Florida Supreme Court Allows the Seminole Tribe and the State to Continue Benefiting from Gambling Outlined in the Compact

March 22, 2024 | Sports Betting

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 21, 2024) —The recent ruling by the Florida Supreme Court represents a significant victory for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration regarding the agreement permitting online sports betting and other forms of gambling. The court determined that opponents of the agreement had filed an incorrect type of petition to challenge the compact.

West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation, operators of racetracks and poker rooms in Florida, have been particularly vocal opponents. They have sought legal recourse in federal court and even petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the latest ruling in the Florida Supreme Court has been a setback for them.

The crux of the opponents’ argument lies in the belief that the compact gives the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on sports betting and circumvents a voter-approved requirement for citizen initiatives to expand casino gambling beyond tribal lands. They contend that allowing online sports betting, even if the servers are located on tribal lands, is questionable under the constitutional amendment.

In contrast, the tribe asserts that the legislature has the authority to determine the initiation of online gambling, regardless of the physical location of the servers. Attorneys for DeSantis and legislative leaders argue that sports betting falls outside the scope of casino gambling prohibited by the constitutional amendment.

Despite the legal battles, the Seminole Tribe launched its online sports betting operation, resulting in substantial revenue for the state of Florida. Economic forecasts suggest that revenue sharing from tribal gaming could amount to billions of dollars by the end of the decade.

The opponents still have the option to file a motion for a rehearing, but for now, the ruling stands, allowing the tribe and the state to continue benefiting from online sports betting and other forms of gambling outlined in the compact.


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