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  • Tiffany Rigby

Owners of the Magic City Casino are suing the U.S. Department

The owners of the Magic City Casino are suing the U.S. Department of the Interior. They are asking a judge to stop The Seminole Tribe from rolling out sports betting across the State of Florida, after a deal with the state gave the tribe exclusive rights to all sports betting statewide.

The suit argues the Seminole Tribe's deal violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which requires all Native American gambling take place on tribal lands. Attorneys for the casino argue all bets placed digitally and at pari mutuel across the state constitute bets that are not made on tribal lands.

The Seminole Tribe argues their sports betting is legal under IGRA because all bets are digitally funneled through servers placed on tribal lands. Proponents of the compact point to states like New Jersey, which has similar gaming laws, and say the Seminoles are protected because the Department of the Interior signed off on the deal.

Legally, the tribe is allowed to accept bets as early as October 15th. A spokesperson said the rollout date has not been announced. A website for Hard Rock Sportsbook says betting is "coming soon."

"While we are fully supportive of Governor DeSantis and his work to secure a new Seminole Compact, the lawsuit filed focuses on a very narrow aspect of the Compact – the legality of off-reservation and online sports wagering," said a spokesperson for Magic City Casino in a statement to CBS 12 News.

In their suit, the Magic City Casino owners name Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and argue her agency should not have approved the deal.

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