Florida-Based Jai-Alai Company Joins Forces With BetRivers

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Magic City Jai-Alai, a subsidiary of the Florida-based West Flagler Associates, has joined forces with BetRivers to offer Jai-Alai to Illinois and Iowa gamblers.

The move is of note to sports betting fans because West Flagler is the plaintiff in two cases claiming the new Florida compact, which is set to bring sports wagering to the state as soon as next month, is unconstitutional. 

Magic City Jai-Alai began running games in 2018. It is administered by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

West Flager Associates, which owns Magic City, has filed cases in Florida and the District of Columbia against the recent compact signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Department of Interior has signed off on the compact and retail sports betting is slated to begin in Florida later this fall. 

BetRivers is owned by Rush Street Interactive.

Rush Street Interactive And Jai-Alai

“RSI is excited to partner with Magic City Jai-Alai to pioneer this new fast-paced format of play for Jai-Alai, a sport which has long been a betting favorite and has a storied history in Florida dating back to the 1930s,” Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI, said in a statement.

“Jai-Alai is the fastest sport in the world, with ball speeds exceeding 150 mph, and with this new electrifying format, we are really excited to offer bettors a unique way to watch in real-time and bet in-play on a sport we know they will love,” he added.

Scott Savin, COO of Magic City, likewise said in a statement he is excited for the future of the game. 

“Working closely with the RSI team, we are excited to pioneer a new twist on an old favorite and offer fans exciting and different ways to engage with Jai-Alai while modernizing the sport to a whole new digital betting audience,” Savin said. 

“From day one we’ve made it our mission to create an innovative and modern-looking league where the integrity of the game and its athletes have been our focus to earn and retain our bettors’ trust.”

It is unclear, however, what this means for Florida sports bettors once online betting is established. 

Last week the judge presiding over the case in US District Court for the District of Columbia set a trial date of Nov. 5. Plaintiffs have until tomorrow, Sept. 21, to decide if they want summary judgment or wish the case to proceed. 

Under the terms of the compact mobile sports betting is allowed in the Sunshine State but the servers must be located on tribal property. Furthermore, any sports betting done in retail establishments off the reservation are subject to a hefty profit-sharing agreement between the tribe and the retail establishment.

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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