Bloqueio de apostas esportivas por celular na Flórida continua

Athletes compete in every major professional sports league, not to mention college football, but if you want to place a sports bet on a game in Florida, you still have to show up in person at one of the casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

This is because US Chief Justice John Roberts has blocked remote sports betting in Florida, via cell phones or computers, for now.

In June, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that a federal law, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), allowing the Seminole tribe to accept remote sports bets placed through devices located outside of their reservations in the area from Hollywood and Tampa, as long as they were routed through servers on tribal lands.

However, the same court delayed the implementation of its decision to allow an appeal to the Supreme Court. Roberts’ order last week merely continues the injunction pending review by the full Court.

“They do this when they file a request for a stay and they just want to keep everything status quo until the rest of the court has a chance to review the matter,” said Barry Richard, the tribe’s attorney.

IGRA allows tribes to offer gambling on their sovereign lands.

One agreement, the so-called Seminole Gaming Compact, reached in 2021 between Governor Ron DeSantis and the tribe, and ratified by the Legislature, allows for a “hub-and-spoke” arrangement for computer sports betting filtered through servers on Indian lands.

The agreement resolved years of conflict over the terms of a previous pact to allow the tribe to once again pay the state a portion of its gambling profits.

The state projected revenues of $2.5 billion during the first five years and $6 billion by 2030.

Appeal against sports betting blocking

West Flagler Associates Ltd. and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., respectively a casino and poker room operator, filed the lawsuit that resulted in an appeal.

These tribe competitors prevailed in the lower court — forcing the tribe to shut down the remote sports betting they had briefly offered before that — but lost before the D.C. Circuit.

These parties then appealed to the Supreme Court. The named defendant is Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

The department declined to comment.

The tribe-controlled Hard Rock casino operation has not yet responded to comments.

“To be sure, an IGRA gaming compact can legally authorize a tribe to hold games only on its own lands. But at the same time, IGRA does not prohibit a gaming compact – which is, at heart, an agreement between a tribe and a state – from discussing other topics, including those governing activities outside of Indian lands,” the court ruled. appeals.

“The District Court erred in viewing the compact as having a legal effect that it does not have (and cannot have), namely, independently authorizing bets by customers located outside the tribe’s lands. Instead, the compact itself only authorizes gambling that takes place on Tribe lands; in this aspect it satisfied IGRA”, he continued.

“Whether it is legal for a patron to place bets on non-tribal lands in Florida may be a question for the courts of that state, but it is not the subject of this litigation and is not for us to decide,” it continues.

Imminent presentation

Neither party has filed briefs with the justices yet, Richard noted. The tribe is still evaluating whether to file an amicus curiae brief, he said.

The Court attracts between 7,000 and 8,000 petitions to hear cases every year and agrees to hear perhaps 80, according to Statista, an online data platform.

During its last term, the court issued rulings in 58 cases.

The anti-gambling organization No Casinos argues that, supported by the 3rd Amendment to the Florida Constitution, approved by 71.5% of voters in 2018, the pact must be submitted to voters for approval.

But this change does not cover Seminoles, a sovereign nation.