The decision, known as a stay, was delivered by Chief Justice John Robers on Thursday. A temporary stay blocks the Seminole Tribe of Florida from offering online sports betting in the Sunshine State.
The new decision comes after a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. upheld the gambling deal, known as a compact, between the state and the Seminole Tribe. Back in 2021, the compact was reached and shortly after signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Chief Justice Robert’s order comes after pari-mutuel companies, including Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., which operates the Bonita Springs Poker Room, asked for a stay as they continue to work to prepare a request for the Supreme Court to challenge the appeals court ruling.
Meanwhile, left in the middle of the lawsuit are Floridians and sports fans.
“You’re more in tune with the game, actually. You want to see what’s going on,” said Weston Neithercutt.
The compact reached between the Seminole Tribe and the State of Florida in 2021 made online sports betting “exclusively conducted by the tribe.”
Other gambling companies don’t like that idea. They argue that the compact was devised to circumvent the 2018 state constitutional amendment that now requires voters to approve of casino gambling in Florida.
The Seminole Tribe rolled out the Hard Rock SportsBook mobile app for a brief period of time in 2021 but stopped after the first judge blocked the legality of it.
“I think this back-and-forth stuff is kind of ridiculous,” said Tony Galassi.
“Diversity, you know? Some of the tribe ones and some of the other ones,” added Neithercutt.
While the legal battle continues, the idea of sports betting this football season is now sitting on the sidelines.