Category Archives: Gambling Venues

With Talk of Possible Tribal Casino in Missouri’s Ozarks, Legislators Propose Commercial Casino

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the many failed efforts to establish a new Missouri Casino in the Lake of the Ozarks.  The Missouri Constitution only allows for casinos that are along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.  A change to the constitution would be required by a vote of the people to amend that condition.  However, there is the long path of a tribal casino that wouldn’t need to worry about the constitution, but it would have its own set of very lengthy barriers.  That, however, has not stopped the Osage from publicly discussing plans of a new casino, and as such, there are some that want to use that opportunity to push for a new commercially owned casino instead.  An online source explains:

Currently, the state constitution only permits gaming along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. But the Osage Nation has purchased land in Lake Ozark for the purpose of building a casino. The Nation is based in Oklahoma, where it owns and operates seven casinos. But its historical lands once encompassed most of what is now Missouri.

It wants the federal government to take the Lake Ozark land into trust, which partially removes it from the jurisdiction of the state. This would convert the land into the tribe’s sovereign reservation, making gaming possible there under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory  Act.

But a group of local investors have long held ambitions to build their own casino in the area. They’ve formed a political action committee, Osage River Gaming (ORG), which is backing the new bill, filed in the House by State Rep. Ron Hicks (R-St. Charles) earlier this month.

But if this is now a race to build the region’s first casino, it could be an incredibly slow one. Bills proposing gaming expansion are rarely fast-tracked through any state legislature. That means Hicks’ plan to get the question on the ballot in November of this year is ambitious, even if it is ultimately approved by his fellow lawmakers.

Meanwhile, land-in-trust applications are also painstakingly slow. Some can take years. A search of the Federal Register Tuesday did not show any pending applications by the Osage Nation for trust land in Missouri.

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Federal Government Plans Appeal of Florida Seminole Compact, Court sets Deadline for Briefs

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to use the Seminole Gambling Compact to expand sports gambling in Florida.  The last compact agreement reached, would have seen online sports betting to those available all over the state.  The Florida constitution prevents such expansion without the vote of the people, but the argument made was that the gambling servers were on tribal land, and thus tribal gambling.  A Federal Judge ruled that such an argument is ridiculous and fiction and invalidated the agreement.  Now the Federal Government has appealed and the court is giving them until March 21st to submit briefs. Florida Politics reports: 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday gave lawyers in the case until March 21 to propose a briefing process for the appeal. In that appeal, the U.S. Department of Interior and the Seminole Tribe hope to get the court to reverse the Nov. 22 ruling by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich that invalidated the Compact. In a summary judgment, Friedrich ruled the U.S. Department of Interior should never have granted federal approval for the deal last August because the gambling expansion appeared to be a violation of Florida’s Constitution.

Unlike in 2021, when the Compact was presented to the Legislature as high priority and with urgency, the agreement’s fate has not been much more than an afterthought in the 2022 Legislative Session currently underway.

Now, the 2022 Session is sure to end with the 2021 Florida Compact still in limbo in a deliberate-moving appeals court. Meanwhile, all the gambling expansions that the Seminole Tribe planned on through the Gambling Compact — most notably its Hard Rock Sportsbook online sports betting service — are shut down.

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Florida Initiative Petition signature deadline hits and Expanded Sports Betting and Casino Efforts Fail

Casino Watch Focus has long reported on the efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida through the Seminole Compact.  Those efforts failed when a Judge struck down the sports betting provisions as crafted and as such, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel invested unprecedented amounts of money in efforts to put the issue on the ballot via initiative petition. Despite the huge financial investment, the time has come and passed to have the required signatures required for getting the issue on the ballot this year.  The same holds true for a possible new Casino, which was also using the initiative petition as the means for expanded gambling. An online source reports:

Two ballot measures in Florida concerning sports betting (sponsored by Florida Education Champions) and additional casinos (sponsored by Florida Voters in Charge) failed to qualify for the 2022 ballot. Each initiative needed 891,589 signatures to be validated by county elections officials by Feb. 1. Florida also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts.

