The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly won a legal battle on Friday after an appeals court declined to halt a $2.5 billion gaming agreement between the state and the tribe.
The three-member bench, which is located in Washington, came to the conclusion that the contract had been improperly halted by a lower court judge and mandated that any legal challenges to the agreement between Florida and the tribe should be brought in state courts.
The Seminole Tribe applauded the ruling but made no mention of whether it will result in the reinstatement of sports betting in the third-largest state in the US. Due to the dispute, the tribe had stopped accepting bets on its mobile app in December 2021.
Since DeSantis had to personally urge state lawmakers to accept the pact in May 2021, the gaming arrangement was a huge success for him at the time.
Not only did it permit sports betting, but it also allowed the tribe to develop more casinos on its Hollywood reservation, which is already home to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, as well as add craps and roulette to its current casinos.
The agreement was declared unconstitutional in 2021 by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich of the District of Columbia because it permitted bets on sports to be placed anywhere in the state, which is against federal regulations prohibiting gambling on Native American lands.
The decision was made in response to two lawsuits brought against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who had refused to halt the agreement, by competing casino owners, ardent South Florida gaming opponents, and a statewide anti-gambling organization.