Home Gambling All Bets Are Off. Federal Judge Throws Out Seminole Tribe’s Sports Betting...

All Bets Are Off. Federal Judge Throws Out Seminole Tribe’s Sports Betting Compact

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BY MARY ELLEN KLAS HERALD/TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU

In a stunning rejection of Florida’s attempt to give the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on sports betting, a federal district court judge in the District of Columbia ruled late Monday that the compact violates federal Indian gaming law and invalidated the entire agreement, halting all sports betting and gaming expansion in Florida indefinitely.

The ruling by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich puts a halt on the sports betting quietly launched by the Seminole Tribe on Nov. 1 and, in a double hit, it also blocks the tribe’s Hard Rock casinos in Broward and Hillsborough counties from becoming full Las Vegas-style casinos.

Under the 30-year gaming compact signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, and approved by the Florida Legislature and the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Seminoles agreed to pay the state at least $2.5 billion over the first five years in exchange for having control over sports betting in the state and being allowed to add roulette and craps to the tribe’s casino operations.

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