The suit affirmed that federal laws are violated within this plan as the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not allow bets to be placed on tribal lands
A federal lawsuit has been put forward, challenging the newly approved plan allowing Seminole Tribe to operate sports betting in Florida in a bid to stop the process.
Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida filed the lawsuit agreeing with the sports-betting plan passed in May on Friday.
This plan will see wagerers place bets online through computer servers on tribal properties. With the passing of this deal, the Seminole tribe would serve as a hub for sports betting which in the past was illegal in Florida.
The suit affirmed that federal laws are violated within this plan as the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not allow bets to be placed on tribal lands.
The lawsuit stated “In an effort to circumvent this clear prohibition in the state Constitution, the 2021 compact and implementing law provide that a person sitting on her poolside lounge chair or his couch at home placing a sports bet through the tribe is ‘deemed’ not to be placing a bet that is otherwise illegal in the state,
The 2021 compact unlawfully deems the bet to be placed on the tribe’s reservation, where the servers will be located. However, this is nothing more than a legal fiction belied by the fact that sports betting is still taking place outside the tribe’s reservations in a state where sports betting remains illegal.”
The focus was particularly on sports betting with it stating that the tribe had to pay $2.5 billion to Florida over five years as compensation for the control over the online sports betting market with the tribe receiving various other gains such as the capacity to provide roulette and craps at its casinos.
The part focusing on sports betting is still awaiting approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior which oversees tribal gaming in the country. Back in May House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor told reporters “Obviously, having this kind of agreement, you’re navigating kind of the icebergs of legal hurdles,
You know, reasonable people disagree. Some people have looked at it and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think it’s gonna make it.’ I’ve looked at it. I think it will. The reality is that’s going to be resolved by a court,” indicating that they were already expecting legal challenges.
The plaintiffs cite that the Indian Gaming Compact violates three laws: (1) the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA); (2) the Wire Act of 1961 (Wire Act); and the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
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