From 2016 through 2020, the total cost of successful petition drives to qualify an initiative for the ballot in Florida ranged from $2.8 million to $8.8 million. In 2016, Florida required 683,149 valid signatures. In 2018 and 2020, the valid signature requirement was 766,200.

Florida Education Champions reported $37.2 million in contributions ($22.7 million from DraftKings and $14.48 million from FanDuel) and $36.01 million in expenditures. Florida Education Champions paid $23.8 million to Advanced Micro Targeting for petition gathering services.

Another committee, Florida Voters in Charge, sponsored an initiative concerning casino gaming expansion in Florida. The Division of Elections showed that county elections officials had validated 814,266 signatures submitted by the campaign as of 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 1. The campaign met the distribution requirement in 10 of the 27 congressional districts, short of the 14 districts needed. Florida Voters in Charge reported $51.6 million in contributions, mostly from Las Vegas Sands ($49.6 million), a casino and resort company based in Nevada. Florida Voters in Charge paid $44.9 million to Game Day Strategies for petition gathering and consulting. 

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Florida Seminole Gaming Compact Court Ruling will be Appealed by Federal Government

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing saga of renewing the Florida Seminole gambling compact and the detrimental decision to attempt to legalize sports betting through its latest draft.  Given the state of Florida doesn’t already have legalized sports betting, attempts to legalize it outside of any tribal casino would face immediate legal scrutiny. That was the case when a Federal Judge struck down the agreement as it attempted to allow anyone in the state to take part in sports gambling claiming it was restricted to tribal land because the computer servers were on tribal land.  The Judge called that argument fiction as its clearly irrelevant where the computers are located and the key factor would be if the gamblers were actually on tribal land or not. Despite the plain language and clear interpretation of the law here, it does appear politics is still attempting to win out.  As Florida Politics is reporting, the Feds are now officially appealing the court’s decision:

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has notified a federal court that she and the Department of Interior intend to appeal the November court decision that struck down internet sports betting and Florida’s 2022 Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Haaland filed her notice to appeal the decision Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The actual appeal is set to be filed by Saturday with the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit.

The federal government’s argument would have to convince the Appeals Court that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act gives the Department of Interior authority to approve Florida’s Gaming Compact at a federal level in August, even if the Compact allows bets to be placed outside tribal lands.

The notice itself does not reveal what arguments Haaland and the federal government might be preparing to make.

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Missouri Sports Teams and Casinos Push Legislation to Make Sports Betting Legal

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the many failed attempts at legalizing sports gambling in Missouri.  However, as more and more states and sports teams join the gambling craze, teams that once stood against gambling on their sports are now being seduced by the money and allure.  As such, this year’s joint efforts to push legislation in Missouri are no real surprise.  As being reported by an online sports blog, this unity of teams has now extended to deals with casinos:

Six Missouri pro sports teams and existing casino operators in the state came to an agreement Wednesday to back sports betting legislation that would allow for statewide mobile wagering tethered to existing gaming locations. The agreement is the first of its kind in the U.S., where operators and professional franchises will be walking in lockstep in an effort to get a sports betting bill legalized.

According to an industry source, the MLB St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals, NHL St. Louis Blues, MLS St. Louis City Soccer Club, NFL Kansas City Chiefs, and National Women’s Soccer League Kansas City Current will each be entitled to a skin or mobile platform under the agreement, but not a retail location.

Past attempts have always failed, and it’s possible the group believes it’s the additional gambling expansion legislation of video lottery terminals in the legislation that causes the efforts to die.  As such, they are taking a different approach and only supporting legislation that deals with sports betting in a vacuum.  The online source continues:

Missouri lawmakers have been trying to legalize sports betting nearly since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. Sen. Denny Hoskins has been at the leading edge of the charge, though he has traditionally linked video lottery terminals (VLTs) s and sports betting. Ahead of this session, Hoskins filed two bills — one that includes VLTs and one that does not. In both versions, the Missouri Lottery would be the regulator.

