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Petition Challenges Sports Betting Compact in Florida

Despite legalizing and launching sports betting for a brief period, the activity remains on hold in Florida , at least for the moment. A prime reason for that is the ongoing legal battle by the state’s casinos with a contract inked by Gov. Ron DeSantis with the Seminole Tribe of Florida . Casinos alleged that the gambling compact was in violation of federal law.



Now, the latest part of the ongoing legal saga involves a petition filed by West Flagler Associates in the Florida Supreme Court . The petition, filed Monday, alleges that the gambling compact requires changes to the state’s constitution. This is because currently, tribal operators cannot offer gaming services outside of tribal lands.



Moreover, the petition explained that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is applicable for gaming activities offered exclusively “on Indian lands.” The legal document also claimed that the gambling compact signed in 2021 granted the Tribe a “ monopoly to conduct off-reservation sports betting throughout the state of Florida without voter approval as required.”



Additionally, the petition reiterates West Flagler’s position that the Governor exceeded his authority when signing the gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe that ultimately granted it exclusive rights for in-person and online sports betting throughout the entire state .




“ The 2021 Compact and Implementing Law are a clear expansion of casino gambling in Florida without a voter-approved constitutional amendment by citizens’ initiative, as required by Article X, Section 30. In so doing, the Respondents have exceeded their authority in direct violation of the Florida Constitution, “
reads the recently filed petition with the Florida Supreme Court



Legal Hurdle Continues



The ongoing legal battle continues to impact sports betting in the state which is currently on hold . Earlier this year, in June, the casinos in the state lost their federal case before a three-judge panel. Then, in August, West Flagler hinted at plans for an en banc hearing of its case . This process is different than a standard hearing or rehearing as it is before a majority of active service judges rather than the standard three-judge panel.



In 2021, Florida legalized sports betting. Thanks to the gambling compact that is currently involved in the legal hurdle, the state launched legal sports betting on November 1, 2021 . Residents of Florida did not have a chance to enjoy sports betting for long as on December 4, 2021 , a court ruled that the gambling compact was in violation of federal law. As a result, legal sports betting was put on hold while the legal battle continues .

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