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US Appeals Court Mandates Restoration of Florida Gaming Compact

Written by: Michael Savio
Published October 10, 2023
6 min read
Court Mandates Restoration of Florida Gaming Compact

A US Court of Appeals mandated that Florida restore their gaming compact on Friday, October 6. The compact, approved in 2021, has been on hold amid legal challenges from West Flagler Associates. The group has claimed that the state errored in awarding the Seminole Tribe sole rights to online sports betting. West Flagler won their initial case, which put sports betting on hold almost immediately after it launched in 2021. The industry has remained on hold as the two sides have battled through appeals.

West Flagler lost a final appeal last month, which leaves the US Supreme Court as the only remaining option for their case to win. This court mandate restores legal sports betting in the Sunshine State, even as West Flagler pursues a longshot attempt to bring the case to the country’s top court. 

While the mandate again opens the door for Florida to relaunch online sports betting, no timetable has been set for when that will happen. Though the Seminole Tribe already has an established online sportsbook in Hard Rock Bet, they have hesitated to return to the Sunshine State thanks to the extended legal battle. It seems the Tribe does not want to relaunch Hard Rock Bet until the legal challenges have ended.

West Flagler Still Fighting Florida Gaming Compact

Though they have not had a favorable court ruling since their initial challenge, West Flagler is not prepared to give up their fight. The West Flager group consists of a couple of pari-mutuel betting locations that want the ability to offer sports betting. They have argued that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which Florida cited when awarding the Seminole Tribe's sole rights to the industry, does not cover mobile gaming. While the Tribe has said all servers would be located on tribal lands, West Flagler argues that almost all online sports wagers will take place off of them.

West Flagler has stated they will request a hearing from the US Supreme Court while also filing a similar lawsuit with the Florida Supreme Court. Neither are expected to hear or overturn the case, but they are succeeding in continuing the pause on sports betting in Florida

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

467 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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