Parimutuel betting operations in Florida are continuing to wage war in the courts. There have been several public criticisms of the state’s most recent Seminole Gaming Compact.
Florida was long able to ignore the noise and move forward some of its wealthiest commercial operators armed themselves with legal representation.
Attacks on the Compact
Monday saw a brand-new lawsuit filed by the owners of Florida’s Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room. The documents claim that the gaming compact is unjust, violates federal law, and lays the seeds for industry monopolization.
Florida’s Seminole Gaming Compact stipulates that the Seminole Tribe will operate and oversee all sports betting services in the state. This includes land-based and online betting locations.
The compact includes provisions for local racinos and Jai Alai operations to rake in a small portion of sports betting revenue. These organizations are free to partner with the Seminole Tribe in developing sportsbook “skins” operated on Tribal servers.
Why the Compact is Considered “Unjust”
Concerns among commercially owned parimutuels come from a sentiment of abandonment. There is no doubt that online/mobile sports betting will take off quickly, likely keeping patrons at home.
For these racinos and Jai Alai setups, in-person patronage is their bread and butter. These services cannot offer cash-wagers, making their sportsbook revenue streams reliant on credit card transactions. Online sports betting facilitates quicker and easier transactions in a casual environment.
How Do the Complaints Hold Up?
Nonetheless, it is hard to say whether these lawsuits are backed with the right intentions. The Seminole Tribe indeed received several perks in the signing of this compact, including the ability to accept cash-wagers and an expansion of casino table games.
However, racinos and poker rooms are classified as schedule 2 gaming operations. Schedule 3 gaming operations are reserved for Native American Tribes in the state.
There is no reason for these parimutuels to expect the same privileges as a fully-fledged casino. If the compact were to exclude commercially owned casinos there would be stronger legs on which to stand. But the Sunshine State does not allow commercially owned casinos.
The State of Mobile Sports Betting in FL
Florida still isn’t free and clear in terms of legal online betting. Opposition from anti-gambling groups has been loud and with legitimate legal concerns.
Amendment 3 was passed in 2018. It requires the expansion of gambling laws to be ratified by Florida voters. John Sowinski of No Casinos has been using Amendment 3 as a main talking point in his campaign to overturn the compact.
Although the compact already received federal approval, it stands to see various legal challenges in the coming months, possibly years. This could lead to delays in opening sports betting operations and outright shutdowns even after the skins hit severs.
While Floridians wait for a real green light to start placing state-based sports bets, they still have options. Mobile betting apps from offshore servers remain a great way to partake, even if your state is tied up in legal troubles.
For help in picking a reputable sportsbook, stick around and browse.