US Supreme Court Denies Challenge to Seminole/Florida Online Sports Betting Compact

  • Plaintiffs have argued that online sports betting is not conducted on tribal land
  • The Seminole Tribe contends that the servers are on their land, so that counts
  • Hard Rock Bet launched in November 2023, has generated $120m for the state in 2024
Cheerleader waving flag at Florida State football game
The US Supreme Court denied a petition to challenge the online sports betting compact between Florida and Seminole Tribe. [Image:]

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has won big again in its legal battle for control of sports betting in the Sunshine State. On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied the petition of West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., which challenged the compact between the tribe and the state that gave the Seminole exclusive rights to sports betting in Florida.

because the sports betting servers are themselves on tribal land, no laws have been violated

The plaintiffs argued against the notion that online sports bets could be placed from anywhere in the state when state law requires that gambling be conducted on tribal land. They cited the 2018 amendment to the Florida Constitution that requires citizen approval to expand gambling beyond tribal land. The Seminole Tribe and the state contend that because the sports betting servers are themselves on tribal land, no laws have been violated.

The two pari-mutuel companies sued US Department of the Interior Deb Haaland, claiming that she should not have approved the compact because it violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and gives the Seminoles an ill-gained monopoly on Florida online sports betting.

Legal attempts to block the compact had been successful for two years before the tribe finally launched Hard Rock Bet in November 2023. So far this year, the state has benefited to the tune of $120m from online sports betting. According to the Associated Press, state economists predict that by the end of the decade, the state’s share of tribal gambling revenue could reach $4.4bn.

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