More time needed
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is requesting an extension from the state‘s Supreme Court to respond in a case seeking to overturn the sports betting monopoly granted to the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2021.
requesting a 30-day extension to craft a response
The court had ordered DeSantis to respond by November 1 regarding Hard Rock Bet, but attorneys for the governor and state leaders are requesting a 30-day extension to craft a response. At question is whether DeSantis and the Department of Interior (DOI) exceeded their powers by validating the compact.
In the case, West Flagler Associates (WFA) is asking the Florida Supreme Court to invalidate a gaming compact that was “deemed approved” by the DOI and signed by the governor in 2021.
The request from DeSantis comes three days after a local anti-gambling group, No Casinos Inc., filed its own brief in support of the WFA.
The 30-year deal paved the way for the tribe to launch online and retail betting. Through the deal, it would give the Seminoles control of sports betting, as well as authorization to offer craps and roulette at their land-based casinos.
Where is an online bet actually made?
The order is the latest move in a case that has been going on for nearly three years.
Not even a month after the tribe launched its sportsbook on November 1, 2021, a Florida federal judge deemed the compact illegal and that it was in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which says all state-sanctioned gambling needs to take place on tribal land.
all processed sports bets would go through a server on tribal property
At the time of the ruling in 2021, Florida officials said that all processed sports bets would go through a server on tribal property. Judge Dabney Friedrich argued that this was “fiction.” This appears to be a sticking point as opponents argue that an online sports bet takes place wherever the bet is placed, rather than where the server is located.
If bets take place outside the Seminole reservation, that would require voter approval and a constitutional amendment.
A long battle
In June, a three-court judge panel approved in favor of the tribe, agreeing that federal gaming laws allow the Florida state government to enter into a 30-year compact.
Yet earlier this month, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stayed a lower court ruling allowing the Seminole Tribe of Florida to launch its Hard Rock Bet sports betting platform. Justice Roberts gave the DOI until October 18 to submit a response and to determine the next steps regarding the stay.
According to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, WFA would only “agree only to a seven-day extension.”
However, DeSantis‘ attorneys note that No Casinos Inc. received a ten-day extension to file its amicus brief and that the court previously said that the government may seek an extension as well.