Floridians Eagerly Await Legal Sports Betting at Tribal Casinos
On December 7, the Seminole Tribe will begin offering sports betting, craps, and roulette at its six Florida casinos. This announcement follows a historic legal victory, solidifying the tribe’s right to offer the new games on its own land. The revised gaming compact between the tribe and the state, agreed upon in 2021, has been held up in litigation until now.
Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Marcellus Osceola Jr., expressed gratitude to the State of Florida, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Justice for defending their compact. Governor Ron DeSantis also praised the announcement, highlighting the potential economic benefits such as job creation, increased tourism, and billions in added revenue for Florida.
However, the announcement did not mention plans for a mobile sportsbook in Florida, leaving its status in limbo. This aspect remains up in the air after the Supreme Court’s decision, which only authorized the tribe to operate online sportsbooks accessible anywhere within the state if the servers were located on tribal land.
Opponents of the tribe’s sports betting monopoly, led by West Flagler Associates, are still pressing their case in the state courts. They argue that the Florida Constitution prohibits anyone, including the tribe, from operating an online sportsbook without putting the question to the state’s voters. Governor DeSantis’ office has requested an extension to file in the case, and the court has extended the response deadline to December 1.
The rollout of retail sports betting will begin at three Seminole casinos in South Florida on December 7, with the remaining three casinos following shortly after. The new games are expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the state and are anticipated to increase tourism and revenue for Florida.