Judge overturns Florida’s sports betting compact

Simona Boshkova | Published 26 Nov 2021, 8:45 a.m.

Back in June 2021, we have informed you that the Florida sports betting bill was signed into law. The state made a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. Then, it was announced that in order for Florida to have legal betting, the bill needs to receive final approval from the US Department of the Interior.

However, things have changed. According to the latest announcements, a District of Columbia judge has ruled that Florida’s compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and overturned the sports betting agreement.

A halt sports betting in Florida

As per the latest developments in the Florida sports betting market, the Seminole Tribe has stopped accepting online wagers. This comes after a judge overturned Florida’s sports betting compact with the operator.

US District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich decided that betting in Florida violated Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). That is because the state sided with the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room which had issues with the bill signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

So far, the Seminole Tribe was the only operator that was allowed to offer sports betting services in Florida. This means that now, Florida doesn’t have legal sports betting operations. Friedrich published a 25-page document where she explains her decision. 

“In its own words, the compact authorises such betting by patrons who are “physically located in the State [of Florida] but not on [the Tribe’s] Indian Lands,” said Friedrich. She added: “Because the compact allows patrons to wager throughout Florida, including at locations that are not Indian lands, the compact violates IGRA’s “Indian lands” requirement.”

With the decision, the Tribe’s sports betting compact is reinstated. It will remain so until it expires in 2030 or Friedrich’s ruling is ended. According to the latest decision, the Tribe is not allowed to offer online sports betting in Florida.

Google Ads no longer accepts sports betting ads in Florida

Meanwhile, Google Ads has informed that it will no longer accept sports betting ads in Florida. This comes after the compact between Florida and Seminole Tribe was overturned.

In their statement, Google said: "In November 2021, the Google Ads gambling and games policy United States country-specific will be updated to disallow sports betting in Florida."

Google supports responsible gambling and abides by local gambling laws and industry standards; therefore, it doesn’t allow “certain kinds of gambling-related advertising”.

Furthermore, sports betting ads cannot be promoted with shopping ads, display ads, Gmail ads, or consumer ratings annotations. If anyone tries to promote such ads in Florida, their account might be suspended.

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