Florida Sportsbooks Suspended
Bettors can no longer wager on sports in Florida after the Seminole Tribe’s operations were suspended following an unsuccessful appeal.
The Tribal operator sought to stay a judge’s decision in a lawsuit involving its contract with the state’s government. Still, an appeals court denied its plea, dealing a significant blow to sports betting in the Sunshine State.
On Saturday 4 December, its Hard Rock SportsBook app ceased collecting wagers after a divided three-judge panel of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld Judge Dabney Friedrich’s judgement. The Seminole Tribe petitioned the appellate court for a stay of her judgement, but its move was dismissed 2-1.
Friedrich concluded in a 25-page judgement that the state and Tribe’s gambling agreement violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), namely the provision that sports betting be conducted only on “Indian territories.”
Governor Ron DeSantis signed the compact into law earlier this year, and the Department of the Interior (DOI), led by Secretary Deb Haaland, authorised it. On the other hand, Friedrich’s order tried to rescind this permission, which has thus far been successful following the Tribe’s unsuccessful appeal.
“As a result of yesterday’s Appeals Court ruling denying a temporary stay of the District Court’s decision on the 2021 Compact, Hard Rock Sportsbook will temporarily cease operations of its mobile app in Florida,” the Seminole Tribe stated. “All current players’ account balances will be returned upon request.”
Meanwhile, gamblers attempting to access the Hard Rock app were presented with the following message: “While we are temporarily suspending new bets and account deposits, we are committed to establishing Florida’s premier sports betting destination.”