Florida Sports Betting

Florida Sports Betting: Important Updates

Andy Brown
Published: Nov 30, 2021 Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Florida sports betting is about to get abolished soon. The federal court vacated the new compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state on Monday, judging it in violation of the IGRA – Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. 

The West Flagler Associates vs. Haaland verdict is something you should know. It states how the IGRA traverses online gambling usually. It could be used in any future legal clashes at places where the state authorizes online gambling, including casinos, poker, and sports betting. 

Now, the only sports betting app that still remains online in Florida is the Hard Rock Sportsbook. The compact was approved by the Department of the Interior, which is looking forward to appealing the decision and plea stay of the federal court’s opinion. If the court grants the request, the sports betting can continue to run its operation until the appeal procedure runs its course. Until the decision gets overturned, anyway, Florida will get back at square one. 

The Bettor’s Location Is Important 

The entire opinion of judge Dabney Friedrich is complex. However, the most crucial precedent part is his rejection of the compact’s assertions on how the bet’s location is usually decided. 

Florida’s disagreement revolved around the fact that IGRA was sufficient to enable it to authorize sports betting statewide. This put together the idea of the irrelevance of the bettor’s location as the bet takes place on the ‘tribal land’ if that’s the place where the server receives and processes the bet. 

Florida went that route as it is one of those states with the constitutional prohibition on gambling. Referendums from voters become crucial whenever a new gambling law is about to pass. However, the sovereignty of the tribe implies that they’re subject to only federal law but not state law. So, lawmakers were expecting that a unique interpretation of the IGRA could possibly authorize online sports betting via a compact only. Surprisingly, the federal courts objected to this logic. 

Conclusively, the federal government has an endowed interest in maintaining the bettor’s location relevance. 

Is It Going To Impact Other States? 

Currently, only two states have legal online casinos run by the tribal gaming company – Connecticut and Michigan. 

The Michigan online casino industry has nothing to worry about. Both commercial and tribal casinos in Michigan have market access, and tribal gaming has agreed to be subject to the state regulator’s authority. There are no unlikely challenges here, and everything seems to operate smoothly in accordance with state law. 

In Connecticut, the tribes have snootiness over the entire casino gaming, including online gambling. Connecticut online gambling is unlikely to face any challenges. Unlike Florida, Connecticut has passed a state law for authorizing the new gambling forms. It even signed new compacts with the tribes while setting out the terms of a mutual commercial agreement between the tribes and the state. However, the tribe’s exclusivity is a legal concern in Connecticut.

Andy is a skilled recreational gambler for more than 11 years. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. Editor-In-Chief at Gamblerzz.com.
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