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FL Sports Betting Fiasco: Wallach Asks "Where Were the Gambling and Legal Experts?"

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Nov/23/2021

Florida-based gaming attorney Daniel Wallach was right on the money in regard to the contentious Florida sports betting outcome.

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A federal judge has rejected a gaming compact that would have permitted the Seminole Tribe of Florida to offer online sports betting, effectively halting the practice in the state. 

He tweeted following the decision:

"I’d like to file a missing persons report on all legal experts and gaming industry analysts who took public positions or intimated that online sports betting via a tribal compact was legal under federal law. This wasn’t even a close call."

Gambling911.com's own Thomas Somach has reached out to the Seminoles to find out if they will seek to appeal this decision. They had not yet commented.

But USA vs. Jay Cohen already provides clear precedence.  In 2000, the US Government determined the placement of a sports bet occurred at the individual's physical location, not the location of a server.  Cohen, whose gambling business was based out of Antigua where online gambling was - and still is - legal, utlimately served an 18 month prison sentence.

Ironically, it was the Seminoles in partnership with Disney that helped pass a ballot initiative into law whereby voters decide to allow any form of gambling expansion.  In recent weeks the Seminoles have fought hard to prevent DraftKings and FanDuel from gaining access into the Florida market via a residents petition drive.

"Watch Out Florida" ads have been flooding the airwaves.  The spot warns of out-of-state gambling companies spending millions to "turn our state into another Las Vegas".

FanDuel and DraftKings have countered with their Florida Education Champions "Everyone Loves a Win Win" ads that claim all the billions of dollars in taxes from sports betting will go towards Florida public education.

The ads have gained national visibility via the Gambling911.com website.  Florida residents need only be exposed to them during commercial breaks watching Dr. Phil, Judge Judy or their local news. 

The Hard Rock sports betting website has vowed to remain up and is still sending out promos encouraging real money deposits as of 1:45 pm ET.  Governor Ron DeSantis has been instrumental in backing the Seminole sports betting deal.  He was scheduled to hold a news conference at a Florida Department of Transportation district office some time Tuesday afternoon.

As for DraftKings and FanDuel, that group has poured $32 million into the effort to gets their own sports betting citizen initiative on the 2022 ballot but have only a few more weeks to gather the nearly 900,000 signatures required. State records show that Florida Education Champions has gotten slightly more than 116,000 signatures verified.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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