A lawyer representing two Florida-based pari-mutuel operators that won a federal court ruling earlier this week told Casino.org on Friday that the tribe is “trying to have it both ways.” That is as it appeals the decision to scrap the amended gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Florida state and keep its sports wagering application.
On Monday, District of Columbia U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that federal executives should not have approved the compact, which gave the Seminole Tribe officials rights to sports wagering statewide. That includes a hub-and-spoke and mobile access network that would allow wagers to bet at chosen pari-mutuel operators. Fiendish stated that the Indiana Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) prohibits betting made off tribal lands.
The Seminole Tribe has offered mobile sports wagering in Florida since the start of the month.
On Tuesday, a day after Friedrich gave her order, the Seminole issued notice it would appeal and also request the judge to stick to her order. After Friedrich denied the stay request on Wednesday, tribal officials filed an emergency appeal on Thursday for a stay in the DC US Circuit Court of Appeals.
The stay would allow the Hard Rock Sportsbook to remain operational while the appeal of the decision is adjudicated. According to social media reports, the sports wagering application remains active in Florida as of yesterday morning.
Hume: Seminole Tribe Being “Deceitful”
Hamish Hume, an attorney with Boies Schiller Flexner, told casino.org that tribal leaders “are being disingenuous” as they seek a reversal. The DC-based law company represents the Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room, which filed the case against the U.S. Department of the Interior and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, claiming the amended compact disobeyed the law.
Hume took issue with the claims of a “dire emergency” after the compact was disproved.
Hume told casino.org, “They wouldn’t meet the standards for a stay even if they stopped the online sports betting, but by continuing to offer and refusing to commit to cease if they fail to get a stay, they are being disingenuous and misleading to the court.”
A message from a Seminole Gaming spokesperson was not immediately replied to early Friday afternoon.
In the emergency appeal to the circuit court on Thursday, the Seminole officials claimed complainants sought “an end-around” by filing a lawsuit against the federal government and not the tribe. The tribe sought to intervene in the suit and have it dismissed at the federal district court. However, in her ruling, Friedrich noted that the agency and Haaland represented the tribe’s claims in their lawsuit.
If the appeal fails and the amended compact stays invalid, the Seminole Tribe stands to lose out on sports wagering and access to new casino games, and the possibility of opening a new casino. Meanwhile, the state will not receive $2.5 billion payments over the next five years and $6 billion until 2030.
Major Football Games This Weekend
By keeping the sports wagering application operational, the Seminole Tribe has been offering betting on college and professional football games for Thanksgiving weekend, one of the sport’s biggest weekends.
Besides having three NFL games with entire national audiences on Thanksgiving, college football finishes its regular season with many competitive games. That includes Florida vs. Florida State, a game of the two prominent teams in the state, and Auburn vs. Alabama, a huge rivalry that many in the southern US will be watching on Sunday.
On Friday, the circuit court announced that the pari-mutuel operators were requested to submit feedback to the stay request by Tuesday noon. The tribe can submit a rebuttal by Wednesday noon.
The tribe ordered a decision on the stay by next Friday.
Last Updated on by Ryan