U.S. Supreme Court OKs the Florida Gambling Deal

The U.S. Supreme Court has de facto given the green light to a significant $2.5 billion Florida gambling deal, concluded back in 2021, between Florida and the state’s Seminole Tribe. At least, it seems so. Chief Justice John Roberts initially issued an administrative stay, pending further review, in response to legal challenges brought by Florida casino operators.

However, in a recent two-page decision, the Supreme Court denied the stay request and lifted the administrative hold. This pivotal decision opens the door for the implementation of the gambling agreement.

Not Over Yet: The Florida Gambling Deal Battle Continues

While the Supreme Court’s decision is a significant development, it may not mark the end of the legal battle. Two Florida casinos have been challenging the gambling deal and have expressed their intent to pursue a full appeal before the high court. Additionally, a separate case is pending before Florida’s Supreme Court. The key to this ongoing legal wrangle is the question of equal protection.

Justice Kavanaugh’s Equal Protection Concerns

In a statement that accompanied the decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh raised serious equal protection concerns with regard to the Governor Ron DeSantis-supported gambling legislation in 2021. Kavanaugh’s statement questions whether the legislation allows for equal protection under the law. This aspect adds complexity to the case and suggests that the legal debate may continue to unfold, giving additional arguments for future court motions and lawsuits.

Impact on the Seminole Tribe and Sports Betting

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, which had been eagerly awaiting the outcome of the legal challenges, welcomes the Supreme Court’s denial of the stay. This decision may pave the way for the tribe to resume sports betting activities in Florida, which had been on hold for nearly two years. The tribe views this as a favorable outcome.

Background: The Florida Gambling Deal

In May 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders negotiated the gambling agreement, known as the Compact. It allowed for sports betting and granted the Seminole Tribe additional gaming privileges, including the introduction of craps and roulette at their existing casinos and the construction of new casinos on the tribe’s Hollywood reservation.

Legal Challenges and Conflicting Views

The compact has faced numerous legal challenges, with a focus on whether the Tribe can offer betting throughout the entire state, not just on tribal reservations, through a mobile app. The legal battle has traversed federal courts, leading to conflicting opinions from judges. While some supported the compact, others argued that any disputes should be resolved in state court.

What Lies Ahead

Despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision, the legal saga surrounding the Florida gambling deal is far from over. The Seminole Tribe’s potential resumption of sports betting in Florida remains contingent on further legal proceedings. Additionally, Justice Kavanaugh’s discussion of the equal protection issue adds an intriguing dimension to this ongoing legal discussion.

Is Florida Sports Betting Live Now? We Don’t Know Yet

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Florida gambling deal is a significant development in a protracted legal battle. It holds implications not only for the Seminole Tribe but also for the broader landscape of sports betting in Florida. As legal proceedings continue, the future of this multimillion-dollar gambling agreement remains uncertain, with potential far-reaching consequences.

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