Seminole Tribe wins in Florida sports betting case – NBC 6 South Florida

Handing another victory to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a federal appeals court denied a request from pari-mutuel owners for a rehearing after a ruling upheld a multibillion-dollar deal that gave the tribe control of sports betting across the state.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in June overturned a federal judge’s November 2021 ruling that halted the gambling agreement.

The owners of the Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and the Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida, who challenged the sports betting plan, asked the full appeals court for a new hearing, a so-called “en banc” hearing.

But the court rejected the application on Monday without detailed reasons.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola signed a 30-year gaming deal in 2021 that included transferring control of sports betting to the tribe. After the deal was ratified by lawmakers, the pari-mutuel owners of Magic City and Bonita Springs filed a lawsuit claiming the sports betting plan violated federal law and would have a “significant and potentially devastating impact” on their operations.

The deal included a “hub-and-spoke” sports betting plan designed to allow gamblers anywhere in the state to place bets online, with the bets running through computer servers on tribal property. The deal, known as a “compact,” said betting “through a mobile app or other electronic device will be deemed to be conducted exclusively by the Tribe.”

In November 2021, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that the plan conflicted with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which regulates gambling on tribal lands, because the deal would allow gambling on Seminole property.

Friedrich, who called the agreement a “fiction,” also invalidated other parts of the agreement and noted that U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was wrong when she allowed the agreement to enter into force. The Interior Ministry, which oversees tribal gambling, appealed the decision.

The three-judge panel’s unanimous decision in June said the district judge in Washington, D.C., erred when she found that the compact violated the federal law known as IGRA because it prohibits gambling “on both… also allowed outside of Indian areas.

The impact of Monday’s ruling on sports betting in Florida was not immediately clear.

The Seminoles briefly launched the Hard Rock SportsBook mobile app as part of the litigation, but stopped accepting bets and deposits through the app in December 2021 following Friedrich’s ruling.

Gary Bitner, a spokesman for the Seminoles, said Tuesday that the tribe was “pleased” with the appeals court’s decision not to grant the en banc hearing. However, the Seminoles did not comment on whether they plan to accept bets through the app again.

It was also not clear whether the pari-mutuels would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the matter.

The treaty not only gave the Seminoles control of online sports betting, but also allowed the tribe to offer craps and roulette in its casinos. The deal would also allow the Seminoles to build three casinos on tribal land in Broward County.

In return, the tribe promised to pay the state at least $2.5 billion in the first five years and potentially billions more over the three-decade life of the compact. The deal also made Florida among numerous states to enter the sports betting space following a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for such betting in New Jersey.

Daniel Wallach, an attorney who specializes in gambling law, said the ruling in the Florida Compact challenge “checks at least three of the boxes pointing to Supreme Court review.” The decision is “at odds” with rulings from other federal appeals courts, is “arguably at odds with the Supreme Court’s own precedent,” and concerns an “important question of federal law that has not yet been resolved but should be resolved.” the Supreme Court.

The ruling in the Florida case “contradicts at least eight federal appeals court decisions in other circuits declaring that ‘the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ does not apply to tribal gaming activities off reservations,” Wallach told The News Service of Florida Tuesday.

“This is obviously an important issue of federal law because it impacts relationships between tribes and state and local governments across the country. It also impacts non-tribal gambling operators, as tribal control of nationwide remote betting would dramatically change the competitive landscape for digital gambling,” he said.

The court will have to resolve the matter “sooner or later,” Wallach added.

“Therefore, it would make sense for the Supreme Court to address this issue now and bring much-needed clarity to the controversial question of whether IGRA’s reach extends to tribally regulated gambling activities outside of Indian territories, rather than further devolving the matter into one Letting it become a problem “There is a labyrinth of conflicting and conflicting federal court rulings,” he said.

Some critics of the deal have also argued that the sports betting agreement would not comply with a 2018 constitutional amendment that requires statewide voter approval of gambling expansions in Florida. According to the so-called Amendment 3, expansions of gambling must be brought to a nationwide vote as part of the citizens’ initiative process.

Hung is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button