October 24, 2023 3 min read


Feds Call For Progress on Florida Sports Betting Ruling

If the legal battle is finally cleared, residents in Florida will once again benefit from mobile sports wagering

The legal battle in Florida by the pari-mutuel companies, West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp, over the exclusive sports betting compact of the Seminole Tribe of Florida continues. In the latest part of the legal saga, US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar submitted a 29-page response last week which comes after a decision by Chief Justice John Roberts submitted on October 12, 2023. Roberts’ decision at the time temporarily stopped a ruling from the Court of Appeals that was likely to clear the path for sports wagering in the state.

Prelogar explained that it wasn’t likely for the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the appeals court. Moreover, the US Solicitor General rejected the arguments of the pari-mutuel companies and confirmed that the appeals court “correctly determined that IGRA regulates gaming activity on Indian lands, but nowhere else,” as announced by 6 South Florida.

According to Prelogar, the signed gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida was “consistent” with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). She added that the regulation of gambling activities that are taking place on Tribal lands must fall under the Act. However, Prelogar said that IGRA doesn’t restrict gaming compacts that are inked between the tribe and the state for provisions of gaming activities conducted on non-tribal lands.

But there is no apparent reason why a tribal-state compact that authorizes gaming activities on Indian lands under IGRA cannot also include provisions that concern the state’s (independent and non-IGRA) authorization to conduct directly related gaming activities in the state on non-Indian lands, even though IGRA and the tribal-state compact would not independently authorize those related activities,

explained US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar

In 2021, lawmakers in Florida greenlighted a deal between the Seminole Tribe and Gov. Ron DeSantis, effectively clearing the path for legal sports wagering. That deal included a provision for exclusive rights for mobile wagering which immediately captured the attention of the pari-mutuel companies, resulting in a lawsuit and the temporary suspension of the activity.

As a result, the companies engaged in a legal battle, claiming that the gaming compact was in violation of the IGRA. At the time, they claimed that the compact involved gambling activities outside of Tribal lands, which was in breach of the Act.

Separately, the pari-mutuel companies filed a lawsuit with the Florida Supreme Court, claiming that the gaming compact was in breach of a constitutional amendment in the state from 2018. Addressing that concern, Prelogar explained: “If the Florida Supreme Court concludes that the Florida Legislature’s authorization of the placement of wagers outside Indian lands is not permissible under the Florida Constitution, that would afford applicants the relief they seek.”

Sports betting is widely spread across the US already. If the legal battle continues to postpone the introduction of legal wagering, potentially hundreds of millions might be at stake for the Seminole Tribe.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *