Florida Dispute Could Lead to US Online Gambling


When the state of Florida reached an agreement with the Seminole Indians, no one expected the fallout could result in US online gambling. And while there is still a long way to go to make that happen, the path is an interesting one.

The Floridian compact with the Seminoles would allow them to take mobile sports bets from anyone within the state, even if they were not located on Tribal property. That bill has led to a federal lawsuit, but while we wait to see how that plays out, some in the US Congress are taking matters into their own hands.

Representative Lou Correa  of California and Representative John Katko of New York have sponsored a bipartisan bill that would “…remove Federal barriers regarding the offering of mobile wagers on Indian lands when the applicable State and Indian Tribe have reached an agreement.”

Now, that may not sound too fancy on the surface, but dig a little deeper and some serious potential consequences are exposed. First, the bill would clarify that for tribal gaming, the location of a bet occurs at the server location. That is, unless a state and Tribe otherwise agree.

The legal definition of where an online bet takes place has no legal precedent. Creating one does at least two significant things: First, it would eliminate frivolous litigation against Tribal gaming operators. And second, it could throw open the doors to US online gambling.

If the bets placed online are legal defined as occurring where the servers are located, then any Tribal casino with an online gambling license and servers located on their land could accept bets from anyone in the state… regardless of if they were on Tribal land or not.

The odds of this bill gaining traction and passing are admittedly slim. However, it is another option that could throw open the doors for US online gambling… even in states where there was previously no hope.

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