A legal challenge to the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s revised compact with Florida halted the market for sports betting in Florida just weeks after it was launched.
The DC Circuit Court overturned the ruling after two years, clearing the way for Hard Rock Digital and the Seminoles to launch again. This could happen as early as this month.
Does Florida sport betting face new challenges?
How far does this ruling extend? This case clears up the path for a new launch, but does not rule on whether or not the compact would have been allowed without constitutional amendment. This issue will be decided by the Florida courts.
It remains to be determined what this means and whether the Seminoles will have a monopoly on betting in Florida. You’ll learn that our guests, Professor Bob Jarvis from Nova Southeastern University, and Jeff Ifrah from Ifrah Law have contrasting opinions on the future.
For example, Professor Jarvis believes that any legal challenge is doomed to failure, as the constitution of California only mentions constitutional amendments regarding casino gambling. He says sports betting does not fall under this category.
Jarvis acknowledges that there could be some delay before the relaunch of sports betting but it will not last as long as they had to wait between 2021-2023. He believes that any obstacle is only delaying what will happen.
Will the Florida case of sports betting impact other States?
Jeff Ifrah is also sceptical that the case will reach the Supreme Court. He’s not sure if the Supreme Court would take it on, at least as “a narrow, geeky issue”.
The judge is not guaranteed to hear any of the challenges that are filed at a local level.
What does this mean to tribes from other states? Texas tribes are watching closely, as it is unlikely that statewide agreements will result. However, Californian tribal groups may be interested. Florida, Texas, and California are, incidentally the largest markets for overseas books.
Ifrah says that it’s unlikely the case will have any impact on California. This case is very Florida-specific and the DC Court only viewed the compact contract as such. He says that there was no attempt made to legalise mobile gambling off-reservation.
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