In a recent development, the Supreme Court has chosen not to obstruct a federal appeals court ruling, thereby permitting a Native American tribe in Florida to proceed with online sports betting. This decision came in response to an appeal by two Florida-based casinos seeking to halt the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision while they pursued a review by the Supreme Court.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh provided a statement on the court’s refusal to grant the casinos’ request. While he concurred with the decision to let the D.C. Circuit’s ruling stand, he emphasized the limited scope of the court’s order.
The core of the contention revolves around the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act (IGRA), established in 1988. This act set the groundwork for gambling activities on tribal territories. As per IGRA stipulations, tribes wishing to offer casino games and sports betting must form a compact with the state they reside in. This compact then requires the approval of the federal Secretary of the Interior. If no action is taken within 45 days, the compact is deemed approved.
In a significant move in 2021, the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe reached a compact agreement, allowing the tribe to facilitate online sports betting for anyone within Florida, not just on tribal territories. The compact came into effect in August 2021 after Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior during the Biden administration, took no action on it.