October 1, 2023 3:07 pm
Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s Sports Gambling Battle Finds Its Way to the U.S. Supreme Court

Owners of two Florida pari-mutuels are preparing to seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in a case that queries the legality of a multibillion-dollar deal that grants the Seminole Tribe manage more than sports betting all through the state. They argue that the outcome of this case could establish a precedent for expanding gaming beyond Indian lands, and thus, the Supreme Court’s involvement is critical. A current ruling by a Washington, D.C.-primarily based appeals court upheld the legality of the agreement below the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Nonetheless, the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Area contend that this selection contradicts other appellate rulings and has the possible to bring about a drastic shift in public policy on legalized gambling.

The dispute dates back to a 2021 gambling agreement signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., which was later authorized by the state Legislature. The deal was initially halted by a federal judge in November 2021, following a legal challenge from the pari-mutuel owners. They argued that the inclusion of sports betting in the compact violated federal law and would have a serious influence on their companies. The agreement permitted for a mobile sports-betting strategy, exactly where bets could be placed on the net from anyplace in the state, with the wagers processed via servers situated on tribal lands. According to the compact, these bets would be deemed exclusively carried out by the tribe.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, primarily based in Washington, D.C., invalidated components of the compact, which includes the mobile sports-betting provision, and referred to it as a “fiction.” The judge’s ruling also criticized U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s approval of the deal, stating that she was incorrect in enabling it to take impact. The Division of the Interior has appealed Friedrich’s selection. The owners of the pari-mutuels think that the appellate court’s ruling conflicts with the conclusions of other courts and raises issues about the possible far-reaching effects on the future of legalized gaming. They are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will supply clarity on the matter and avert irreversible policy modifications with regards to gambling expansion beyond tribal lands.

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