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US Supreme Court Puts Temporary Stay on Florida Sports Betting

Written by: Michael Savio
Published October 16, 2023
6 min read
Temporary Stay on Florida Sports Betting

The US Supreme Court surprised many late last week when it issued a temporary hold on sports betting in Florida. The hold comes thanks to a legal challenge from a pair of pari-mutuel operators in the state. The pair, under West Flagler Associates, have been attempting to overturn Florida’s sports betting compact. The compact grants sole control of sports betting in the state to the Seminole Tribe, who launched their Hard Rock Bet platform in 2021. 

West Flagler has argued that the state erred in granting the Tribe sole rights based on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The act paved the way for tribal casinos, and Florida applied it to their decision based on the mobile betting servers being based on the Seminole Tribe’s land. 

West Flagler has also pointed out that Florida failed to conduct a referendum on the new gaming compact. They argue that the move violates the Sunshine State’s constitution, which calls for a referendum on any gambling expansion. 

Many thought this legal challenge would finally be over when an appeals court refused to hear the case. While the hold is a win for West Flagler, it does not mean the Supreme Court will accept the petition to review. The nation’s highest court only hears around 1% of cases annually, but this decision shows the case is on their radar.

Court Decision Would Set National Precedent 

While West Flagler’s case only covers Florida, similar battles are arising across the country. Washington is currently facing a similar challenge to their gaming compact, which hands sole sports betting rights to a local tribe. A ruling by the Supreme Court would almost certainly affect the outcome of that fight.

California and Texas still haven’t legalized sports betting, which could provide extra motivation for the court to set a legal precedent. 

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Michael Savio

477 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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