Despite the recent approval of a FL sports betting compact by the state legislature, online and mobile sports betting in Florida remains in limbo. Local groups have challenged the potential launch of a sportsbook in the Sunshine State and have claimed the new law violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In addition, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is appealing the decision that it must withdraw from the 2021 compact.
The FL gaming compact was originally approved by the state’s legislators in May of 2021. It would have allowed statewide mobile sports betting in the Sunshine State. However, a federal court vacated the compact in August of 2021 and an appeal has been filed by the federal government. While the case is moving slowly, the ongoing legal battle likely will not be settled in time for the NFL season to begin in 2022.
As the court case continues, both sides have presented arguments before three judges. A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. This means that online and mobile sports betting in Florida will not likely return in 2022. Instead, the issue will be decided by a ballot initiative in 2024.
After the Federal District Court vacated the 2021 compact, the Florida Seminole Tribe and the Department of Interior filed briefs in an attempt to reinstate the compact. On December 14, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments on the case. Although it is not clear if the lawsuit will be resolved this year, it is expected that online and mobile sports betting in Florida will be permanently off the table in 2022.
The latest proposal from the Florida Legislature would allow the Seminole tribe to offer statewide mobile sports betting through a pari-mutuel. The tribe would also resume revenue-sharing payments to the state. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the state could allow pari-mutuel operators to continue offering designated-player card games.
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