Sports Betting News: Motion To Suspend Florida Sports Betting Fails Plus PA & CA Updates
Among the biggest stories in sports betting news this week, the Florida Supreme Court denied a motion to stop online sports betting in the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania sportsbooks saw the most single-month wagers since launch. Also, in California, local tribes formally oppose the current sports betting bills. Let’s take a look at all these recent sports betting news stories.
Florida Sports Betting Wins Again
West Flagler attempted to shut down online sports betting in Florida while their legal case was still in flux. A motion was filed with the Florida Supreme Court to force the Florida Seminole Tribe to shut down their Hard Rock Bet app while the case was still ongoing. The denial of this motion allows Floridians to continue to wager on sports legally.
“The Motion to Expedite Consideration of Request for all Writs Relief Pending Resolution of Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto and Suspend Sports Betting Provisions Contained in §§ 285.710(13)(B)(7) & 849.142, Fla. Stat. is hereby denied,” reads the ruling.
This isn’t West Flagler’s first attempt at shuttering sports betting in Florida. Even before the mobile app returned to residents, West Flagler filed for a stay motion to prevent the app from going live. The stay motion was against a June 2023 ruling that overturned the initial ruling to outlaw online sports betting in Florida. The stay was not granted, opening the gates for Florida’s betting return.
West Flagler is currently attempting to stop online betting in both the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court. In order for online betting to be shuttered in Florida again, West Flagler would need to win in either court. So far, however, the Seminole Tribe has been on a winning streak in this legal battle.
Pennsylvania Record-Setting October
Pennsylvania sportsbooks reported $829,002,595.44 in wagers for October. This is the single highest sports betting month in Pennsylvania history. PA saw a 4% increase year over year compared to the $797.1 million wagered in 2022, which was also the previous handle record.
Additionally, sports betting was up 14.1% month over month compared to September. A Full month of NFL and college football betting played a major role in this market-setting October.
The gaming revenue report shows that $48,150,055.38 was available in taxable gross revenue after $25,481,141.83 in promotional credits were deducted. The state collected 34% of the gross revenue for $16,371,018.82 in total taxes.
Online sportsbooks dominated, raking in $773,164,247.92 of all wagers for October, which was 93.26% of wagers. Pennsylvania will look to continue this record-breaking momentum as the football seasons progress toward the playoffs.
California Tribes Oppose Sports Betting Initiatives
Fifty-two members of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) have voted to oppose the two sports betting bills that were filed in October and have been making sports betting news since then. Both 23-0031 and 23-0030 would authorize retail and online sportsbooks and place the tribes at the forefront of the market.
Even with the tribal focus of the measures, the association has vocally opposed them since the measures were presented. Now, the formal opposition has been declared.
“The entire effort surrounding these initiatives was handled abhorrently by the initiative sponsors,” said James Siva, CNIGA Chairman. “It is hard not to be offended when listening to these individuals speak. This is another example of outside influences trying to divide and conquer Indian tribes. We will not let history repeat itself.”
The opposition seems to stem from the lack of tribal input in the bill drafting process. Despite the measures creating a monopoly on sports betting for the tribes, the association feels as if they were not included in the discussions.
The tribes want to make the decisions about sports betting in California. Discussions surrounding the market that do not include tribal input won’t land favorably with the CNIGA. The tribes have shown in the past the lengths they are willing to go to oppose sports betting legislation they do not agree with. In 2022, tribes spent close to $250 million to oppose a mobile sports betting bill and succeeded.
“California tribes have been successfully engaged in the gaming market for more than four decades,” continued Siva. “This didn’t happen by mistake, nor without careful consideration of the effects on our members and our surrounding communities. Tribal Leaders are the experts, and we will decide what is best for our people.”
With the opposition of the tribes, the measures will likely struggle to gain traction in the legislature. Sports betting in California may continue to be a distant dream until the tribes and lawmakers can come to a consensus.