As part of the pro team-casino proposal, an industry source said, the coalition agreed to oppose any bill that includes legalized video lottery terminals.

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Editorial: [Florida] Court ruling a wake-up call for better approach to gambling

Casino Watch Focus has reported on recent efforts to expand gambling through the Seminole gambling compact.  Most coverage has been on the widespread online sports gambling expansion, but it also allows for additional gambling expansion.  A recent court case invalidated the compact and the following guest editorial from the Palm Beach Post highlights lessons learned and the importance of following the established constitutional model for any gambling expansion:

On Nov. 22, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ordered the U.S. Department of Interior to throw out the 2021 gaming compact Gov. Ron DeSantis reached with the tribe. The judge apparently shared the misgivings of many of the compact’s critics, who saw the deal as a way around the Florida Constitution and federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, to expand gambling in Florida. The ruling not only halts online betting but blocks the tribe’s planned Hard Rock Casino expansions.

The judge made clear he didn’t buy the argument that the tribe could host online sports statewide as long as the servers taking the bets were located on tribal grounds. While recognizing the language of federal law, the judge also upheld the will of Florida voters who amended the state constitution to give them greater say over gambling expansion. 

The ruling puts the state back to square one. Instead of operating under a gaming compact that would give the state $2.5 billion over five years, Florida finds itself under a 20-year compact reached in 2010 when Charlie Crist was governor. The judge’s order doesn’t foreclose online sports betting in Florida but any new compact must limit online betting to Indian lands. The only way those bets can be expanded statewide is through a citizen’s initiative approved by Florida voters.

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AGA Seeks Federal Involvement in Illegal Gambling Machines – Calls on Justice Department to Shut them Down

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing battle in Missouri to end the operation of illegal slot machines all over the state.  These machines are designed with the intent of being slot machines in every way, but use a pre-reveal method to try to skirt local gambling laws.  This issue isn’t actually unique to Missouri and now the American Gaming Association is looking to the Justice Department to act on a Federal Level.  An online source explain: 

The AGA wants regulators to intervene in the manufacture of illegal gaming machines. The group cites the Johnson Act as grounds for the government’s intervention. Some of the machines are called skill games, which operate in a grey area in some states.

The American Gaming Association has urged the federal government not to allow illegal gambling machines to be manufactured. In a letter to the Justice Department, Bill Miller, AGA President, and CEO wrote that “support and resources from the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agencies are critical to eliminating illegal gambling devices from our communities.”

The association is asking the government to adopt a well-established law that requires any company that manufactures, sells or ships gambling devices that are sent across state lines to register with Justice Department. This is similar to what happens in the regulated gaming sector. The Johnson Act is a law that punishes those who violate it. They can face a maximum $5,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment, as well as forfeiture of their machines.

The AGA, which has addressed the issue before, also states that such machines are not compliant with federal anti-money laundering laws, have not been tested or monitored to ensure fairness to consumers, and prey upon the most vulnerable consumers, including problem gamblers and minors who have been excluded from regulated casinos.

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Florida appeals Seminole Compact Ruling – No Casinos Joins Fight against Unconstitutional Expansion

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to expand gambling through online sports gambling efforts in Florida.  Their constitution required a vote of the people to expand gambling, but a deal negotiated between the Florida government and Seminole Tribe added sports gambling to the compact and allowed for online gambling as well.  They claimed as long as the online servers were on tribal land, anyone could use the online app, thus creating legalized online sports gambling for the entire state.  A federal judge rejected the compact and called the notion “fiction.”  The appeal has been filed and No Casinos has joined the legal fight to help keep the issue suppressedAn online source reports:

No Casinos and a group of south Florida businessmen have joined the legal fight to defend a district court ruling striking down the 30-year gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida. The Seminole Tribe is appealing the ruling and seeks an immediate stay, which would allow it to legally continue the first-in-Florida sports betting operations it launched on Nov. 1. The compact also authorized the tribe to build new casinos on its property and to offer games such as craps and roulette that were previously illegal in Florida.

