A federal judge has denied a stay on the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s sports betting compact with the State of Florida. A ruling earlier in the week blocked the agreement between the tribe and the state.
As of Thursday, the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook was still operational and accepting sports bets.
Late Monday, U.S District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled the deal allows online sports betting through the Seminole Tribe violates the federal law that regulates gambling on tribal lands.
Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida celebrated the approval of the historic Seminole Gaming Compact in August after a 45-day review of the agreement was completed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The agreement included online sports betting that took place off of tribal lands but was processed on tribal property.
“The final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida,” said Governor DeSantis in the release. “This mutually-beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians. I again want to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their part in getting this done for our great state.”
However, Friedrich ruled that the deal violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, or IGRA. The IGRA requires gambling activity take place on tribal lands. Friedrich wrote that, “over a dozen provisions in IGRA regulate gaming on ‘Indian lands,’ and none regulate gaming in another location.”
The Seminole Tribe of Florida kicked off their recently approved online sports betting platform in Florida even during legal challenges. The Tribe rolled out the new entertainment option with little press.
The launch of the new platform, which operates through an app downloadable for smart devices, allows users to place bets and wagers on professional sports teams.
Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida celebrated the approval of the historic Seminole Gaming Compact Friday after a 45-day review of the agreement was completed by the U.S. Department of Interior.
The compact, the state’s largest gambling agreement in history, was ratified in May, and will look to generate a “minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue to the state over the next five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030,” according to a press release from the Governor’s Office.
Two of the largest companies in the daily fantasy sports industry, DraftKings and FanDuel, are backing a political committee’s efforts to legalize sports betting. The political committee, Florida Education Champions, is proposing an amendment that will allow sports betting at professional sports venues, pari-mutual facilities and through online platforms. The amendment would also raise money for education.
The amendment, as detailed on the Division of Elections website, states that if betting revenues are taxed, the monies would be required to go to the state Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
After negotiations between Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Florida House and Florida Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that ratifies the Seminole Gaming Compact.
Under the compact, the Seminole Tribe of Florida will act as the state’s centralized location for sports betting. The deal requires the tribe to work with a minimum of three pari-mutuels within three months after sports betting goes live on Oct. 15.