For sports betting enthusiasts following the path-to-legalization saga happening in Florida, the plot just thickened as the Seminole Tribe and the Department of the Interior recently filed appellate briefs with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, their new take raising industry eyebrows.
One such insider is Daniel Wallach, also known as “The Sports Betting Attorney,” whose law firm is devoted principally to the “burgeoning field of sports wagering and gaming law in the United States,” and who spoke out in Forbes regarding that recent filing in Florida.
In their latest court filings, the Seminole Tribe and the U.S. Dept. of the Interior have articulated a novel, if not legally dubious argument, for reinstating the Tribe’s new gaming compact with the State of Florida.
The Tribe and the DOI are now arguing that the original compact between the state of Florida and the Seminoles never authorized mobile sports betting but instead only allowed for in-person wagering on tribal property, whereas the online component was allowable by Florida law.
Wallach calls that a “creative re-invention of the compact” that looks like an obvious attempt at a legal workaround meant to sidestep a prior ruling that shut down Florida’s legal and brief sports betting market at the end of last year, an up and down story that keeps on unfolding.
Be sure to take a look at our prior coverage of this story in Federal Government Files Supplemental Brief in Florida Sports Betting Case where we break down how legal sports betting was halted in that state almost as quickly as it started due to several issues.
The first sticking point was that many in the sports betting industry saw the state of Florida as being guilty of awarding the Seminole Tribe of Florida an illegal statewide sports betting monopoly since no outside operators would be allowed to legally launch their own sportsbook.
The other problem with the tribal compact between the Seminoles and the state was that it was considered unlawful since it allowed the tribe to offer mobile betting to gamblers not on tribal land using the loophole that the servers handling the wagers are on tribal property.
After a series of court rulings ending in December 2021, the only live sports betting app in Florida by Hard Rock was shut down after only a month of operation, and ever since FanDuel and DraftKings tried and failed to create a votable ballot measure with nothing else going on.
Florida lawmakers have until early next spring to reignite that debate.
According to an announcement earlier this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals, a deadline of 2023 has been set for any further appeals, though given the recent attempt at a “creative re-invention of the compact,” the case may end up being argued before the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, Florida bettors are having to figure out other ways to bet on the ongoing NFL season, the upcoming MLB postseason, and NBA seasons including illegal local bookies and unregulated offshore sportsbooks that can be risky ways to gamble.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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