The state legislature approved the Florida-Seminole sports betting compact last May 19. It would give the Seminole Indian Tribe a monopoly on sports betting for 30 years. Although the gaming compact got bipartisan support in the legislature, it would face several legal challenges on the federal and state levels.
The compact is an understanding between the Tribe and the state. It was made under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a government law overseeing arrangements among states and Indian tribes approving betting on Indian grounds. Under IGRA, any betting permitted through a compact should happen on Indian lands. In any case, the Florida-Seminole Gaming Compact explicitly allows sports wagers to be set electronically through smartphones by players within Florida. It doesn’t matter whether the player is situated on an Indian reservation or off-site. Also, the compact has a provision that wagers will be handled by servers located on the Indian reservation.
As examined in more detail beneath, language inside Florida-Seminole Gaming Compact allowing wagering by clients paying little mind to the geographic area presents two likely challenges to the compact. First, it violates Florida’s constitution. Second, the IGRA doesn’t authorize it.
Florida-Seminole Sports Betting Compact
According to a political forum, Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 3 requires citizen endorsement to extend betting inside the state. In any case, this elector endorsement necessity doesn’t have any significant bearing on IGRA compacts with Indian tribes to conduct casino gambling on tribal lands. Thus, if the proposed expanded betting happens exclusively on an Indian reservation, Florida citizens have nothing to do with it.
Critics of the compact contend that it violates Florida Constitution because the compact legalizes mobile wagering. Under the new agreement, anyone can wager on sports via a smartphone from any place in the state. Also, servers within Indian land will process the wagers. Since the individual putting down the bet isn’t situated on tribal land, rivals of the compact contend it expands betting off ancestral land. Thus, it requires a constitutional amendment to become legal.
Allies of the compact contend the area of the individual putting down the bet is superfluous. The location of the servers processing the bet is the primary information point. Since servers are situated on Indian land, allies of the compact believe it is within IGRA. Thus, it doesn’t require voter approval.