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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