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West Flagler Submits Final Brief Challenging Florida Gaming Compact

Written by: Michael Savio
Published May 24, 2024
2 min read

Almost three years after Florida approved a new gaming compact in 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will decide its fate.

West Flagler submitted its final brief to SCOTUS this week, which is the final step needed for the court to consider the challenge. The move comes after the group submitted a writ of certiorari to get the nation’s highest court to review the case. If granted, SCOTUS will review the case and make a ruling that could set a precedent across the country.

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has also filed a brief regarding the challenge, condemning West Flagler’s effort and standing by its compact approval. The DOI has made a point of interjecting into each of West Flagler’s legal challenges in federal court. Their strong defense of the compact carries a lot of weight in federal court, making any change to Flordia’s compact unlikely.

After losing in Florida state courts as well as all lower federal courts, this challenge represents West Flagler’s last chance to overturn the compact.

West Flagler Submits Final Brief Challenging Florida Gaming Compact

Battle Centers Around Gaming Rights

The crux of West Flagler’s argument is that Florida incorrectly applied the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) when it handed the sole rights for sports betting to the Seminole Tribe, which operates Hard Rock Bet. The IGRA allows federally recognized tribes to operate casinos on their land. 

Florida used the act to justify handing full rights over to the Seminole Tribe. Since the servers would be hosted on tribal land, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature decided that would qualify as “gaming on tribal lands.”

West Flagler owns a poker room and had hoped to enter the Sports Betting industry. They argue that since mobile sports betting almost always takes place on tribal lands, the IGRA should not have been applied. 

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Michael Savio

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

Expertise:
Gambling News
MLB
NCAAB
Online Sports Betting
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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
3 years
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