In yet another move in the ongoing legal battle over the potential sports betting launch in Florida, the Seminole Tribe of Florida filed legal documents on Tuesday meant to dismiss the case that argues against the gaming compact now in play.
The compact – an agreement between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state – was approved back in August and it outlines a sports betting operation that will create at least $2.5 billion in state revenue over the next five years and an estimated $20 billion over the course of the 30-year deal.
That compact has been disputed by two pari-mutuel facilities – Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room – who want in on Florida’s lucrative sports betting business and argue that the compact violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by allowing the Tribe to conduct gambling off tribal lands.
The documents filed by the Seminole Tribe on Tuesday counterargue that, as a federally designated tribe and a sovereign nation, it is barred from participating to defend its interests, and therefore the case must be dismissed.
April 23 – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Marcellus Osceola Jr., the office of Seminole Tribe chair, sign compact.
May 19 – Florida House approves gambling bill with Seminole Tribe.
July 2 – Pari-mutuels file a case in US District Court in Tallahassee demanding an injunction to prevent gambling laws adopted in May to be implemented.
Aug. 5 – Compact approved when Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs remains silent, which allows it to take effect by default at the end of the requisite 45-day review period.
Aug 13 – Dept of the interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs publishes compact in Federal Register.
Aug 16 – Pari-mutuels sue U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, saying the compact violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by allowing the Tribe to conduct gambling off tribal lands.
Aug 31 – Seminole Tribe of Florida files documents in US District Court in Washington DC, to intervene in Aug. 16 lawsuit.
The earliest launch date for legal sports betting in Florida is set for October 15 in the compact, so now it is a legal race by all parties involved to either dismiss these various lawsuits or else pursue them and potentially delay the entire multi-million dollar operation.
With the NFL regular season starting next week, it behooves the state of Florida, home to three NFL franchises – Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – to settle these matters as quickly as possible so that Sunshine State gamblers can begin placing their football bets.
For now, it is up to the federal and Florida courts to make sense of all these claims and determine whether the para-mutuels have a legitimate argument or the Seminoles have a right to consider statewide online sports bets legitimate since the servers that process them are located on Tribal land.
Keep checking back for the latest updates!
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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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