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Seminole Tribe’s online sports betting backed by DeSantis ruled illegal, so why is app still live?

A federal judge has ruled that the Seminole Tribe's new sportsbook remains illegal, so why is the app still live?

MIAMI, Fla. – Gamblers streamed in to Magic City Casino in the mid-morning on Thanksgiving, but owners had already won for the second time this week. A federal judge is denying their competition, the Seminole Tribe Casinos, a request to stay her ruling. As of now, it stands that the tribe’s new online sportsbook remains illegal.

“It was an unsettled legal issue,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

The online betting monopoly was the unprecedented centerpiece of the Florida governor’s gambling compact with the tribe meant to score the state an initial $2.5 billion by giving the Seminoles a gaming exclusive as long as the actual computer servers for the online betting stayed on tribe property.

The United States Department of Interior, which oversees tribal gaming let it slide, but the judge ruled that betting is taking place off property, which is a violation of federal rules.

At Magic City Casino, owners made the case that the tribe’s monopoly on online betting would hurt is decades old business.

The survey they commissioned had customers saying that they’d shift a significant amount of betting online. The court acknowledged economic losses on both sides of the equation, but ruled that Magic City was on the side of the law.

The online betting app was still live even after this latest order that maintains it is illegal.

(See the legal documents below:

Judge orders stay

Survey commissioned by Magic City Casino on impacts on business)


About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."