Florida sports betting stay denied

  • The Seminole Tribe of Florida was denied a stay on sports betting during the appeal process.
  • The Seminoles are appealing Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich’s decision to shut down sports betting in Florida.
  • The stay would have allowed the Hard Rock sports betting app to continue operations during the stay.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida sports betting will be placed on an indefinite hold as the Seminole Tribe of Florida was denied a stay during the appeal process.

The Seminole Tribe and Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. are appealing the ruling of Judge Dabney Friedrich who ruled in favor of a lawsuit challenging the Florida compact that gave the sole authority of retail and online sports betting in the Sunshine State to the Seminoles.

The stay would have allowed Florida sports betting on the Hard Rock app to continue offering odds while the appeal process was ongoing.

Florida Sports Betting Suffers Another Loss

Judge Friedrich rejected the hold on the initial ruling that declared the Florida compact violated federal laws.

The basis for denying the hold was due to the Seminole Tribe not having a likelihood of success in their appeal, leading to the hold being unnecessary.

Judge Friedrich also declared that the tribe failed to show how the court’s decision would lead to irreparable harm to the tribe.

The initial lawsuit was brought on by the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room and the Magic City Casino. The argument specifically challenged the Seminoles’ ability to offer betting lines off of tribal grounds.

“Altogether, over a dozen provisions in IGRA regulate gaming on ‘Indian lands,’ and none regulate gaming in another location,” wrote  Friedrich. “It is equally clear that the (Interior Department) secretary must reject compacts that violate IGRA’s terms.”

Judge Friedrich did, however, explain that the Seminole Tribe could create a new compact with Florida that does not violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

“The state, the tribe, and the secretary can mitigate the effects of this court’s decision by approving a new, lawful compact in short order,” wrote Friedrich. “And finally, the court’s decision did not foreclose other avenues for authorizing online sports betting in Florida, including a citizen’s initiative. Those avenues cut against considering the general costs and benefits of online sports betting in this posture.”

For now, legal sports betting has been placed on hiatus with no indication of when the market will resume operations or how that market will look.

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