Governor’s office responds that Florida sports betting lawsuit should be dismissed

December 4, 2023
By

The request to dismiss is based on a ‘lack of urgency' in West Flagler Associates' legal filings.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office has filed a response to West Flagler Associates’ lawsuit over sports betting in the Sunshine State. The Florida Supreme Court has been asked to dismiss the lawsuit three weeks after the Seminole Tribe had already relaunched its mobile sports betting app.

In August 2021, the Tribe was granted the right to exclusively operate sports betting in the state of Florida, but the decision was appealed later that year, and betting was ‘temporarily’ suspended. In August 2022, the Biden administration urged Florida’s appeals court to reinstate the Seminole Tribe’s agreement.

On June 30 this year, sports betting became legal for Tribes in Florida after a Federal Appeals Court ordered the Department of the Interior to reinstate the gaming compact; but West Flagler Associates has pursued a rehearing, moved the lawsuit to the Florida Supreme Court, received support from the Biden administration again and was able to announce its plans for sports betting to resume in December this year.

Governor DeSantis’ response to the continued attempts from West Flagler associates to shut down Seminole sports betting now takes the opinion that the group waited too long to file against the Tribe, reducing the “sense of urgency” such a suit requires. Two suits are in play against both the Florida Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said of West Flagler Associates’ legal action, “Petitioner invoked this Court as Plan C only after their two federal-court lawsuits failed.”

West Flagler Associates has already asked to file a writ of certiorari, as well as an extension be made for its deadline from December 11 to February 8, and now the group has asked for a writ of quo warranto. The response from the governor’s office also asserts that the group is requesting the wrong type of legal proceedings from the courts.

Sports betting through the Hard Rock Bet app is currently operational, though limited.

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