- Florida’s regulated sports betting market launch has been plagued by multiple lawsuits.
- Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming is unphased by the pending legal pushback.
- A November 5 court date is set to determine if the new gaming compact is legitimate.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Florida gets closer to the launch of sports betting, the many lawsuits pushing back against the gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis continue to loom.
Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen was asked about these lawsuits during the 2021 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
Allen seems unphased by the lawsuits that will be reviewed during a November 5 court hearing. Is his confidence a good sign for the Florida gaming market being able to launch sports betting?
Jim Allen On Florida Sports Betting
During the expo, Allen was on a panel alongside MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle and Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox, Allen jokingly brushed off the impending lawsuits while supporting sports betting begin launched in Florida.
“Obviously, we’d like to win a few lawsuits,” said Allen.
Speaking to reporters, Allen stated that Seminole Gaming has no official launch date for sports betting despite the compacts allowing regulated betting to take place on October 15.
This could be due to the November 5 hearing scheduled to review the multiple lawsuits against the compacts. Florida casinos may be awaiting the results of this hearing but could still go live and wait for the other side of sports betting via websites after the hearing in November.
Lawsuits Affecting Sports Betting
The lawsuits are attacking the way sports betting was legalized. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) states that any changes to Florida’s gaming compacts must be voted on by Florida residents.
BREAKING: Florida pari-mutuels file motion for summary judgment and seek preliminary injunction to block implementation of online sports betting under Florida tribal gaming compact pic.twitter.com/ozm3elsZIj
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) September 22, 2021
The compact has already gained federal approval, but due to the lawsuits, it is still possible for the regulated sports gambling launch in Florida to be blocked.
There is even a Florida Sports Betting Legalization Initiative petition to have residents vote on the fate of sports betting and have the issue added to the 2022 ballot for a 2023 launch if a majority vote is seen.
What is likely to take place is that retail betting at the Seminole Hard Rock Casinos in Florida will roll out in October but online and mobile betting (allowed based on the compacts) will be blocked until the courts decide on that issue.
The compacts give sole authority of sports betting to the Seminole Tribe and the Seminoles are not permitted to offer betting off of tribal grounds. The second lawsuit is specifically challenging the online gambling provisions in the sports betting compact.
While Florida remains on pace to have regulated betting on October 15, fans may have to wait for the results of the November 5 hearing before they will see betting go live.