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Court of Appeals Rejects Seminole Request For Stay; Sports Betting In Florida Suspended

Legal sports betting in Florida won't be available until further notice.

The Seminole Tribe has officially pulled Florida sports betting off the table until further notice. In November, the tribe appealed for a stay of court after U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich overturned the Seminole Gaming Compact. 

Seminole Appeal is Rejected

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the appeal, upholding Friedrich’s ruling on Florida’s mobile sportsbooks. As a result, the Tribe was obligated to suspend all betting operations.

Florida bettors who open the Hard Rock Sportsbook app will be greeted with the following message: 

“Thank you for participating in our early access launch. Although we are temporarily suspending the acceptance of new bets and account deposits, we remain committed to building the best place for sports betting in Florida. We hope that you have enjoyed your game day experience on the Hard Rock Sportsbook app, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future”

While the message is certainly somber, it is not yet definitive. Both the Tribe and the state maintain hope that the 30-year compact will weather the political storm. 

Financial Implications of the Compact

If tribal sports betting remains uncleared by a higher court, the state will have to renegotiate its 2.5 billion dollar contract with the Seminoles. 

The payment of tax revenues to the state may come to a halt during such proceedings, an event that would prove catastrophic for Florida. 

The Seminole Tribe’s spokesperson spoke to the press and assured Floridians that the group continues to push forward.

“Despite the decision, the Seminole Tribe looks forward to working with the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice to aggressively defend the validity of the 2021 Compact before the Appeals Court, which has yet to rule on the merits of the 2021 Compact. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, the State of Florida, and the United States have all taken the position that the 2021 Compact is legal.”

Seminole Spokesperson Gary Bitner

Florida’s betting battles will only intensify from here as commercial gaming conglomerates try to influence the state’s agenda. A ballot initiative funded by DraftKings and FanDuel is currently picking up traction. 

With enough signatures, the initiative could wind up on the 2022 ballot and be passed via a voter referendum. 

The State of Florida Betting

Still, sentiments in the state do not seem to align with commercial interest. Given that Floridians gained and lost access to domestic sports betting in the same month, some aren’t interested in aiding external influences. 

Nonetheless, Florida bettors don’t have to wait for new gambling laws to get in on the action. 

Whether you’re in Miami or Tallahassee, you can still bet on sports right from your phone! Just not with the Hard Rock app. 

With offshore online betting websites, legal sports betting options can be accessed in every state. Plus, these sportsbooks offer a variety of betting lines, promotions, and banking options so bettors can have a top-tier gaming experience.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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