Seminole Court Foes Ask for Online Sports Betting Halt

Seminole Court Foes Ask for Online Sports Betting Halt
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

An opponent of the plan that would have the Seminole Trible largely control Florida sports betting is taking its ongoing legal battle to the Florida State Supreme Court.

On Nov. 7, the Seminole Trible’s Hard Rock Bet app opened for business for certain customers. The move to start taking bets followed a U.S. Supreme Court action in October in which the high court rejected blocking a federal appellate court’s decision which was viewed as favoring the Seminoles’ compact with Florida Gov.  Ron DeSantis allowing for the Tribe to conduct online sports wagering. In response to online sports betting, an opponent of the compact, West Flagler Associates, Ltd., is now petitioning the Florida Supreme Court for action that would lead to the suspension of the Florida sports betting apps. Flagler’s request was filed on Nov. 7.

Flagler: Seminole Tribe Announcement a "Distraction"

As part of its legal filing, Flagler argues that when the Seminole Tribe announced on Nov. 1 that it would be introducing, on Dec. 7, new games in land-based casinos, such as craps and roulette, which was also part of the compact deal with DeSantis, as well as retail sports gambling, that the announcement served as a “distraction” to surprise Flagler and the state supreme court to create a “fait accompli”  with the Nov. 7 introduction of online sports gambling.

In short, Flagler Associates wants the state supreme court to stop the Seminole Tribe’s current online sports gambling operation until the legal issues involving the Seminole-DeSantis compact are resolved. And because the Seminoles flipped the switch on sports gambling yesterday, Flagler is requesting expedited action by the state supreme court. A main issue in the dispute is whether wagers placed by customers -- who are not physically located on Seminole-controlled land -- but that process through servers located on Seminole land comport with laws and regulations regarding gaming conducted by the Seminoles.

Flashback to 2021 Tribe and DeSantis

In 2021, the Seminole Tribe and DeSantis agreed on the compact that would give the Tribe substantial control of sports gambling in the state as well as expanded gambling in its casinos, in exchange for promised billions of dollars to the state. In 2021, the Seminole Tribe did start taking online sports wagers, but a federal district-level decision put a stop to it. Then, the Seminoles won a favorable ruling by a federal appellate court.  More recently, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected blocking the appellate court’s decision. Soon after, came the Seminoles’ Nov. 1 announcement, followed by the Nov. 7 launch of online sports betting.

Much legal speculation is that the issue could wind up in front of the United States Supreme Court. When this is all sorted out and sports betting is finally legalized in the Sunshine State, will be your home for the best Florida sportsbook promo codes.



Bill Ordine
Expert Opinion Columnist

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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