October 26, 2023 3 min read


Supreme Court Clears Online Sports Betting in Florida Amid Legal Battles

The ruling, which came on October 25, marks a significant development in a long-standing legal battle between the tribe and Florida's pari-mutuel companies

In a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court has removed a temporary hold on the Seminole Tribe of Florida‘s plan to introduce online sports betting across the state. 

The controversy began in 2021 when the Seminole Tribe inked a deal with the state of Florida allowing them to offer online sports betting. However, this move was met with fierce opposition from West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., who argued that the compact violated federal Indian gaming laws.

A federal judge initially sided with the companies, shutting down the Tribe’s sports betting operations. However, a federal appeals court reversed this decision in June 2023, enabling the Seminole Tribe to proceed. The recent Supreme Court ruling has further bolstered the Tribe’s position, paving the way for online sports betting to potentially become a reality in Florida, reported The Miami Herald.

While the Supreme Court’s decision is a significant victory for the Seminole Tribe, legal hurdles still remain. The pari-mutuel companies have filed a lawsuit at the Florida Supreme Court, alleging that the sports-betting plan infringes upon a 2018 state constitutional amendment, which mandated voter approval for casino gambling.

Delays Could Further Stall Seminole Tribe’s Online Betting Plans in Florida

Despite the green light from the Supreme Court, experts believe that the road to implementing online sports betting in Florida is not without challenges. Legal analysts like Bob Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, argue that the state-level issues could prolong the process. He predicts that it might take up to three years for the case to be finalized in Florida’s legal system.

In the midst of these legal battles, the Seminole Tribe has refrained from launching its sports betting platform, the Hard Rock Bet mobile application. While they have the legal freedom to proceed, the Tribe remains cautious, considering the potential risks associated with prematurely rolling out the platform.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has sparked discussions about the broader implications of this case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in a separate statement, raised concerns about the compact’s compatibility with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. He also highlighted issues related to equal protection under the law.At the same time, during the legal battle over the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s exclusive sports betting compact, US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogarsubmitted a response where she stated that the signed gambling compact between the tribe and the state of Florida was consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and that IGRA does not restrict gaming compacts for provisions of gaming activities conducted on non-tribal lands.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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