Two pari-mutuels have dropped an appeal of a Florida federal judge’s decision to dismiss a challenge to a gambling agreement that gave the Seminole Tribe control of sports betting throughout the state. Lawyers for Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida on Friday asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal.
The Atlanta-based court on Monday approved the request. U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor in October ruled that the pari-mutuels did not have standing to sue Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration over the gambling agreement. The governor negotiated the deal, known as a compact, with tribal leaders, and lawmakers approved it during a May special session.
The pari-mutuels filed separate legal challenges in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. The Washington case was filed against the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees Indian gambling issues. Washington-based U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in November decided that the compact violated a federal law known as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Seminoles have appealed Friedrich’s decision, which also rejected the tribe’s motions to intervene in the lawsuit and have it dismissed.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Dec. 3 denied the tribe’s request to put Friedrich’s ruling on hold while its appeal is pending. The following day, the tribe shut down its Hard Rock SportsBook mobile app, which was launched in early November.
The legal fights have focused on part of the compact that allowed gamblers to place sports bets online from across the state, with the wagers run through computer servers on tribal property. Friedrich said that violated federal law because bets would be placed off tribal lands. The pari-mutuels filed a notice that they were appealing Winsor’s dismissal of the Florida case following Friedrich’s Nov. 22 ruling.