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Seminole Tribe suspends Hardrock Sportsbook app

Seminole Tribe Hard Rock App suspended

Seminole Tribe’s Hardrock Sportsbook App Suspended

An appeals court has rejected the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s emergency motion for a stay to continue running its Hard Rock Sportsbook app throughout the state. The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the emergency motion be rejected, stating that the tribe had not met the requirements for a stay pending an appeal.

In November, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled the online sports wagering app violates federal law by permitting players to bet using their smartphones from anywhere in the Sunshine State rather than just on tribal land. An existing federal rule requires bettors to be physically on a tribal property when betting, the judge said.

The tribe filed an appeal for a stay of the ruling, seeking to continue operating and accepting wagers on the app until its appeal of the judge’s decision has been resolved.

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Daniel Wallach, an attorney who broke the news on Twitter on Friday evening, also tweeted over the weekend that the tribe has shut down the app.

All Gaming Must Occur on Tribal Lands

Friedrich was appointed in 2017 by then President Donald Trump stated a prior Supreme Court ruling permits tribal gaming “on Indian lands, and nowhere else.”

The judge claimed that it was “fiction” to say that all Hardrock Sportsbook mobile wagering has taken place on tribal land simply because that’s where the computer servers are situated to process the wagers.

The judge’s decision also stops the tribe from implementing Las Vegas-style craps and roulette at its Hard Rock casinos in Hillsborough and Broward counties.

Other Sports Betting Options Available in Florida

In a 25-page memorandum document, Friedrich wrote that her ruling “does not foreclose other avenues” for approving online sports wagering in Florida.

The Washington, D.C-based judge claimed that the state and tribe could agree to a new compact permitting online sports betting, but only on tribal lands. The judge also said that Florida residents can still create a “citizens’ initiative” to launch mobile sports wagering across the state.

A political action committee has quickly moved to seek a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting across Florida. The PAC has received $10 million each from well-known sports betting operators DraftKings and FanDuel.

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