Bonita Springs Poker Room asking Supreme Court to block Seminole gambling compact

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The future of online gaming across the country may be changing.

“I do not like the fact that sports gambling has been involved in just about everything,” said Nicholas Verini, a Bonita Springs resident.

The owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room, along with others, are asking the Supreme Court to block a 2021 deal giving the Seminole tribe control over sports betting in Florida.

“I like the lunch, and I also like the excitement of winning, it’s fun,” Verini said.

Nicholas Verini and Phil both come to the Bonita Poker room every week, but not to play cards.

“Enjoy playing the horses, just a hobby,” said Verini.

“I just bet on dogs, and horses, and occasionally I go to a casino and play slot machines,” said Phil, also from Bonita.

Verini doesn’t know much about the legal battle going on, but told WINK News sports gambling in general has gotten out of hand.

“It’s getting people to bet a lot more than they can afford in many cases,” said Verini.

The federal lawsuit is focused on part of the deal that says bets “Using a mobile app or other electronic device shall be deemed to be exclusively conducted by the tribe.”

“Both federal courts and the Florida Supreme Court are going to address the issue of where does the bet take place. Does it take place where it’s deemed to be made, or where it’s actually made,” said Daniel Wallach, a sports betting expert and attorney.

He said florida companies argue the compact violates federal law, because it authorizes gambling off tribal lands.

“The federal statute which covers tribal gaming only allows or only authorizes gaming that takes places on indian lands and nowhere else. This internet component is in the nowhere else category where you’re not allowed to have compacted tribal gaming activities,” Wallach said.

WINK News reached out to the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room as well as the Seminole tribe who both said they do not comment on pending litigation.

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