Casino Watch Focus has reported on the Florida Seminole Compact that has offered exclusive sports betting by the Tribe. Exclusivity for payment to the state of Florida is not new, however, sports betting certainly is and many believe its illegal. Several lawsuits have been filed on different levels, but the general issue is that because the sports betting is online, and not just on a tribal casino, its new gambling that has to be voted on by the people in Florida, as anyone in the state could access sports gambling without needing to be on tribal land. The Compact establishes an October 15th start date, but experts don’t believe a formal launch will happen for a month, if at all. The Orlando Sentinel reports:
Florida sports fans looking to place their first legal bets on games this weekend will have to wait a little longer. And if opponents who have filed three lawsuits eventually win in court, such bets could be off the table. Wagers on sporting events are legal on Seminole Tribe lands starting Friday, and the Tribe has plans to offer an app to allow residents to place bets that flow through a server on their land. But those plans won’t be in place for at least another month and perhaps longer.
The Tribe received a monopoly on sports betting through its new compact with the state, which was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April and passed by the Legislature in a May special session.
It received federal regulatory approval in August, but three lawsuits are challenging the agreement, which argue it violates federal and state law and shouldn’t take effect.
No Casinos, an Orlando-based group and two South Florida businessmen, car dealer Norman Braman and developer Armando Codina filed suit in the Washington, D.C., District Court last month. Among the arguments, the lawsuit claims the compact violates a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 requiring new expansions of casino gambling to be approved by voters.
“They can’t do that without a vote of the people,” No Casinos president John Sowinski said. Sowinski is confident his group will win in court and said the Tribe could lose out if it makes investments to take advantage of sports betting that he believes will be deemed illegal by the courts.“The Tribe probably realize that they proceed at their own risk in terms of venture capital and whatever is expended he courts make a determination on this,” Sowinski said.
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