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Florida Sports Betting Compact Appealed To US Supreme Court

Plaintiffs Also Await State Ruling


The legal maneuvers surrounding the Seminole tribe’s efforts to offer mobile sports betting in Florida took another turn last week with plaintiffs in the case asking the Supreme Court to curtail betting in the state.

Attorneys for the owners of the Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room (known as West Flagler Associates) have asked the Supreme Court to make a ruling regarding the 2021 compact between the state and the tribe, noting that the case was of “massive importance for the future of online gaming across the country.”

Another Legal Front

The new move comes as the plaintiffs are already waiting on a ruling from the Florida state supreme court after arguing that the compact violates a moratorium on expanded gaming that was approved by voters in 2018.

The latest move at the U.S. Supreme Court now seeks a full review of an appellate court’s decision upholding the compact. West Flager now argues that U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland didn’t have the authority to approve a compact “that provides for gaming off Indian lands. The compact at issue here clearly provides for gaming off Indian lands.”

The attorneys argue that the compact was meant as a “backdoor around” the ban on expanding gaming in the state. The state supreme court is also expected to make a ruling in the coming weeks.

Attorneys have previously argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that the compact violates equal protection aspects of the Constitution as well by granting “an Indian tribe a statewide monopoly to conduct online sports gaming while simultaneously making such conduct a felony if done by anyone of a different race, ancestry, ethnicity, or national origin.”

In a previous ruling sending the issue back to state court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh expressed some agreement with the plaintiffs’ view of the equal protection issues.

In other Florida casino news, legislators recently pulled a proposed plan that would have allowed a gaming license to be transferred to another property within a 30-mile radius. Many South Florida leaders expressed opposition to the plan.