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US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Seminoles’ Control Of Florida Sports Betting

The SCOTUS with an enlarged Florida state flag behind it

Sports gamblers in the Sunshine State can continue to wager uninterrupted as the SCOTUS has refused to hear a petition seeking to refute the existing gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of FL.

This latest legal win by the Tribe all but locks in their 30-year sports betting monopoly that began in 2021 when Governor Ron DeSantis agreed to a revised gaming compact.

Legal sports betting in Florida began in late 2021, but challenges in state and federal court caused the shuttering of the Hard Rock Bet sportsbook app and local retail venues in casinos until October 2023, when the US Supreme Court opted not to review an appellate decision.

The challenging parties are the same in all cases—two pari-mutuel and poker room operators located near Miami (West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation) who believe the Seminoles’ exclusive market is unfair. They want a part of the action and suggest that sportsbooks will divert in-person business from their operation toward Hard Rock Casinos in South Florida.

The Supreme Court of the United States rejected the latest attempt to thwart the Seminole Tribe’s sports betting stranglehold, giving outside parties no further avenue to explore.

What About Other Sportsbook Operators?

Florida is not unique in its tribal exclusivity. Other states, such as Washington, North Dakota, New Mexico, and North Carolina, employ a similar strategy. However, there’s nothing keeping domestic sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM from attempting to enter these markets.

These popular online books are present in most states where local sports betting is legal, and they have plenty of funds set aside for lobbying regional legislatures. Outside vendors could eventually set up shop in the state, but it would likely require a successful voter initiative and an agreeable Governor.

Offshore Sportsbooks In FL

Online sports betting sites that operate overseas have accepted players in Florida for decades. Because of their offshore status, these books fall outside the jurisdiction of the United States and FL, which allows local players to sign up for accounts and place wagers.

The existence of the Hard Rock Bet app and local books has done nothing to disrupt international gambling sites in the state. Area players can use these books to shop the lines and free themselves from the odds offered by Hard Rock.

Sportsbooks from other countries can also accept wagers in cryptocurrency, something that cannot be done at domestic books yet.


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