Sports Betting Compact With the Seminole Tribe Challenged in Federal Court

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Sports betting is legal in Florida. However, the state’s current compact with the Seminole Tribe has been challenged in a lawsuit. As a result, online sports betting is not expected to return to the state in 2022.

The court case took place in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on December 14, 2022. Both sides presented arguments in front of three judges. In the end, the federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

The Seminole Tribe has appealed the decision. The federal government filed briefs in support of its position. It was argued that the compact gives the tribe adequate representation.

Although the 2021 compact was approved by the state legislature, it was not voted on by the voters. This resulted in a lawsuit by local groups.

Legal experts disagree on whether or not mobile sports betting is legal on off-reservation lands. According to the US Department of Interior, mobile sports betting is not illegal on tribal land.

The Florida State Legislature, however, approved a new compact with the Seminole Tribe. The compact would allow for statewide mobile wagering on Florida sports.

Several interest groups opposed the compact. These groups claimed that the state’s sports betting plan would violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The federal court vacated the 2021 compact, but the case is still in progress. It is unlikely that online sports betting in Florida will return in 2022.

Online sportsbooks are also unavailable in Florida after Hard Rock Interactive shut down its sportsbook app in December.