Online sports betting could soon be available in the Sunshine State.

By AJ Johnson

Here is the latest on the Florida Sports Betting saga.

Florida sports betting

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a green light to a $2 billion gambling deal between Florida and the state’s Seminole Tribe.

The agreement spans over the next five years and will generate revenues of over $2 Billion during that time.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. signed the gambling compact back in 2021.

The agreement gave the Seminole Tribe permission to add Vegas-style games at its casinos and full exclusive control of online sports betting in the state.

Several pari-mutuel owners sued, notably West Flagler Associates (Magic City Casino in Miami) and in the federal complaint, the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday sided with the state and tribe.

It lifted a “stay” on an appeal court ruling that gave the green light to the tribe’s sports betting plan.

If and how long the case continues is not known but likely.

A spokesperson for the tribe said “The denial of the stay by the U.S. Supreme Court is very good news. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is heartened by this decision.”

The U.S. Supreme Court case is one of two lawsuits aimed at blocking the Seminole Tribe’s ability to offer sports betting inFlorida allowing gamblers to place sports bets on their phone.

At the heart of the federal and state cases is the argument that the compact is illegal under the federal “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act” because it permits gambling only on tribal lands.

The group “No Casinos,” which backed a 2018 amendment giving voters the power to approve or reject expanded gambling, has just filed a brief with the state Supreme Court, that concludes, “Until and unless the voters authorize state-wide sports betting, this Court has the discretionary power and, we think, the duty to invalidate the (compact).”

“And this amendment said something that gave you and me rights to decide these things that should not be ignored by the politicians either in Tallahassee or in Washington,” John Sowinski of No Casinos said. 

Because the state case could take several years to resolve, the question of when and if sports betting will launch in Florida.

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