Federal Court Rules Florida Sports Betting Compact Invalid, Will Other States Be Affected?

Shutterstock/danielo Florida sports betting may soon be at an end. On Monday, a federal court vacated the new compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe, deeming it in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

This isn’t a case we’ve followed all that closely at Online Poker Report. Any possibility of Florida iGaming was squashed early on in the process , and topics related solely to sports betting get covered at our sister site Legal Sports Report instead. For more back story on this case, we’d refer to you to their extensive coverage .

The verdict in West Flagler Associates vs. Haaland is an important one, however. It deals with how the IGRA intersects with online gambling generally. It could come up in hypothetical future legal battles anywhere a state authorizes online gambling by way of a compact. That includes casino and poker as well as sports betting.

For now, Hard Rock Sportsbook, the state’s only sports betting app, remains online. The Department of the Interior, which approved the compact, will likely appeal the decision, and request a stay of the court’s opinion. If that request is granted, sports betting can continue until the appeals process runs its course. Unless the decision itself is overturned, however, Florida will find itself back at square one.

The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, also expects the ruling to face a challenge . His office released the following statement: We are reviewing the Court’s perplexing ruling, which certainly contains appealable issues. Because neither the Seminole Tribe nor the State of Florida are parties to the case, it is unclear what if any immediate impact the ruling has in Florida. We look forward to working with the Tribe to ensure the future success of the Compact. The bettor’s location matters

Judge Dabney Friedrich’s full opinion is complicated. However, the part that’s most likely to be an important precedent is that he rejects the compact’s assertions about how the location of a bet is determined.

Florida’s contention had been that the IGRA alone was sufficient to allow it to authorize tribal sports betting statewide. That hinged on the […]

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