The highest court in the state of Florida finds no fault with the online sports betting case.    

 Orlando, Florida— On Thursday, the latest battle against a Seminole Tribe pact with the state that authorizes internet sports betting ended in defeat for Florida's opponents.

The Florida Supreme Court determined that the petitioners who sought to contest the agreement between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the administration of Governor Ron DeSantis had submitted the incorrect form of petition. The tribe and the state government will each receive hundreds of millions of dollars from various types of online gaming as a result of the pact.

The ruling was the most recent disappointment for the Florida-based gambling companies West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation. And they've asked the United States Supreme Court to hear their case, which is challenging the compact in federal court as well. In response to an email requesting comment, an opponent's counsel did not answer. In light of the court's decision, the opposing party can now ask for a new hearing.

According to the two parimutuel companies, the council and the tribe inked a deal in 2021 that grants the tribe a monopoly on sports betting. Additionally, they claim it establishes an indirect loophole around the 2018 Florida Constitutional amendment requiring a people initiative to extend casino gaming beyond tribal land.

They claimed that by allowing sports betting off tribe territory, DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, who had previously authorized the compact, had unjustly overstepped their authority.

Opponents have raised doubts about the legality of online sports betting on tribal territory, given that the only physical location of the servers is in Florida. These servers can receive bets placed from any computer or mobile phone in the state.

According to the tribe, the amendment does not alter the fact that the legislative has the power to determine the locations of internet gaming establishments. Legal representatives for both DeSantis and the top lawmakers in the legislature have argued that the constitutional amendment does not ban sports betting since it differs from gambling in casinos.

With the debut of the tribe's internet sports betting activity towards the end of last year, Florida stands to earn over $120 million in its portion of earnings for 2024. Revenue sharing from tribal gambling might reach $4.4 billion by the end of this decade, according to state economic projections.

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