US Department of the Interior Updates Regulations to Mirror Florida Indian Gaming Compacts


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The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has announced an update of federal regulations to make Indian gaming compacts similar to those enforced in Florida. The Department reportedly intends to have the clarity and transparency of the Florida gaming compact mirrored across the country. As reported by iGB, the new legislation would allow tribes to offer gambling services away from their reservations. The updated rules are reportedly focused to facilitate an easier conclusion of deals between tribes and the state.

Federal Regulations Update:

As iGB reports, DOI sees gaming as “one of the most significant drivers of tribal economic development” and updates the legal framework to mirror the “hub-and-spoke” model of betting used in Florida by the Seminole Tribe. The model reportedly includes bets being placed away from Indian land and being routed through servers enabling the Seminole to have an online sports betting monopoly in Florida. The regulation reportedly aims to make it easier for tribes to seek compact approvals, specifies key terms and boundaries, and outlines compact revision timeline. According to iGB, the DOI announced that the new regulations would be effective 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register, the time limit reportedly falling due this week.

In the press release, DOI secretary Deb Haaland stated: “Not only does Indian gaming support tribal economies, the funding it generates helps to support the vital services that tribal nations provide to their citizens. By updating these regulations, we will provide certainty and clarity to tribes for an industry that remains one of the most significant sources of economic development in Indian country.” Assistant secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland reportedly added: “By providing clarity on Class III gaming compact negotiations, the Biden-Harris administration is following through on its commitments to Indian country.”

Florida-Style Compact:

AsiGB reports, the Seminole Tribe offers mobile gaming under the gaming compact signed with the Sunshine State in 2021. The compact was subject to a legal battle with the gambling operator West Flagler and the tribe’s sports betting operations have been shut down for two years. It was in June 2023 that the US Supreme Court ruled West Flagler out of Florida to allow the tribe to re-launch its operations. The Seminole launched Hard Rock Bet in the state in November 2023 to regain the exclusive right to offer sports betting in the state.

The Department of Interior now uses the Florida’s ‘’hub-and-spoke’’ model to accordingly update federal regulations governing Indian compacts in the United States. DOI reportedly intends to mirror the clarity and transparency of Florida compact to protect tribal gaming. On the other side, tribes are concerned about the sovereignty as state governments reportedly look to take more control over Indian country.