Seminole Tribe to Have Exclusive Betting Rights Until 2051, SCOTUS Decides

Seminole Tribe to Have Exclusive Betting Rights Until 2051, SCOTUS Decides

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
June 17, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected casino operators' bid to break up a gaming compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe, effectively guaranteeing exclusive sports betting rights to the Seminole tribe.

"The Seminole Tribe of Florida applauds today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to decline consideration of the case involving the Tribe’s Gaming Compact with the State of Florida," a spokesperson for the Tribe said soon after the decision Monday morning.

“It means members of the Seminole Tribe and all Floridians can count on a bright future made possible by the Compact.”

According to the SCOTUS release, the writ of certiorari—or plea to review a lower court's decision—was denied. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the sole Justice amenable to reviewing the case.

"Having shepherded the compact through the House as Chair of the Select Committee on Gaming, I am happy to see the legal uncertainties come to an end," Republican Rep. Randy Fine, the compact's legislative sponsor during the 2021 Session, told The Floridian of the decision.

Brought by the parimutuels of West Flagler Associates, which owns Miami's Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs' Poker Room, the lawsuit hoped to strike down part of a 2021 gaming compact allowing the Seminole Tribe to conduct sports betting both on and off of tribal lands.

In return, the tribe would pay the state a minimum of $2.5 billion for the first five years of the deal. The compact, which is set to be in place until 2051, is estimated to generate over $20 billion for the state. West Flagler argued that the off-land betting violates a 2018 constitutional amendment requiring authorized casino gambling to be approved by Florida voters.

In addition, they claimed the state was guilty of an "abuse of authority" for allowing sports betting off tribal lands. The Florida Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit in March, so the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court—a move that caught President Joe Biden's attention, whose administration asked the Court to dismiss the case.

The billions annually received by the state from the Seminole Tribe will be partially allocated to Florida's wildlife corridor and other environmental projects, due to a new bill passed this session. Sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson, the measure ascribes an "indeterminate" revenue to these initiatives.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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