September 1, 2021 Sports Betting, Tribal, Legal

Seminole Tribe enters legal proceedings over sports betting lawsuit

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The Florida tribe is attempting to dismiss the lawsuit headed by owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room.

On Tuesday, the Seminole Tribe of Florida filed court documents that reveal the group’s intent to intervene in a lawsuit filed by two pari-mutuel facilities. The tribe argues that this lawsuit should be dismissed.  

This comes as a response to a suit filed by the owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida on July 2.  

This suit argues that the state’s plan for legalized sports betting, which would see the Seminole Tribe operate the state’s sportsbook market, violates federal law.  

If sports betting were to be launched in this way, players throughout the state could place bets online, with servers being run from tribal land. This is the casino’s main grievance about the tribe running sports betting, with the two claiming the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act doesn’t authorize bets to be placed off tribal lands.  

In the tribe’s motion to dismiss, it said: “The tribe is projected to realize profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars from sports betting over the life of the 2021 compact and those profits would be lost if the challenged provisions are invalidated.” 

The lawsuit against the structure of the sports betting regulations also argues that the plan is an effort to circumvent a 2018 state constitutional amendment that requires democratic approval for gambling expansions.  

On top of their lawsuits to have the sports betting regulations for the state changed, the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room have filed a separate case in Washington, DC, against the US department of the interior and interior secretary Deb Haaland (pictured), an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe. 

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