The 2021 Gaming Compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe

  • The 2021 Gaming Compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe is challenged by West Flagler Associates as violation of the Florida Constitution.
  • West Flagler filed the constitutional challenge on Monday night.
  • The future of Florida sports betting is in jeopardy if the compact indeed violates the Florida Constitution.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – West Flagler Associates filed a constitutional challenge with the Florida Supreme Court against Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida legislature. The gambling entity claims online sports betting language included in the 2021 gaming compact violates the Florida Constitution.

West Flagler’s action towards the Florida Constitution further delays a potential legal Florida sports betting relaunch. Questioning towards violation of Florida’s constitution makes it far too risky for Hard Rock Bet to launch until the issue is resolved.

Is The 2021 Gaming Compact Unconstitutional?

West Flagler’s preliminary statement takes direct action to Ron DeSantis and his legal sports betting partnership with the Seminole Tribe through a gaming compact.

“In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 3 adding Article X, Section 30 to the Florida Constitution. Its purpose was to strictly limit the power of the legislature to expand casino gambling in Florida by mandating that the only means to do so is through a constitutional amendment authorizing such gambling.”

West Flagler’s claims that Ron DeSantis exceeded his authority by signing the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe in 2021. The recent overturned ban against the compact is because judges found that it doesn’t violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), not the state’s constitution.

West Flagler Targeting Constitutional Violation

Online sports betting in Florida would be deemed illegal under state and federal law if the court finds the compact’s sports betting statutes in violation of Amendment 3. Based on language included in West Flagler’s constitutional challenge, West Flagler has a case.

“The 2021 Compact and Implementing Law are a clear expansion of casino gambling in Florida without a voter-approved constitutional amendment by citizen’s initiative, as required by Article X, Section 30. In doing so, the Respondents have exceeded their authority in direct violation of the Florida Constitution.

Gaming law expert Daniel Wallach included full detail of West Flagler’s constitutional challenge in his Twitter thread that notes key sections of the 64-page filing.

The constitutional challenge represents the biggest threat to legal online sportsbooks returning to Florida.

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