Florida sports betting lawsuit moves to state’s Supreme Court

September 27, 2023
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The plaintiffs claim allowing sports wagering violates a state constitutional amendment.

The legal battle on whether to allow sports betting in Florida has moved up to the state’s Supreme Court, according to a local ClickOrlando.com news report.

West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation recently submitted a petition to the Florida court to stop the Seminole Tribe from “implementing online sports betting” as part of its compact with the state.

These two groups sued state Governor Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, claiming that DeSantis “exceeded his authority by agreeing to the compact” and that it “violates a 2018 constitutional amendment approved by voters.”

The current law on the books states that “any expansion of gambling in the state must be done by constitutional amendment, except on tribal land,” according to the local report.

The plaintiffs attempted to bring the matter before the federal courts to stop the compact and claimed that “US Interior Secretary Deborah Haaland shouldn’t have signed off on the compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” the local report said. During the summer, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the US Interior Secretary and said she “acted appropriately.”

Following the ruling, the plaintiffs requested the federal appeals court issue a stay to give them time to escalate the case of the US Supreme Court.

However, DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe have pushed back, stating that the recent compact falls in line with the constitutional amendment because “servers that would handle the online sports betting were going to be housed on tribal land.”

The Seminole Tribe of Florida currently owns and operates the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The tribe acquired the Hard Rock brand in 2007. Since Hard Rock’s founding, the brand has globally expanded to include more than 250 locations.

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