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West Flagler Once Again Takes Grievances Over Florida Sports Betting Compact to US Supreme Court

Written by: Michael Savio
Published February 13, 2024
6 min read
West Flagler Florida Sports Betting Compact

After months of waiting, West Flagler Associates has taken another step in their fight against Florida’s Gaming Compact on Thursday. 

The group submitted a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), which once again challenges the Sunshine State’s decision to hand the Seminole Tribe sole rights to operate sports betting in the state.

West Flagler is requesting the SCOTUS asking them to consider the following three questions:

  1. “Whether the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) authorizes the approval of a compact that purports to allow for an online sports gambling monopoly throughout the state and off Indian lands.”

  2. “Whether an IGRA compact violates the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) if it provides for internet sports betting that is unlawful where many of the bets are placed.”

  3. “Whether the Secretary’s approval of a tribal-state compact violates equal protection principles where it provides a specific tribe with a monopoly on online sports gaming off tribal lands, while state law makes that conduct a felony for everyone else.”

The three questions proposed have been at the core of the group’s challenge over Florida’s Gaming Compact. West Flagler believes that Florida misinterpreted the IGRA when it awarded the Seminole Tribe control over the new industry. The IGRA gives federally recognized tribes the ability to offer gaming, but only on tribal lands. Since mobile sports betting would be available statewide, West Flagler argues that the IGRA should not be applied.

This challenge comes after a multi-year campaign failed in 2023, finally allowing Florida to launch online sports betting.

Online sports betting will remain available in Florida while SCOTUS considers West Flagler's questions.

SCOTUS Ruling Would Set National Precedent

While West Flagler’s challenge is only against Florida’s Gaming Compact, it is being watched closely nationwide. Several states have applied the IGRA like Florida did, leading to similar challenges working their way through the courts. How SCOTUS rules on West Flagler’s case will set a precedent that will shape the future of sports betting in the US.

“As different jurisdictions make different decisions regarding the legality of sports betting, it is critical that this Court not allow the unlawful approach taken by Florida to become a model, or for the D.C. Circuit decision to create a confusing and misleading precedent.” West Flagler stated in their filing, “The Court should grant certiorari to ensure clarity in the law regarding the scope of IGRA and UIGEA, and to make clear that providing a statewide gambling monopoly to an Indian tribe while making the conduct a felony for all others is unconstitutional.”

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

352 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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