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West Flagler Files Motion to Stay in Sports Betting Legal Battle With Florida

Written by: Michael Savio
Published September 18, 2023
6 min read
West Flagler in Sports Betting Legal Battle with Florida

Sports betting in Florida is again on hold as West Flagler Associates (WFA) filed a motion to stay in their lawsuit against the Sunshine State. WFA has been attempting to overturn Florida’s new sports betting compact, which gives sole rights to run the industry to the Seminole Tribe. They suffered a loss last week as an appeals court rejected their request to review the case. The motion to stay will keep the industry on hold pending a hearing from the US Supreme Court.

WFA represents two brick-and-mortar pari-mutuel betting locations. They argued that Florida misinterpreted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) when it awarded the Seminole Tribe with the right to control sports betting. WFA has argued that the IGRA only affects gaming on Tribal lands, which would not include mobile sports betting. While the rejection of their latest request is likely the final blow to their case, WFA has vowed to push the case to the US Supreme Court, which only hears about 1% of cases.

“Appellees respectfully request that this Court stay issuance of the mandate pending resolution of Appellees’ anticipated petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.” WFA said in their motion to stay, “Alternatively, Appellees request that the Court stay the mandate for a sufficient period of time to permit Appellees to apply for a stay of the mandate from the Supreme Court.”

Sports Betting in Florida Could Launch Soon

After their latest legal win, Florida was cleared to re-launch sports betting as soon as today. However, the motion to stay will again place a hold on it. That will prevent the Seminole Tribe from opening Hard Rock Bet, but that won’t last long. Unless the Supreme Court gets involved, the motion to stay will fail, and it could lead to sports betting being available by the end of September. 

While the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Bet has been offline in Florida, they should be able to re-launch the mobile sports betting platform quickly. The sportsbook is available in a few other states, meaning they have a fully functioning product ready. While we don’t know precisely how long that will take, Florida and the Seminole Tribe will be motivated to move quickly to capture as much of the NFL betting season as possible.

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Michael Savio

423 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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