Florida: Supreme Court to consider whether online betting off reservations falls under Tribal jurisdiction

March 11, 2024
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Two firms maintain that the current gaming compact creates a monopoly.

The US Supreme Court will soon determine whether Tribal gaming organizations can accept mobile bets from players outside of their territory and still consider that these bets are placed on Tribal land, according to an Associated Press report.

More specifically, the court will decide if “online wagers on the outcome of sporting events legally on tribal land, when really only the computer servers are located there, accepting bets made using mobile phones and computers from anywhere in Florida.”

A compact that was signed three years ago between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida allows the Tribe to have exclusive casino and sports betting operating rights on its reservations.

However, two pari-mutuel firms, West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation, say the compact “gives the tribe a sports gambling monopoly,” the report said. Both firms operate racetracks in Florida.

Florida voters passed a motion to amend the state’s constitution to make room for expanded gambling statewide.

Both firms noted that the recent compact “give the state a backdoor” to not follow through with expanded gambling requirements.

The firms’attorneys further discussed this with the Associated Press by saying, “Through this artifice, the Compact transparently attempts to get around the Florida Constitution.

“The whole point of the Compact is to provide a hook for dodging Florida’s constitutional requirement of a popular referendum to approve off-reservation sports betting.”

In other state news, a bill that would allocate millions of gambling revenue dollars has made its way to the governor’s desk.

The bill would allow an annual amount of at least $450m to fund environmental projects around the state.

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