John Sowsinki, president of No Casinos, told the Phoenix in a statement provided Tuesday that the tribe should immediately stop its sports-betting operations, which he considers “illegal gambling.” He noted the tribe chose to launch Florida’s first-ever statewide sports betting operation on Nov. 1 despite ongoing litigation and has not halted it despite Judge Friedrich’s order.

Further, No Casinos, Codina, Carr and Braman want sports betting and other gambling expansions authorized in the gambling compact to be shut down permanently – except as may be authorized in the future by Florida voters, as required by the 2018 constitutional amendment titled “Voter Control of Gambling,” then known as Amendment 3.

Their amici brief, filed late Tuesday, urges the appellate court to affirm the district court’s order striking down the compact and to deny the tribe’s request for a stay in the interim.

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UPDATE: Federal Judge Rules Against Florida Seminole Sports Gambling Provision, Calling the State’s Argument ‘Fiction’

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida via the Seminole Gambling Compact.  The problem has been the plan calls for online sports betting and claims that anyone in the state can use their app and gamble on sports even though sports gambling is very much not legalized in the state.  Their argument has been that as long as the servers are on tribal land, then the gambler doesn’t have to be at the casino.  A Federal Judge has reviewed the case and despite what some thought would be a simple political push through, has approved the injunction and shut the deal down.  The Miami Herald reports:

In a stunning rejection of Florida’s attempt to give the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on sports betting, a federal district court judge in the District of Columbia ruled late Monday that the compact violates federal Indian gaming law and invalidated the entire agreement, halting all sports betting and gaming expansion in Florida indefinitely.

The ruling by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich puts a halt on the sports betting quietly launched by the Seminole Tribe on Nov. 1 and, in a double hit, it also blocks the tribe’s Hard Rock casinos in Broward and Hillsborough counties from becoming full Las Vegas-style casinos.

“Although the Compact ‘deem[s]’ all sports betting to occur at the location of the Tribe’s ‘sports book[s]‘ and supporting servers … this Court cannot accept that fiction,’’ Friedrich wrote. “When a federal statute authorizes an activity only at specific locations, parties may not evade that limitation by ‘deeming’ their activity to occur where it, as a factual matter, does not.”

Judge Friedrich ordered Florida to revert back to the prior compact and outlined the path for sports betting to either be on Tribal land or statewide through a vote of the people.  Many believed politics would prevent such an obvious and clear understanding of federal gambling law, but this decision is a positive first step.  The state is likely to appeal, but its a major victory for those fighting against such gambling expansion.  The Miami Herald continues:

The decision is a victory for the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room and a group of plaintiffs that includes No Casinos and Miami businessmen Armando Codina and Norman Braman. They each filed separate lawsuits against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland alleging that the federal government improperly approved the gaming compact.

Codina and Braman have fought to block gaming expansion for decades and helped finance the successful 2018 constitutional amendment that requires that any expansion of gambling be approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

“I think this is a big victory. I couldn’t ask for more,’’ said Codina, a real estate developer and devoted gambling opponent. He said he will continue to fight if the state and tribe file an appeal.

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$32 Million and Counting has been Dropped in Florida to Legalize Sports Betting via Initiative Petitions, but will they Succeed?

