Seminole Tribe and Florida deal faces legal uncertainties

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Around two weeks ago the two agreed a sports betting deal, but now legal questions have been raised

Not long ago Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida reached an agreement that would bring sports betting to Florida worth around $2.5bn within five years. 

However, frustratingly for both parties, the deal faces a legal hurdle that has halted the process.  

It was always going to be up to state lawmakers to sign off on the agreement and bring everything across the finish line. This is referred to as a compact.

However, some believe that the compact with the Seminole Tribe may conflict with federal law. Hallandale Beach lawyer Daniel Wallach believes that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act could pose a problem.

The act would govern what activities tribes can engage in and states that tribes can only conduct some gambling activities, but they must be on tribal lands.

Therefore, Wallach says that the federal law means courts have accepted that the gambling activities must remain on tribal lands, which poses a problem for Florida. 

Since the agreement may mean gambling activities from the Seminole Tribe will be operated off tribal lands.

Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming, believes that the agreement in the compact is fine and doesn’t interfere with the regulatory act.

Speaking to the News Service of Florida, Allen said: “It’s our feeling, and we certainly have talked to the Department of the Interior, as long as the servers are on sovereign land, we are within the boundaries of the law. I certainly recognize that there are many companies that are trying to derail this.”

Now it is up to the parties involved and courts to rule whether the operations will remain on tribal lands or not. The compact will be reviewed when lawmakers return to the capitol in the week of 17 May.

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