Seminole Tribe facing uphill legal battle for online sports betting

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The legal fight over sports betting in Florida is intensifying. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is asking a federal judge to put a hold on the ruling that throws out the gambling compact that allows sports betting apps.

While no move has been made, the gambling app is still operating despite the judge’s hold on the gambling compact.

In every game, there are winners and losers. In the legal tug of war over online sports betting in Florida, the Seminole Tribe is the big loser. At least for now.

Daniel Wallach, a lawyer with a specialty in gaming and sports betting said, “If one company gets a monopoly over this major new product, it will be to the detriment of all other competitors in the industry. ”

That is why West Flagler Associates, the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room and Magic City Casino sued.

They want a piece of the sports gambling action, and without it, they argue they won’t survive.

“The first day that the tribal app was available, Magic City casino experienced a decline in revenues or business of 35%. I think what the tribe did was bolster West Llag lawyers’ claim of irreparable harm,” said Wallach.

The Seminole Tribe filed a brief with the court claiming that if the federal court shuts their sports gambling app down, they’ll suffer that irreparable harm.

The tribe’s asked the same judge that ruled its compact with Florida illegal to allow sports betting to continue while the appeals process plays out.

The tribe argues its app is already generated millions and that it has hired new staff to run it and the money is paying for necessary tribal programs.

Wallach said, “I think this is, if there if there’s any harm here, it’s completely of the Seminole Tribes own making.”

Wallach said bettors beware. “If there’s an injunction or some supplemental order, which shuts everything down and you’ve deposited money in the Hardrock digital app, will you be able to get it out right away?”

That is the multimillion dollar question.

The Seminole Tribe asked the judge to approve its request to keep taking bets on Wednesday but so far that has not happened.

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