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida.  The Seminole Nation and state of Florida reached a new gambling compact that provides exclusive rights to sports betting in exchange for annual cash payments to the state.  That compact has been hotly contested and seemingly violates federal and states laws for allowing sports betting online and not solely at Seminole casinos.  But even if those legal hurdles are worked out, that still leaves companies like Draft Kings and FanDuel from getting a piece of the sports betting pie.  Enter the initiative petition. If enough signatures can be gathered, the issue would go to the voters.  If the voters pass the petition, sports betting could be legalized all over the state.  So how much money has been spent on these petitions and are they getting the signatures they need?  Florida Politics breaks it down:

Two gambling drives each have spent $16 million; neither has more than 110K verified signatures. Gambling interests’ efforts to get Florida voters to consider expanding casino gambling and sports betting are raising the stakes — pouring another $22 million into their campaigns in October.

The cash infusion fuels frenetic petition drives by Florida Education Champions, a committee backed by the fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel seeking to expand sports betting in Florida; and by Florida Voters In Charge, a committee backed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. seeking to create opportunities for casinos in North Florida. Between them they’ve spent more than $32 million over four months.

For DraftKings, FanDuel, and Las Vegas Sands, the clock is ticking, fast, on their petition drives. The two petition drives each need 891,589 verified voters’ signatures by January. Neither is close, according to the latest updates posted by the Florida Secretary of State.

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The Newest Attempt at a Casino in the Missouri Ozarks Appears to be Tribal Gambling, but Hurdles Loom

Casino Watch Focus has reported on efforts to legalize a new casino at Osage Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks.  The biggest problem has been that casino gambling, or river boat gambling as it were, is constitutionally restricted to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and there is a cap on the total number at thirteen.  So even if a casino license were to become available, neither river flows near Osage Beach.  The newest plan would seek to get around those rules by establishing a Tribal Casino.  Tribes are allowed to offer the same equivalent gambling on their reservations that are allowed in the state, but there are a few major hurdles that would have to be overcome, including the actual establishment of a tribal reservation in Missouri.  The Missouri Times explains:

The Osage Nation is planning to roll the dice on a new casino at the Lake of the Ozarks, potentially opening up a new revenue stream at the popular tourism spot — though a successful outcome is far from guaranteed.   

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), passed by Congress in 1988, outlined the process for approving a tribal casino off of a reservation.

Purchased land would be handled by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Osage Nation would then negotiate the responsibilities for providing law enforcement and taxation with the state government — all of which could take several years. If any party were to oppose the terms along the way, the project would be dashed.

A major hurdle for the project could be a clause in the IGRA that requires a tribe to have a reservation in the state to receive approval: Once a prominent tribe in Missouri, the nearest Osage reservation is now in Oklahoma, Leara said. 

So just what kind of support or more importantly, opposition would such a plan face?  Well, given how long it would take to even establish that the Osage Nation has the jurisdiction to build such a gambling facility, the political landscape could be vastly different.  The Missouri Times concludes:

Ultimately, Leara said he would place his bets on the project taking up to a decade to come to fruition — if it manages to get off the ground at all.

“I think when this becomes more than a press release and something a little more concrete, we’ll start to see opposition,” Leara told The Missouri Times. “We don’t know where the governor is on this — we’ll likely have a different governor before this goes anywhere anyway. There are a lot of questions and while they did get a lot of attention from their press release, I don’t think it’s anything in the near future.”

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Missouri Pro-Sports Teams look to Initiative Petitions to Legalize Sports Betting

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Missouri.  Various attempts have been made over the years to pass a bill through the legislature, but all efforts have so far failed.  A recent plan was reported that would target the Missouri lottery as the sports gambling regulatory body, but nothing has been formally introduced to move forward.  Now, it would appear Missouri pro-sports teams have grown tired of the legislative process and have instead pushed forward what can only be described as a chaotic, unorganized, and desperate attempt to get some kind of sports betting legalized.  Literally anything would seem to work for them considering they filed 9 different initiative petitions in hopes that something will stick.  An online source explains: 

A Missouri lawyer last week filed nine ballot initiative petitions that would legalize sports betting with the secretary of state’s office. The proposals all call for the Missouri Gaming Commission to regulate wagering, for betting to be limited to professional sports teams only, and for tax revenue to be earmarked for education and road projects.

