Seminole sports betting case will not experience rehearing

September 12, 2023
By

West Flagler Associates left with options to further case in either state or Supreme Court.

West Flagler Associates, owner of Magic City Casino, has been denied a rehearing en banc in a Florida appeals court surrounding the legality of the Seminole Tribe’s ability to offer mobile sports betting. When sports betting will be available in Florida is still unclear.

In August, West Flagler Associates announced that it would pursue a rehearing, based on a decision in June this year, which gave Tribes in Florida the exclusive right to offer sports betting in the Sunshine State. The Seminole Tribe originally entered a compact with the state in 2021, but that compact was subject to further appeals and review under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

The court’s denial of the request for rehearing means that West Flagler Associates has only two chances for further litigation: either advancing to state courts, or petitioning the US Supreme Court. The DC court is of the opinion that the deal does not violate IGRA, but the Supreme Court could still potentially disagree.

In June, Daniel Wallach of Wallach Legal, who specializes in gaming and sports betting law, spoke to Orlando News 6 regarding the ruling that sports betting takes place ‘on Tribal land’ as long as its servers are located on said land. He said, “This is a decision that can alter the balance of power and impact Tribes and non-Tribal gaming operators in virtually every state, so it has the hallmarks of the type of case the US Supreme Court would consider reviewing.”

However, West Flagler Associates would now need to file a writ of certiorari in order for the Supreme Court to undertake any further judicial review, which could potentially take another year. The Seminole Tribe has not commented on when it plans to launch mobile sports betting.

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