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Florida’s Seminole Tribe Files Appellant Brief Against “Unnecessary Party” Ruling

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated November 22, 2022
7 min read
  • Last Week, FL’s Seminoles Began Appeal Process for Inclusion in Sports Betting Case

  • At Issue is the Legitimacy of a 2021 Tribal Compact with the State of Florida

  • Oral Arguments for This Case Set to Take Place December 14, 2022

Florida Seminole Tribe Appellant

Last Week, FL’s Seminoles Began Appeal Process for Inclusion in Sports Betting Case

Half the NFL season is already over and all the Florida sports gamblers who prefer to make legal wagers are still out of luck since the fate of that state’s mobile sports betting market rests in whatever decision emerges over an ongoing case now in the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.

The latest update on the everlasting saga that is Florida legal sports betting involves an appellant brief filed early last week by the Seminole Tribe of that state attempting to establish legal standing in the case in question between the USDOI. and two Florida parimutuels.

It is a story we have covered in depth involving a lawsuit that was filed in 2021 by two outspoken detractors of Florida gambling – multi-millionaire developer Armando Codina and billionaire auto retailer Norman Braman – against US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

Last Monday, the tribe filed the appellant brief in an attempt to legally reinsert itself as a necessary party in the case after a judge previously dismissed their attempt to join in, arguing:   

“The only reason West Flagler brought suit against Interior is because it could not sue the tribe or state directly. Instead, it sought to collaterally attack their agreement negotiated under IGRA by seeking review of Interior’s deemed approval in their absence. Preventing this collateral attack is where fairness concerns should focus.”

Their beef goes back to a long-standing agreement between the state and the tribe.

At Issue is the Legitimacy of a 2021 Tribal Compact With the State of Florida

Casino gambling in Florida has long been controlled by the Seminole Tribe and the related compact that exists between the two was recently renewed, but at issue is whether they can also take mobile sports wagers anywhere in the state from servers located on tribal land.

According to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), wagers in Florida are only allowed to happen on the Seminole reservation, but critics of the compact claim this opens up a clever loophole based on where the computer servers are physically located.

The suit now in the appeals process claims that when the federal government previously approved the tribal gaming compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, it violated federal Indian gaming law and the federal Wire Act.

Subsequently, US District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that the deal between Gov. DeSantis and the Seminoles violated the IGRA, and this was enough to shut the entire market down, and no legal mobile sports bets have been taken there ever since.

That could change next month, though.

Oral Arguments for This Case Set to Take Place December 14, 2022

Earlier this year, the Seminoles stopped paying the state whatever monies their compact called for claiming the agreement had been violated and needs to be reconfigured, a process that could take up to a year and a half given all the governmental red tape still left to wallow through.

The next step happens on December 14, 2022, when oral arguments for this case are set to take place, a litigious debate that all parties involved – the DOI, the parimutuels, and perhaps the Seminoles now – will have their say in before the judge makes the final call.

Meanwhile, betting fans of the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Bucs, and Jacksonville Jaguars must rely on unregulated offshore sportsbooks to handle their action and all that money and the taxable revenue it potentially generates will go elsewhere, then nobody in Florida wins. 

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

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]

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