Florida’s Legal Showdown Continues Over Seminole Tribe’s Sports Betting Deal

Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, has called on the state Supreme Court to dismiss a case challenging the legality of digital sports betting, arguing that it jili777 does not fall under the state constitution’s definition of casino gambling. The case, initiated by West Flagler and Associates (WFA), challenges the 2021 compact between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Seminoles, extending the tribe’s monopoly to encompass sports betting and casinos.

Key Grounds for Dismissal in West Flagler’s Sports Betting Case

Moody’s 65-page response, filed just minutes before the deadline, outlines several reasons for dismissal. Notably, it asserts that WFA’s delayed filing, more than two years after the compact approval, is grounds for denial. The response also argues that WFA’s relief-seeking through a “quo warranto” filing is inappropriate, emphasizing that sports betting does not fit the definition of a casino game.

WFA’s contention revolves around the alleged overreach of powers by Gov. DeSantis and the state legislature in approving the compact, claiming a violation of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. 

The lawsuit further asserts that the monopoly granted to the Seminoles and the hub-and-spoke model for online sports betting infringe on federal regulations. Additionally, WFA argues that any gaming expansion should be subjected to a public vote.

The gambling agreement of 2021, in addition to granting the Seminoles authority over sports betting, permitted the tribe to introduce craps and roulette at its casino establishments. Furthermore, the agreement envisages the potential addition of three casinos on tribal land in Broward County for the Seminoles.

WFA’s SCOTUS Appeal Clashes with Seminole Tribe’s App Relaunch

In October, WFA petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in an attempt to challenge the exclusive rights granted to the Seminole Tribe by Gov. Ron DeSantis, following its failure in the federal court. 

Meanwhile, the Seminole Tribe has quietly relaunched its Hard Rock Bets mobile app, allowing sports betting for existing registrants and Unity loyalty program members in Florida, despite the ongoing legal challenges. 

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While the tribe plans to introduce in-person betting at three South Florida casinos on December 7, opponents, including West Flagler Associates, continue to contest the Seminole Tribe’s exclusive sports betting rights. 

Despite the legal complexities, both WFA and the Seminoles share the common goal of expanding legal sports betting options for Floridians. WFA’s strategy has shifted to pursuing relief through federal courts, with plans to file a case with the US Supreme Court. The court granted an extension until February for WFA to submit its case.