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Latest on Sports Betting in Florida

When Florida sports betting was passed, it was apparent there would be legal issues raised by numerous parties. There were new legal filings made on Tuesday in the state which will delay the sports wagering launch in the state.

The latest issues over Florida sports betting

Governor DeSantis attempted to dismiss the latest legal battle over Florida sports betting between operators and the Seminole tribe. The West Flager Associates law firm responded to DeSantis and dismissed his attempt to intervene in the court case.

The state legislature favors the tribe having a sports betting monopoly because of the financial agreement with the Seminoles. If the judge grants West Flager’s claim, it will stall the Seminole tribe from getting involved in the case.

The goal for the tribe was to launch sports betting at some point in the fall. The legal actions were filed in the Northern District Florida Federal Court and the District of Columbia this week. This should be the final step before the district court hears the case. However, the ruling will not matter as it will be appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

This is a case that has the potential to land in the Supreme Court because of its magnitude. Florida would have one of the largest sports betting economies in the nation, so operators do not want the Seminole tribe to have a monopoly.

West Flager Associates argues that the tribal compact between DeSantis and the Seminoles was beyond the governor’s power to create. They are also claiming that off-reservation gaming violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

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What happens next?

There is little indication or precedent on what will happen in this case. Legal sports betting is still young in the United States, and this is another reason the Supreme Court may take this case. The plaintiffs are saying that DeSantis is the person who should be sued for breaking federal law.

Additionally, there is a problem with the fantasy sports portion of the compact. The legislature rejected the provision in the compact for the tribe to have a fantasy sports monopoly. However, this is a part of the compact that cannot be pushed aside, forcing DeSantis to continue negotiations.

The Seminole tribe has intervened in the case with a variety of arguments, but West Flager has stated they should not have this right. They listed three reasons in their dismissal.

“The Tribe relies on conclusory, unverified assertions, and its asserted sovereign status does not entitle it to the relief it seeks.  The Governor and Secretary Brown will adequately represent the Tribe’s interest. The limited intervention would be “‘futile.’”

All the motions presented in the case were expected because neither party was going down in this case without a fight. These proposals have set the stage for the upcoming court case and the inevitable appeal.

This will likely be finalized by the end of the year unless the case lands in Washington at the Supreme Court. Sports betting is coming to Florida, but the format is questionable with the legal situation in the state.

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