Judge denies staying in Florida sports betting case

Judge denies staying in Florida sports betting case

Tallahassee Florida. A federal judge late Wednesday refused to suspend a ruling rejecting a deal that would give the Seminole tribe control of online sports betting in Florida.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich issued a five-page order denying Tribe’s request to stay a ruling on Monday in which Friedrich said the deal violated federal law. The tribe requested the stay because it is appealing the ruling on Monday.

Friedrich rejected the moratorium, writing, in part, that a moratorium on appeal was an “exceptional remedy” and that the tribe did not pass the legal tests to justify it. Among other things, she wrote, the tribe “did not show a high probability of success on the merits” and that it “failed to show that this court decision would cause it irreparable harm.”

The tribe received control of sports betting as part of an agreement, known as the pact, that was signed this spring by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Seminole Chief Marcellus Osceola Jr. and approved by the legislature during a special May session. The US Department of the Interior, which oversees Indian gambling cases, signed the deal in August.


But the owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and the Bonita Springs Poker Room in southwest Florida, two older equivalent facilities, have sued US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and her agency alleging that the sports betting scheme violated a federal law known as the Gaming Regulation Act. Indian. This act, known as IGRA, creates a framework for gambling activity on tribal lands.

Friedrich’s ruling on Monday focused on gamblers’ ability to bet online sports from across the state, with bets running via computer servers on tribal property. She said it would violate federal law because the stakes would be placed on tribal property.

Altogether, more than a dozen clauses in IGRA regulate games on ‘Indian soil,’ none of which regulate play elsewhere,” the Washington, D.C. judge wrote. “It is also clear that the Minister (of the Ministry of the Interior) must reject charters that violate the terms of the IGRA.”


Although the charter considers sports betting to take place on the servers of the tribe, “this court cannot accept this fantasy,” Friedrich wrote.

The tribe quickly filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and applied to Friedrich for a stay of its ruling. The tribe began offering online sports betting this month and cited the “public interest” in seeking accommodation.

“The 2021 agreement has been approved by the Governor of Florida, the Florida Legislature, and the (Interior) Department,” the proposal reads. “The public interest weighs in favor of maintaining the status quo, which is to allow continued activity approved by federal, state, and tribal law pending the outcome of the tribe’s appeal.”

Under a 30-year agreement, the Seminoles agreed to pay the state at least $2.5 billion over the first five years in exchange for controlling sports betting and allowing them to add craps and roulette to the tribe’s casino operations. The residency application said the tribe paid $37.5 million to the state in October and another $37.5 million in November.


“If the tribe is not allowed to operate under the 2021 agreement, the state will lose tens of millions per month in revenue sharing, and associated jobs may be lost,” the stay proposal reads. “The tribe, the state, and the public will suffer serious economic and employment consequences.”

But in rejecting the proposal, Friedrich wrote that “the state, tribe, and minister could mitigate the effects of this court’s decision to approve a new legal charter in a short time. Finally, the court’s decision did not preclude other avenues for licensing online sports betting in Florida, including the Citizen Initiative These avenues are at odds with taking into account the general costs and benefits of online sports betting in this situation.”

After Frederick’s initial ruling, the tribe’s own Hard Rock app was still accepting bets on Tuesday.

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