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Federal Government Files Supplemental Brief in Florida Sports Betting Case

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
11 min read
Florida Sports Betting Case
  • Federal Government Submitted New Arguments in FL Sports Betting Court Case
  • Location of Server vs Bettor Loophole Still Point of Contention
  • Court’s Decision Expected On (or before) November 15

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Federal Government Submitted New Arguments in FL Sports Betting Court Case

Late Tuesday, the Federal Government filed a requested supplemental brief related to an ongoing court case between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, after Judge Dabney Friedrich criticized them last week for being unprepared to argue for the plaintiffs.

In the past, we have covered this unfolding case extensively, a lawsuit that essentially boils down to a question of the legality of the compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe based on a difference in interpretation of laws included in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

The Department of the Interior’s supplemental brief clarifies some points in the case, including the fact that the plaintiff’s challenge is limited to the online, not retail, provisions, included in the compact.

That could mean that whatever is decided in this case should not affect retail sportsbooks that have already launched, but just the online portion like the Hard Rock Sportsbook app that just launched.

The lawsuit is complex, but part of it centers around a loophole in the compact.

Location of Server vs Bettor Loophole Still Point of Contention

One of the main arguments in this ongoing legal case is that the state of Florida is essentially being accused of awarding the Seminole Tribe of Florida an illegal statewide sports betting monopoly since no outside operators are allowed to legally launch their own sportsbook.

Another argument the suit makes to halt sports betting in Florida is that the compact between the tribe and state is unlawful since it allows the Seminoles to offer online betting to customers not on tribal land using the loophole that the servers handling the wagers are on tribal land.

The brief that was just submitted among other things clarifies its stance on these arguments, stating that the compact does not violate any federal law, nor does it “violate state law or any state-law specific mandates that limit the authority of the State to have entered into and ratified the Compact.”

This seems to be in reference to the constitutional law questions Judge Friedrich brought up at last Friday’s hearing, fueling talk of whether the tribal compact complies with Florida’s 2018 Amendment 3 which provides voters, through citizen-initiated ballot measures, with the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling in Florida.

Court’s Decision Expected On (or before) November 15

A decision by the court on this case is expected on (or before) November 15, but in the meantime, Florida’s sports betting market – both the retail and online versions – continues to be up and running.

At this point, it looks like US District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich will decide the fate of Florida online sports betting, and Sunshine State bettors are likely hoping she rules in favor of allowing them to continue placing mobile sports wagers from anywhere in the state.

Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.

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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.

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