Another Lawsuit Attempts to Stop Sports Betting in Florida

Another Lawsuit Attempts to Stop Sports Betting in Florida
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Another federal lawsuit is attempting to stop sports betting in Florida from taking place.

Developer Armando Codina and auto retailer Norman Braman are backing the lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia on Monday.

The suit alleges the federal government “improperly allowed the state of Florida to circumvent” the state’s constitution by allowing the gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It also notes it illegally authorized sports betting off the reservation, stating that it is a violation of federal law.

What’s In The Suit

The lawsuit also asserts the Florida Legislature violated federal Indian gaming law and the federal Wire Act since it authorized gambling outside of Indian lands via the internet or interstate payment transmissions where sports betting is not allowed.

Supporters of the lawsuit are asking the court to block the compact because they believe it violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act since tribes would be able to enter partnerships with pari-mutuels who would handle the tribes’ sportsbooks.

Despite the lawsuit, the Tribe announced it doesn’t plan on stopping the Florida gambling expansion process.

“The Seminole Tribe and Seminole Gaming continue to move forward with hiring and training hundreds of new team members for the authorized launch of sports betting, craps and roulette – games now legal in Florida,’’ the Tribe said in a statement on Monday. “The new Gaming Compact was negotiated by the Seminole Tribe and the Governor of Florida, as spelled out in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Florida Legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new Gaming Compact, which was then approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It has the support of two-thirds of Floridians. It is law.”

Florida Online Sports Betting Hearing

A hearing on online sports betting in Florida will take place in the D.C. Federal Court at 10 a.m. ET on Nov. 5.

Online sports betting in the state was set to launch on Oct. 15 before being challenged in federal court by two commercial gaming operations in Florida. Those opposed believe the new compact will harm their businesses and feel that it violates the law.

Florida pari-mutuel operators, West Flagler Associates and the Bonita Springs Poker Room, filed the lawsuit, stating they are concerned about losing customers to the new sports betting market.

“It is objectively plausible that patrons who bet on pari-mutuel sports, poker, or slots will be attracted to sports betting,” the court document stated.

The plaintiffs also are worried if customers no longer have to travel to the three casinos closest to their facilities to place a sports bet, they will lose business with players utilizing the online sports betting market.

Now, with the hearing scheduled for Nov. 5, the earliest online sports betting in Florida can likely launch is Nov. 15, according to the Seminole Tribe.