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Anti-Gambling Group Wants in on Fla. Sports Betting Decision

The old expression, “Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” is coming to life in the state of Florida as the anti-gambling group No Casinos, Inc. is filing an amicus brief in a case pitting poker rooms against big casino interests. It’s a soap opera-like atmosphere with sky-high financial consequences for all parties involved.

At the heart of the Florida conflict are changes made to the state’s gaming compact that allow the Seminole Indian Tribe to offer online and in-person sports betting. West Flagler Associates, a poker room operator, took exception with the changes, which also grant 13.8 percent of the revenue to the State, and is taking the matter to court.

Their argument, which will be heard by the State Supreme Court, is that no changes can be made to the state’s gaming compact without a statewide referendum. In legal filings on the case, West Flagler sets forth the argument that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has exceeded his power in making the deal the Seminoles.

No Casinos, Inc., which is opposed to all gaming expansion in the state of Florida, is joining the case in an effort to provide the perspective of a plaintiff who is not tied to the gaming industry (and, of course, to help stop casino gaming entirely).

Expanding regulated gaming in any state is a huge job that usually requires a coalition of interests working together. In this case, it seems that the heavy hand of authoritarianism is bringing to life another old expression, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”