Skip to content

Florida Sports Bettors Will Likely Have to Wait Months Before Sportsbooks Go Live

A lawsuit between sports betting companies and the Seminole Tribe of Florida must be resolved before any legal bets can be placed in Florida.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal lawsuit between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and betting pari-mutuels, or companies that use poll betting systems, will likely be delayed until after the start of the NFL season this Thursday night.

The multi-year legal fight between the Tribe and casino operators has left Florida sports betting fans in limbo.


The legal fight originated in 2021 when the State of Florida agreed to a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The compact essentially gave exclusive sports betting rights to the Tribe in exchange for approximately $6 billion in total revenue back to the state by 2030.

The initial lawsuit was filed by the owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room soon after the compact was signed.

They asserted the compact violated the Florida Constitution because of a 2018 voter-approved constitutional amendment which says the voters must approve any gambling expansion. The plaintiffs claimed that the compact in and of itself constituted an expansion.


The current lawsuit – with the plaintiffs being casino operator West Flagler Associates –  claimed that federal gaming laws would be violated since theoretically, bets could be placed outside of Tribal land through the Tribe’s sportsbook app.

In 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior defended the compact, asserting that it did not violate any law, stating that it reflected “a permissible hybrid approach wherein gaming activity that occurs off of the tribe’s Indian lands is authorized under state law, and gaming activity that occurs on Indian lands is authorized by IGRA [Indian Gaming Regulatory Act] pursuant to the compact.”

The next ruling on the matter could come by September 30, which is also the deadline for the plaintiffs to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.