Seminole Tribe Scores Victory With Non Decision by Department of Interior

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives for a ceremony. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

A no decision by the department of the interior on sports betting in Florida has opened the door for the Seminole Tribal pact to become legal. That doesn’t mean things are over because legal challenges are expected to follow. As it stands, the current compact calls for a minimum payment of $2.5 billion to the state of Florida over the next five years.

Seminole Tribe Gets What They Want for Now

There were three possible outcomes from the U.S Department of Interior’s review of the compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida. They would either approve it, reject or decline to act. Luckily for the Seminole Tribe, two of those three outcomes would be favorable to them. That is exactly what happened when the Department of the Interior declined to act. That decision allows the tribal compact to become law.

To say that the compact has been contentious would be a huge understatement. Although the agreement bridged the gap between Governor Ron DeSantis’ office after a long term split, it also gained the approval of much of the legislature as well. That doesn’t mean that everyone in Florida is happy about this, however. There are many potential stakeholders that feel like they have been completely cut out by this pact.

There Will Be Legal Challenges Coming

Some of the biggest names in the legal sports betting market in the U.S have already begun making moves to challenge the current compact. DraftKings and FanDuel started an initiative to get mobile sports betting on the 2022 ballot. They obviously want an open market which is why they want these issues to go to a vote. The owners of Magic City Casino in Miami have already filed suit in Federal Court challenging the legality of the compact. The problem for Magic City Casino and anyone else challenging this ruling; money talks and the Seminole Tribe have a lot of it.

The current compact calls for a minimum payment of $2.5 billion dollars to the state of Florida over the next five years. It is highly unlikely that the challengers to this ruling will be prepared to match that number so there is that major obstacle to overcome. The current pact does allow the Seminole Tribe to partner with a minimum of three Florida pari-mutuel venues to offer legal sports betting as long as the bets are placed on servers located on tribal lands.

That last part is why some of the top commercial sportsbooks are not happy with the current situation. They feel like that stipulation provides the Seminole Tribe with a virtual monopoly. Players in Florida and across the country that don’t yet have access to legalized sports betting can go to OddsTrader once this changes. OddsTrader currently offers betting odds comparison in Illinois, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Iowa and West Virginia.

At the end of the day, for sports bettors, any type of monopoly situation is not good. Competition means better lines. That’s just obvious in any market although the current situation isn’t all bad. Any form of legal sports betting is better than the situation at hand which is nothing at all. That said, the more options for sports bettors, the better lines, games and overall experience they are likely to have which is what having

a legal sports betting market is supposed to be all about. This story is far from being over and it will be interesting to see what direction things go with this latest news.

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