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The Feds granted the Seminole tribe approval to launch sports betting in Florida in October. 15th

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Federal regulators on Friday quietly and passively allowed a gambling agreement between the state of Florida and the Seminole tribe to take effect, opening the door for sports betting to begin in October. 15, unleashing potential fights on the field and on the ballot about the direction sports betting will take in Florida.


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In 12-page letters to the Seminole tribe and the state, the Home Office ruled that it would not approve or reject the agreement, and “as a result, the agreement is deemed to have been approved by law to the extent consistent with the IGRA.” [Indian Gaming Regulatory Act] and current federal law.”

The agreement will become effective when the letter is published in the Federal Register, which is expected sometime next week.

Unless the court blocks the deal, starting in October, the tribe will be allowed to take a sports payment at six of its casinos. Existing Florida racetracks and the Jay Alai Front will be allowed to develop their own moveable apps and conduct sports betting off-booking using the tribe’s server.

But while Interior Ministry approval was the first step, hurdles remain. A lawsuit is pending in federal court, and at fewest two suffrage initiatives have been launched in an effort to undermine the Seminole tribe’s monopoly on sports betting and expand it into casino gaming.

Florida lawmakers ratified the agreement signed by Gov. Ron Diantes and Seminole Chief Marcellus Osceola Jr. During a three-day exceptional session in May, allowing Florida to join dozens of other states in offering sports betting and opening the door to Florida’s widest gambling expansion in a decade.

In return, the tribe secured at fewest $500 million in annual revenue payments to the state over the next 30 years.

Brian Newland, Deputy Assistant Minister for Indian Affairs, concluded in his letter that “advanced technology should not be an obstacle for tribes involved in the gaming industry” and that the objectives of the IGRA “will be served by improving tribal-state cooperation in regulating moveable betting.”

The letter reads: “Multiple states have enacted laws that consider the betting to take place at the server location, regardless of where the player is physically located in the state.” “The charter reflects this modem understanding of how online games are regulated.”

reject two items

However, the Home Office raised concerns about the vendor contract provisions in the agreement and rejected two specific parts of the agreement.

For example, she said she “does not support” a clause “requiring a tribe to contract with competent permethol holders to provide marketing services for the tribe’s sportsbook.”

Under the agreement, the equivalent fuel would be allowed to receive 60% of the proceeds from each bet with the tribe receiving the remaining 40%, and the administration said the revenue-sharing agreement in the deal “should not be seen as a model for other countries in general” being imposed on tribes.

Under the agreement now, anyone in Florida over the age of 21 can begin placing and collecting online bets on sporting events “online.” [or] Web App” from anywhere in Florida starting Oct. 15. All transactions pass through servers located on tribal lands in a “hub and talk” model that is intended to bypass both federal and state law, both of which are illegal in Florida sports betting.

The other provision that was dismissed concerns legal liability and “addresses in default of patrons of the tribe’s gaming facilities and states that upon a written notice process, the tribe and the beneficiary will have one year to resolve the dispute.”

“Agreements are not the appropriate means of transferring jurisdiction over a beneficiary dispute and tort claim to the states,” the letter said.

“The Ministry must take responsibility for the trust towards the tribes and to ensure that states do not improperly attempt to take advantage of the combined negotiations to bring the tribes under the jurisdiction of the state in areas not directly related to the play process. Accordingly, we believe this provision is a disallowed compact ruling. under the IGRA and is likely unenforceable.”

Many companies hope to convince Florida residents to end their tribal monopoly on sports betting.

Three out-of-state gaming giants – Las Vegas Sands, FanDuel and DraftKings – put $37 million into multiple ballot efforts to influence the coming of sports betting and casino gambling in Florida.

Las Vegas Sands, controlled by Miriam Adelson, wife of the company’s late CEO, Sheldon Adelson, is pushing two unused ballot initiatives that require voters to approve up to three unused Florida casinos and allow existing North Florida card rooms to offer casino games.

Adelson is said to be interested in building a unused casino near Jacksonville and is considering purchasing an existing gambling license from parimutuel to allow Las Vegas Sands into the sports betting process.

A fourth company, Florida-based owner of Magic City Casino, created a political committee called People Against Regulatory Legislationing You (PARLAY) in June and awarded it $15 million for purposes yet to be sure.

Legal challenge in progress

Magic City affiliates West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida to challenge the legality of the agreement. It claims that the convention legalizing sports betting outside the tribal lands in Florida violates the Indian Games Regulatory Act and asks the court to order sports betting to be enforced.

In addition to violating the IGRA, the lawsuit argues that the transaction violated the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which prohibited the use of interstate commerce for illegal transactions, and violated the Illegal Internet Game Enforcement Act by allowing payments to be placed outside tribal lands.

The letter appears to reject those arguments.

The agreement requires that the tribe pay the state a guaranteed minimum repayment of $2.5 billion over the first five years of the agreement, and if voters or the state approve the competing games, the tribe reduces its payments to the state without stopping all payments.

The letter concluded that “state concessions confer the tribe a significant economic benefit that justifies the proposed revenue sharing” and are “the result of well-intentioned bilateral negotiations.”

The letter also notes that the Seminole clan’s gaming empire, which includes firm rock casinos, has “resulted in an incredible success story.”

“By a combination of business savvy and intelligence, The Tribe has expanded its gaming operations from limited second-tier facilities to globally recognized third-tier gaming operations—and has been competent to successfully negotiate tier three gaming agreements with the state to facilitate this expansion,” He said. “We took these circumstances into account when conducting the review, and informed our assessment of whether positive provisions of the agreement were the result of bilateral negotiations in pleasing faith.”

John Swinsky, director of No Casinos, the organization that supported a constitutional amendment requiring voter approval to expand gambling, said he was “deeply disappointed that the Home Office took no action on the deal.”

“While this inaction means it has been approved by the Department of the Interior, it does not change the fact that this agreement violates many federal laws as well as the Florida Constitution,” he said.

“The 2018 constitutional mandate for 72% of Florida voters couldn’t be more clear. Only voters in Florida, not politicians in Tallahassee or Washington, have the power to expand gambling in Florida. This issue will have its day in both state and federal courts. We are confident that this agreement will be cancelled.

In a letter to the Home Office in June, No Casinos urged the agency to reject the charter, arguing that it violated the IGRA and the state constitution by allowing games that were not approved in a statewide vote. The irony is that the tribe became a vast supporter of No Casinos’ efforts to pass Amendment 3 in 2018, which would require any expansion of gambling to be presented to voters in a statewide referendum.

In the letter, Swinsky warned that the agreement would be used as a wedge to allow expanded gambling by billionaires eager to bring casinos to Miami and other parts of the state, referring to rumors that Donald Trump wants a casino at his resort in Doral and Jeff Soffer will want one at his resort in Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Both are communities whose local governments have issued ordinances banning casinos.

“IGRA was not written to expand non-tribal games for the benefit of billionaires, and it would be mistaken to use the influence of the state-tribal charter to promote controversial and legally questionable non-tribal games,” Swinsky wrote.

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