bets would be deemed exclusively carried out by the tribe.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, primarily based in Washington, D.C., invalidated components of the compact, which includes the mobile sports-betting provision, and referred to it as a “fiction.” The judge’s ruling also criticized U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s approval of the deal, stating that she was incorrect in enabling it to take impact. The Division of the Interior has appealed Friedrich’s selection. The owners of the pari-mutuels think that the appellate court’s ruling conflicts with the conclusions of other courts and raises issues about the prospective far-reaching effects on the future of legalized gaming. They are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will deliver clarity on the matter and protect against irreversible policy adjustments with regards to gambling expansion beyond tribal lands.

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