Federal Decide Invalidates Sports activities Betting Compact Between Florida And Seminole Tribe

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Judgment Day got here for Onerous Rock Sportsbook in Florida and it was not conclusion for the Seminole Tribe.

A federal choose has dominated {that a} lately entered into compact between the Seminole Tribe and Florida that sought to legalize sports activities betting within the state is not in impact. Placing the compact in its entirety mustn’t solely trigger cellular wagering to return to a fast finish but in addition preclude the Seminole Tribe from providing land-based sports activities betting choices in addition to full Las Vegas-style casinos with video games corresponding to craps in the interim.

“Persevering with to supply on-line sports activities betting would violate federal legislation,” wrote U.S. District Decide Dabney L. Friedrich in her order.

Friedrich left open the likelihood that Florida residents can nonetheless authorize such betting by means of a residents’ initiative sooner or later and added that Florida and the Seminole Tribe could agree to a different new compact that solely permits on-line sports activities betting on Indian lands. A residents’ initiative shouldn’t be more likely to be an choice till the November 2022 election. DraftKings and FanDuel have been pushing onerous to acquire the roughly 900,000 signatures wanted to place this situation on the November 2022 poll.

Whereas many Florida residents will probably be upset with the potential for shedding their skill to put bets legally, for now, some see a silver lining within the resolution based mostly on the truth that if cellular sports activities betting is permitted in Florida sooner or later, then it probably is not going to be a state of affairs the place the Seminole Tribe basically holds a monopoly on all such wagers. A profitable residents’ initiative may result in extra operators coming into the Sunshine State, corresponding to DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and Barstool.

Finally, the argument that sports activities bets positioned off of Indian lands movement by means of the Tribe’s sportsbook and servers on its Indian lands and thus are thought-about made on Indian lands was a loser.

As of now, the Seminole Tribe’s Onerous Rock Sportsbook cellular software remains to be permitting customers to put bets and withdraw their cash. It’s not but recognized whether or not Friedrich’s resolution will probably be appealed and, in that case, whether or not that can impose a keep on the ruling. Within the meantime, the Seminole Tribe doesn’t appear to be overly involved about Friedrich’s remark that persevering with to supply on-line sports activities betting violates federal legislation.


Darren Heitner is the founding father of Heitner Authorized. He’s the writer of Methods to Play the Recreation: What Each Sports activities Lawyer Must Know, revealed by the American Bar Affiliation, and is an adjunct professor on the College of Florida Levin Faculty of Legislation. You may attain him by electronic mail at heitner@gmail.com and comply with him on Twitter at @DarrenHeitner.



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