Miami On line casino Sues to Block Seminoles Sports activities Betting Deal


The proprietor of Miami-based Magic Metropolis On line casino has challenged the brand new playing compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe in federal court docket, arguing that the deal’s sports activities betting element is predicated on “authorized fiction” that breaches a slew of federal legal guidelines.

Havenick household’s West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Company – also called Southwest Parimutuels – on Friday filed its lawsuit within the US District Court docket for the Northern District of Florida, alleging that the settlement that principally authorizes sports activities betting off tribal lands throughout the state violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Southwest Parimutuels is among the state’s oldest parimutuel firms. It at the moment owns and operates Magic Metropolis On line casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room. The corporate requested the court docket to enjoin the implementation of athletic playing within the state beneath the newly penned compact.

In late April, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe signed a brand new playing compact to place an finish to greater than 5 years of extended negotiations and failed makes an attempt to achieve a brand new deal. Amongst different issues, the brand new settlement paves the best way for the tribe to turn out to be Florida’s sports activities betting hub.

Beneath the phrases of the deal, the tribe will be capable to function bodily sportsbooks at its playing venues and to additionally present digital betting companies through its newly established Exhausting Rock Digital platform.

The settlement additionally permits for Florida parimutuels to contract with the Seminoles and provide sports activities betting merchandise. They are going to be allowed to hold 60% of the proceeds from every wager taken. The tribe will obtain the remaining 40%.

Legality of Off Reservation Betting

Beneath a provision within the new compact, all betting servers will probably be situated on reservation land and each wager will probably be deemed to have been positioned on tribal land due to the placement of the server.

Isadore Havenick, VP for Public Affairs for Southwest Parimutuels, mentioned that whereas the corporate totally helps Gov. DeSantis and his efforts to safe a brand new tribal playing compact, their current lawsuit “focuses on a really slender side of the compact – the legality of off reservation and on-line sports activities wagering.”

At difficulty is specifically the supply within the settlement that claims bets will probably be positioned on reservation land. In keeping with the not too long ago filed lawsuit, that association contradicts IGRA in addition to the Wire Act and the Illegal Web Playing Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The 67-page grievance reads that “opposite to the authorized fiction created by the 2021 Compact and Implementing Legislation, a wager is positioned each the place the bettor and the on line casino are every situated.”

Southwest Parimutuels expressed considerations that it’s going to “lose hundreds of thousands in income” due to the aggressive benefit the contested provision provides to the Seminoles as Florida residents will be capable to gamble from the consolation of their properties.

The brand new settlement is awaiting federal approval from the US Division of the Inside. The company has 45 days to assessment the compact after it was submitted. It’s understood that the deal was mailed to DOI on June 3. Nevertheless, in accordance with the lawsuit, it was formally offered to the company on June 21.

It also needs to be famous that the compact may face extra challenges resulting from a constitutional modification handed by state voters in November 2018, beneath which it’s specifically Florida residents which have the ultimate say on any playing growth proposals.

The brand new deal was designed to avoid the modification by stating that sports activities betting would solely happen on reservation land, however it may nonetheless be contested.

As well as, the compact faces additional menace from a proposed constitutional modification for the 2022 poll that’s spearheaded by main sports activities betting operators FanDuel and DraftKings and would authorize on-line sports activities betting in any respect Florida parimutuels, skilled sports activities venues, in addition to anyplace within the state through cellular platforms.

Supply: Magic Metropolis On line casino homeowners sue to invalidate Seminole Tribe’s sports activities betting deal, Miami Herald, July 5, 2021

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