Florida online sports betting lawsuit dismissed, but D.C. lawsuit still a threat
A lawsuit filed against Florida online sports betting in the state has been dismissed by a northern district of Florida Tallahassee Division judge, but a lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C. still remains and will be heard on Friday, Nov. 5.
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed the suit on Monday, Oct. 18, declaring Florida parimutuels lack the standing to sue Gov. Ron DeSantis or State Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Julie Brown “because their actions are not fairly traceable to any alleged harm.”
“In addition, the requested declaratory and injunctive relief would provide no legal or practical redress to the Parimutuels’ injuries,” Winsor wrote in his summary of the dismissal.
Florida online sports betting lawsuit dismissed
West Flagler Associates filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Magic City Casino and other Florida parimutuels. The parimutuels alleged they will directly lose revenue due to the gaming compact, as patrons will take their sports betting dollars directly to the Seminole Tribe owned sports betting operations in the state.
The lawsuit alleged the gaming compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), but also raised violations of the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
However, a separate lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., by West Flagler Associates against the gaming compact and Florida online sports betting still remains. The lawsuit, filed against Deb Haaland, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, will likely determine the legality of online sports betting in the approved Florida gaming compact.
It poses a much larger threat to Florida online sports betting than the lawsuit that was just dismissed, Daniel Wallach, principal at Wallach Legal, the country’s first sports betting-focused law firm, previously told Saturday Down South.
D.C. lawsuit poses much larger threat to online sports betting
The D.C. case shares some overlap in similarity with the Florida lawsuit, but mainly seeks to challenge the Department of the Interior’s approval of the gaming compact.
“That’s an administrative challenge brought under federal law and the Administrative Procedure Act. You have to sue the DOI in Washington, D.C., to get that relief. It’s governed by a different standard. The standard in the D.C. case is whether the deemed approval of the compact by the federal agency was arbitrary and capricious, or otherwise not in conformity with the law,” Wallach previously said.
The D.C. lawsuit will be heard in an Article III regulated court by an objective judicial body. It is a much stronger case against Florida online sports betting and will be tough to deny, Wallach said.
Prior agency interpretations of IGRA, two failed prior attempts by Congress to amend IGRA to expand its reach to include online sports betting, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmation that bettors placing mobile wagers outside tribal lands is not protected by IGRA and Florida’s prior admission on an almost identical point all lead to trouble for the online sports betting component of the gaming compact, Wallach previously noted.
The D.C. lawsuit will be heard on Friday, Nov. 5.