Seminole files amicus brief in Florida Supreme Court betting case

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While the Seminole Nation of Florida cannot legally be enjoined in West Flagler’s legal challenge to sports betting, the group did request and receive the ability to file an amicus brief in the Florida Supreme Court case on the state’s compact with the tribe.

In the brief, the tribe argues that West Flagler is overreaching with its request and claims the state laws allow for plenty of latitude between both the legislature to make laws and the state to craft compacts with tribes.

“The Implementing Law dictates that, for purposes of Florida law, the placement of wagers off the Tribe’s lands is deemed to occur on the Tribe’s lands, where those wagers are accepted. Thus, the wagers are considered to be placed on tribal lands both to carry out a regulatory allocation of jurisdiction pursuant to IGRA, and to authorize their placement as a matter of law, as long as they are permitted under the 2021 Compact,” the brief argued.

Much has been made about the compact deeming that the location of the bet is determined by where the server is as opposed to a person’s phone or computer. However, as the Seminole’s brief notes, this structure is not specific to Florida. The brief said there are at least six jurisdictions with similar definitions.

The brief points out that New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, and West Virginia’s frameworks operate on similar definitions. In the case of New Jersey, servers are required to be located in Atlantic City, as that is where gaming in the state was legislatively restricted.

The brief also argued the court needs to respect the legislature’s choices in how the law is implemented. Citing a previous case, the brief argues, “a constitutional provision is ‘presumptively correct unless manifestly erroneous.'”

The state’s highest court will now consider both the Seminole’s amicus brief and the state’s response to West Flagler. Once the court’s decision comes in, the federal court case can resume.