Beyond that, there are key differences, and, in total, the proposals are similar to some of the many sports betting bills that have been filed in the General Assembly over the last four years.

Sen. Denny Hoskins and Rep. Dan Shaul say they’ll try again in 2022 and have plans to pre-file bills next month. “I sense there’s a frustration at the lack of movement on the bills,” Shaul told Sports Handle in August.

Hoskins has his concerns about letting the state’s professional teams drive the process. “Obviously I am for sports betting,” he told the Post-Dispatch last week. “But I do have concerns when we put something in the Missouri Constitution without proper vetting. “There are a lot of details to sports betting, including tax rates, application fees, and annual administrative fees.”

Given there are nine different petitions, all with different approaches, its clear this method for a properly vetted and well regulated plan would be incredibly risky and likely to leave holes in consumer protections.  

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UPDATE: One of the Three Lawsuits filed Against the Florida/Seminole Compact regarding Online Sports Betting Dismissed after President Biden’s Administration Intervenes 

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the recent lawsuits filed against the Florida Seminole Online Sports betting plan. As the Sun Sentinel reported, the Biden Administration made known that they wanted the federal case dismissed that was filed by two parimutuel companies, claiming they didn’t have standing to sue and couldn’t prove irreparable harm.  It appears the move by the Biden Administration paid off as the Sun Sentinel is now reporting that the judge has dismissed that particular case:  

Dealing a win to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe, a federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a gambling agreement that allows the tribe to have control over sports betting in Florida.

Attorneys for DeSantis and state Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Julie Brown asked U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the pari-mutuels did not have legal standing to challenge the compact because they had not shown they will be harmed.  In a 20-page ruling Monday, Winsor, who wryly noted that the pari-mutuels “are not pleased with the compact,” agreed with the state’s arguments.

The compact allowed the tribe to offer online sports betting beginning Friday, but the Seminoles haven’t launched the operation. The legal challenge tossed by Winsor on Monday was one of three federal lawsuits challenging the compact. The Havenick family has owned the pari-mutuel facilities in the Florida case for more than five decades. It also filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., naming the U.S. Department of the Interior and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as defendants.Two prominent South Florida businessmen and the anti-gambling organization No Casinos have filed a separate lawsuit in Washington, D.C.

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Sports Betting Can Begin Oct 15th in Florida, but Experts Say its Unlikely

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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A Public Destruction of Missouri’s Illegal Gambling Machines After Prosecution Makes Statement

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing saga involving the enforcement of illegal slot machines in Missouri.  Given the necessity of local prosecutors to lead the charge, a big victory and statement was made earlier in Jefferson City.  Not only were these gambling machines found to be illegal, they were ordered to be publicly destroyed.  A local online source reports:

When the bucket of the backhoe came down on the first of five illegal gambling machines destroyed Thursday by court order, it crumpled like a cardboard box being prepped for recycling.

The particle board sides offered no resistance to the pressure, and in about 40 seconds, all that remained was a pile of wood, plastic and electronic shards as the five machines were shattered into thousands of pieces.

“This is a good day,” said Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecutor. “There is a good reason that the Missouri Legislature said these should be publicly destroyed. It is somewhat about the spectacle of destruction because the legislature wanted to send a message that these machines won’t be tolerated in the state of Missouri. It is a good day.”

The Platte County prosecution showed that no additional laws are needed, Zahnd said before the smashing began Thursday.

“In Missouri, the law is clear,” Zahnd said. “These machines are illegal and they must be destroyed.”

Sgt. Craig Hubbell, a detective with the the Parkville Police Department, looks over the debris from the destruction Thursday of five illegal gambling machines. (Rudi Keller/Missouri Independent)

“I just hope this example will be picked up by the other prosecutors in the state,” he said. “They are not gray-market machines. They are black-market machines.”

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