Legal challenges await Florida Sports Betting Compact after legal approval
Usually, a governor’s signature is the final step in legalizing sports betting. This is not the case with Florida Sports betting.
Governor Ron DeSantis Soon the invoice will authorize a new contract with the Seminole Indians follow on his desk House approval Wednesday. That followed senate Approval from Tuesday during a special session of the state parliament.
DeSantis is expected to sign the bill as it helped negotiate the contract with the Seminole. However, the journey for legal FL sports betting only begins with his signature.
Federal approval is required for sports betting in Florida
Since sports betting is legalized in Florida by a tribal treaty, federal approval has yet to be obtained.
As soon as the contract is sent to Home Office, a 45 days Window starts. That will eventually lead to approval July when the full window is used.
However, this approval cannot be guaranteed. The sports betting portion of the Pact could be revised based on previous decisions that contradict what the Pact says about the place of a bet.
Legal problems could be waiting for us
Even if the contract survives and receives federal approval, FL sports betting is likely to face legal challenges. An opposition group tweeted their response and promised a fight shortly after they passed the house.
MP Michael Grieco called it “intellectually dishonest” to say that the Florida Compact’s sports betting approval does not qualify as extended gambling. That would be defined by Amendment 3 on the state constitution, which was passed by the electorate in 2018.
“We’re going to be on trial, we’re going to lose and we’re going to see this on the ballot,” added Grieco.
House spokesman, others await litigation
Several members of the House expect that the sports betting portion of the contract will be tried in court. House Speaker Chris Sprowls agreed with these views when speaking to reporters after the House meeting:
“I think that’s an open question. I think sensible people disagree. Some people looked at it and said, hey, I don’t think it’ll make it. I’ve looked at it, I think it will.
“The reality is that this is going to be decided by a court. We assume this is likely to lead to litigation. “
Rep. Sam Garrison, a co-sponsor of the House bill to approve the contract, didn’t chop up any words when asked about a legal challenge on the house floor:
“I think we all expect that there will likely be a legal battle as it is an open legal issue.”
The legal questions about sports betting in Florida
There are two specific legal issues related to betting as detailed in the contract.
The first is whether mobile betting anywhere in Florida is actually considered to be on tribal land when the server is there. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act casts a long shadow there.
If that part fails, Sprowls expects the retail bets to continue to stand at the Seminole casinos.
The other problem is a 2018 constitutional amendment that gave voters the right to approve the expansion of gambling. If this turns out to be an expansion of gambling, it may have to take place before the November 2022 voters.