2021-12-06

Strike One: Federal Judge Tosses First of Three Lawsuits Challenging Florida Sports Betting

Strike One particular: Federal Judge Tosses First of Three Lawsuits Challenging Florida Sports Betting

Lawsuit dismissed

US District Court Judge Allen Winsor has dismissed the 1st of 3 lawsuits aimed at stopping Florida sports betting from progressing beneath the control of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

On October 18, Judge Winsor tossed the lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis more than the gaming compact signed this spring that gave the Seminoles a monopoly more than sports betting.

Lawyer Darren Heitner stated through Twitter that the governor “scored a win” against the two suing casinos.

The judge stated the parimutuel plaintiffs challenging the updated compact — West Flagler Associates Ltd.-owned Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Miami — did not have standing to sue the state. In a 20-web page document, Judge Winsor ruled the plaintiffs had no standing due to the fact they could not demonstrate that DeSantis’ actions had been damaging to the parimutuels.

The suit filed in July by the Havernick family-owned West Flagler Associates named both the governor and Florida Department of Business and Expert Regulation (DBPR) secretary Julie Brown as defendants.

Seminole Tribe spokesperson Gary Bitner stated the outcome represented “an essential initial legal victory for the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe and we look forward to future legal decisions in our favor.”

Alleged loss of income

The plaintiffs contended that the mobile sports wagering section of the updated compact violates federal laws, alleging it illegally gave the green light to off-reservation sports wagering. West Flagler’s lawsuit filed in July contends that offering Florida-wide on the internet sports wagering via servers positioned on tribal lands does not equate to physically betting on tribal lands.&nbsp

Judge Winsor’s document states that the plaintiffs allege “that they will drop revenue because their potential casino patrons will take their gambling dollars” to the Seminoles.

Sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach took to Twitter citing the Florida federal court’s ruling that the “alleged harm is not traceable to nor redressable by the State.”

According to the Miami Herald, Judge Winsor added that the state, and particularly the DBPR secretary, do not have the authority to enforce the situations of the compact.

Winsor also pointed to the flaw in the remedy the parimutuels are calling for, namely for DeSantis to quit the compact. “But even assuming a declaration against the Governor would bind the State, it would not bind the Tribe, which would have no obligation to recognize any declaration’s legal effect,’’ he wrote.

Very first round to state and tribe

In spite of losing round 1 to state and tribe, the parimutuels nevertheless have an additional route to challenge the launch of on the internet sports betting in Florida. In August, West Flagler filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., naming the US Division of the Interior (DOI) and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as defendants.

The remaining legal challenge to quit the Seminoles from rolling out sports betting comes from two South Florida enterprise leaders who filed a separate lawsuit in D.C.

Wallach stated West Flagler’s pending lawsuit in D.C. is far more important than the case tossed on Monday due to the fact it takes on the DOI. The lawyer stressed this was crucial because “the federal courts in Washington, D.C., have recognized the standing of competitors to challenge federal agency approvals of tribal gaming compacts.”

the District Court for the District of Columbia has scheduled November 5 to hear oral arguments

The District Court for the District of Columbia has scheduled November 5 to hear oral arguments on both the West Flagler and businessmen-led situations.

According to the Herald, even although Florida law permits an October 15 launch date for tribal sports betting, the Seminoles are only preparing on rolling it out later this year.