Florida-Seminole Tribe Gaming Compact Hit With Lawsuit

Florida flag smallRecently, the Seminole Tribe inked a new gaming compact agreement with the Governor’s office in Florida. This gaming compact not only legalized sports betting for casinos owned by the Seminole Tribe but also promised online sports betting for the Seminole Tribe. This raised eyebrows among many legal and gaming experts.

First of all, this would be the first time that a gaming compact would lead the charge for online sports betting in the state. Secondly, there were a lot of questions on the legality of expanding gaming for the Seminole Tribe without a state-wide vote.

Well, one of the first lawsuits is incoming, with the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room and Miami’s Magic City Casino claiming that this gaming compact violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The lawsuit was officially filed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

The lawsuit claims that sports betting violates the terms of the IGRA due to the fact it includes gaming outside of tribal lands. This would make sense considering the agreement allows the Seminole tribe to collect online or mobile wagers from anywhere in Florida. The lawsuit argues that under the IGRA, the Seminole Tribe is supposed to be limited to betting and gaming only on land owned by the Seminole Tribe.

At the moment, the Seminole Tribe and the Governor’s office are still waiting on federal approval for the gaming compact, and this process is about to get dragged out as the first lawsuit comes in regarding the matter.

DraftKings & FanDuel Push Legislation

draftkings sportsbook mobile appWhile the Seminole Tribe fights for its right to offer sports betting, DraftKings and FanDuel have recently partnered up to push online legal sports betting in the state. These two sportsbooks want sports betting and online sports betting to be legal on a state-level for Florida. This is because the two want an opportunity to offer their online sportsbooks without having to go through the Seminole Tribe and the HardRock Brand.

There were already attempts in 2021 to allow online sports betting in a more expansive way that did not include the Seminole Tribe, but those attempts somewhat fizzled out as the gaming compact talks heated up.

What is the Status of Florida Sports Betting

It seems now that there are battles going on every day when it comes to Florida sports betting. The Seminole Tribe and Governor’s office are still trying to push through the gaming compact and are awaiting federal approval. However, this lawsuit throws a wrench into those plans. Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel are pushing their own agenda in the Florida legislature.

While many hoped for Florida sports betting in early 2022, it may be a while until this puzzle is figured out. Everybody wants a piece of the potentially massive pie that is Florida sports betting. The Seminole Tribe attempted to capture all of it in the most efficient way possible; however, going that route brought up a lot of legal concerns that may take months or years to sort out.

Matthew is a UC Berkeley economic and philosophy graduate. He has played DFS, Football pools, and survival leagues for most of his adult life. Matthew brings to the table great strategies for both your GPP and Cash plays as well as a winning track record with his picks of the week.

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