Updated December 6, 2023By Chris Boline
For regular readers of this space, the ongoing sports betting fight between West Flagler Associates/Bonita-Myers Corp. and the Seminole Tribe seems to be running low on time for the former party. Per a recent article from CBS, as they wage a two-front fight against the Seminoles offering sports betting statewide, the two pari-mutuel companies are seeking more time to make their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Late last month, the two organizations asked Chief John Roberts to extend the deadline for filing a petition and said the U.S. Supreme Court case could be affected by a separate sports betting challenge filed at the Florida Supreme Court.
In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming from the Sunshine State and more notes about Florida wagering.
West Flagler lawsuit has been dragging on for months
Per the same article from CBS, the two cases involve different legal issues and different defendants. However, the pari-mutuel companies are trying to use at least one of the challenges to block sports betting that was included in a 2021 gambling deal between the state and the tribe. Noted again in the article, West Flagler and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp. want the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case filed against the U.S. Department of the Interior over whether the sports betting part of the deal violated a federal law known as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) because it authorizes gambling off tribal lands.
Moreover, there is of course some history here. As noted in previous articles, the Department of the Interior, which oversees Indian gaming, allowed the gambling deal, known as a compact, to move forward. A panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia backed the department in June. Meanwhile, the companies have filed a case at the Florida Supreme Court contending that allowing the tribe to offer online sports betting statewide violates a 2018 constitutional amendment that required voter approval of casino gambling.
The new deadline being sought is two months away
As noted in the same article, in the request filed to Roberts, lawyers for West Flagler and Bonita Fort-Myer Corp. sought to push back a deadline from Dec. 11 to Feb. 9 for filing a petition. This is at least in part because of the Florida Supreme Court case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 25 rejected a request by the pari-mutuel companies to issue a stay of the appeals-court ruling while they prepared a petition. After the decision, the tribe announced on Nov. 1 that it would allow sports betting at its casinos in December. Moreover, it went further on Nov. 7 by saying it would also take online sports bets from a limited group of gamblers.
Per the article, the key to the legal battles is part of the deal that allows gamblers to place mobile sports wagers anywhere in the state, with bets handled by computers on tribal property. The deal said bets “using a mobile app or other electronic device, shall be deemed exclusively conducted by the tribe.” The pari-mutuel companies, who say they will be harmed financially by the tribe being able to offer online sports betting, contend that the deal was structured to get around the 2018 constitutional amendment requiring voter approval of casino gambling – an argument they included in Monday’s request to Roberts.
Other thoughts and notes about Florida betting
Once you are ready to go and up to speed on the latest gaming news coming from the state of Florida, make sure to check out the fantastic variety of resources at SBS. Of course, for even more insights on the topic at hand, our Florida sports betting guide has your back with all the latest happenings from the Sunshine State. Conversely, if you are uncertain about which payment options are the best for you, then the payment methods rundown is a must-read resource for all of your deposits and withdrawals. Finally, for those looking to maximize their bets, our best bonus betting sites breakdown goes over a bunch of great info. This includes a catalog of the latest welcome bonus offers available to you.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
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