Magic City Casino Boss Files a Lawsuit Against Florida Gambling Compact With Seminole Tribe

Magic City Casino Boss Files a Lawsuit Against Florida Gambling Compact With Seminole Tribe

The owners of Magic City Casino have filed a lawsuit against the Florida gambling compact with Seminole Tribe. The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court by the Havenick Family. According to the Southwest Pari-mutuels, the details about sports betting in the compact between the state and Seminole are fictional, violating some state laws.

The filed lawsuit explains why the U.S. District Court should stop implementing sports wagering outside tribal lands. According to the casino’s vice president, the state and Seminole Tribe agreement is against the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Isadore Havenick is the vice president of Southwest Pari-mutuels’ public affairs. He confirmed that his family supports the governor’s efforts to have a new Seminole compact. Despite this, the filed lawsuit is directed towards the legality of online sports betting and off-reservations.

With the new compact, the Magic City Casino stands to lose millions. This is because the casino does not offer internet gambling or gambling through mobile apps. Thus, if Florida residents were to use Seminoles products to bet on sports and online games, it would disadvantage southwest pari-mutuels as it would not be able to compete with the tribe.

The New Compact Paves the Way for Online Betting On Sports Beginning October 5

In May, governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole’s chairperson, Marcellus Osceola Jr, signed a compact. This compact allows the tribe to offer online sports betting through a web application. To bypass the state and federal law, online gambling services must be offered via servers situated within the tribe’s property.

Seminole will launch online sports wagering services on October 5, 2021. Florida’s race tracks can also develop mobile apps to offer off-reservation bets. The tribe will have to pick a race track to partner with for it to offer off-reservation bets.

The Filed Lawsuit Is Based On “Deemed: Provision

The compact between Florida and Seminole deems a bet placed on tribal property because the operator’s server is within the tribal land. Southwest pari-mutuels used this provision to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the deemed provision violates Wire Act, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, besides the interpreted court decisions.

The 67-page lawsuit describes that a bet should be placed where both the bettor and the casino are in one location. The file shows that the 2021 compact is allowing bettors to place bets while outside a tribal land, which is against the law.

The Compact Awaits Federal Approval

Southwest pari-mutuels bosses submitted the lawsuit on Friday, July 2, 2021. Prior to that, the compact had been sent to the U.S. Department of Interior. Someone from the governor’s office said the compact was mailed to the federal body on June 3, but the lawsuit suggests it was sent to the Department of Interior on June 21.

Yet, the lawsuit is not the only thing coming after the Seminole Tribe. There is a likelihood that the state will go for a constitutional amendment in the 2022 ballot. The goal is to allow online sports betting at all pari-mutuels.
Also, sports betting will become legal at professional sports stadiums or anywhere else in Florida. The suggestions for sports betting legalization came from two operators, namely DraftKings and FanDuel.


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