First lawsuit against Florida sports betting was thrown out by judge

Some massive news has arrived out of Tallahassee this week which most certainly has Governor Ron  DeSantis and the Florida Seminole Tribe jumping with joy. That’s because the first lawsuit against Florida sports betting was thrown out by judge Allen Winsor this week. This is one of multiple different lawsuits filed in federal court trying to prevent Florida sports betting from moving forward legally.

West Flagler Associates, the company that owns Miami’s Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room, has argued that what the governor and Seminole Tribe are trying to do is illegal. On top of that, their main argument is that it’s going to have a majorly negative impact on their businesses. This of course makes sense, as the Seminole Tribe would take control of sports betting in Florida.

This would open the door for millions and millions of people to head to their owned facilities instead of going to the Magic City Casino or Bonita Springs Poker Room. This is what West Flager Associates has been trying to prevent happening from Day 1. With that said, they presented their first lawsuit, but didn’t showcase enough damning evidence to get Judge Winsor to put the hammer down on things.

This was expected for Florida, as these lawsuits came after DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe agreed to their monster 30-year deal, which would bring in roughly $20 billion for the state as a whole. This received plenty of positive feedback, as that money could be used for so many different resources and departments. With that said, the original date for things to get going was delayed. So, what’s next?

Judge Winsor adamantly said Florida’s agreement isn’t illegal

What makes things even better here for both DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe is that Judge Winsor adamanly said Florida’s agreement isn’t illegal at all. Matter of fact, Winsor didn’t mince words when he said that DeSantis and his government officials have put things in place in a strong fashion and whatever the Seminole Tribe decides to do is not on Florida as a whole. They are separate entities here.

“Now that the die is cast, it is not clear what the Governor has to do with ‘implementing’ the sports betting provisions,” Winsor said via a report from the Tampa Bay Times. “So there is no indication that an injunction against the Governor would ‘significantly increase the likelihood’ that the Parimutuels would obtain relief, ‘whether directly or indirectly’.”

Because of this, Winsor felt more than comfortable throwing out this specific lawsuit. That however doesn’t mean that DeSantis and Florida are in the clear just yet. There are still two other legal battles that the state is facing to try and have its citizens make their sports bets. The two other lawsuits remain out there, but they are set to be heard by a judge in the near future.

Once the judge hears these additional suits, then we could have more of an answer as to when folks will be able to head to a sportsbook, check out different NBA, MLB, NFL odds and more and then put down bets with their go-to places. It’s obvious that this first hurdle being cleared is a major victory for the state. However, there’s still more battles on the way for them.

Nov. 15 could be a historic day for Florida sports betting

With all of this said, Nov. 15 could be a historic day for Florida sports betting if the other two lawsuits are thrown out beforehand. Unfortunately for sports fans in the Sunshine State, they thought that Oct. 15 was going to be the original date where they could go check out some odds in person and then place a bet or two. This was the target start, but things were delayed because of the lawsuits.

Now, though, the next target date is Nov. 15. There’s plenty of optimism, as we’re less than away from that new date to arrive. If the state indeed is given the green light, it will be a day to remember for folks all over the state. Not only that, but you could most definitely expect people from neighboring states, or even from all over the country, to fly in to Florida to take advantage of things.

Florida is always going to be a popular destination for people to visit. Things are only going to grow in terms of popularity when sports betting is made legal. Financially, this is going to create an economic boom for the state, particularly local businesses and the sportsbooks in operation. This is something DeSantis knows all too well. It’s why so many people are counting down the minutes for things to go.

The wait definitely could come to an end on Nov. 15. Again, though, we need to wait and see what will happen with the additional lawsuits that are still out there. Once the judge makes his call, we’ll know for sure what will be able to happen. However, with that first lawsuit getting tossed, people are getting even more excited at the thought of sports betting being made legal. We’ll find out soon how things shape out.


Chris Boline

Chris Boline is an avid sports fan and currently works within the sports industry. He has previously written for outlets covering the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, Mountain West Conference football and basketball and has been a writer for over 10 years. Chris is very involved within his local community and spends his free time working with community organizations, sitting on boards, and spending time with friends and family.