Florida Sports Betting Deal Faces Second Court Challenge

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Upping the ante in the courts, two pari-mutuel facilities have filed a second federal lawsuit challenging a 30-year gambling agreement reached by Gov. Ron DeSantis that gives the Seminole Tribe control over sports betting throughout Florida.

The latest legal challenge, filed Monday in Washington, D.C., came less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of the Interior signed off on a gambling “compact” negotiated by DeSantis and passed by the Florida Legislature in May.

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Owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida contend in the lawsuit that the sports-betting plan violates federal laws and will cause a “significant and potentially devastating” impact on their businesses.

The Havenick family, which has owned both facilities for more than five decades, last month filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Tallahassee. The Florida complaint was amended Monday.

The compact, signed by DeSantis and Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., opens the door for the first time to sports betting in Florida.

Under the agreement, the Seminoles will serve as the host for sports betting and contract with pari-mutuels that would get a cut of online bets placed using the pari-mutuels’ mobile apps.The “hub-and-spoke” sports-betting plan would allow gamblers throughout the state to place bets online, with the bets run through computer servers on tribal property.The compact says bets made anywhere in Florida “using a mobile app or other electronic devices, shall be deemed to be exclusively conducted by the tribe.”But […]

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