Florida Sports Betting Relaunch Waiting Game Continues

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Florida sports betting

There were no court filings yet this week in the ongoing Florida sports betting battle, as customers in the Sunshine State remain without a legal option to make their wagers. And a timeline for when that may change is unclear. 

A federal rule necessitates s 10-day window for the US Department of the Interior (representing the Seminole Tribe of Florida) to respond to the motion for stay request by West Flagler Associates

That means the DOI has until Sept. 25 to respond before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals makes its FL sports betting ruling. 

What federal rule says

The Seminole Tribe also could independently state its opposition under Rule 27 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

The federal rule states: 

Any party may file a response to a motion … The response must be filed within 10 days after service of the motion unless the court shortens or extends the time. A motion authorized by Rules 8, 9, 18, or 41 may be granted before the 10-day period runs only if the court gives reasonable notice to the parties that it intends to act sooner. 

Likely FL sports betting motion denial

One legal expert has told LSR that the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to deny the motion

Still, that would trigger West Flagler to ask the Supreme Court for a stay via an emergency injunction. West Flagler ended its motion from attorney Hamish Hume as follows: 

“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. 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.”

Seminole could wait before relaunch

The Seminole Tribe may elect to wait and see what happens with all court proceedings before relaunching Florida sports betting via its Hard Rock Bet app, so as to avoid another shut down.

Previously, there had been a belief the Seminoles could relaunch for Week 3 of the NFL betting season. But it appears they will have to wait until at least Week 4, if not later. 

Florida sports betting case to state court?

If its Supreme Court attempt fails, West Flagler could go to through the state courts. It could then argue that expanded gambling is in violation of the Florida Constitution

If West Flagler does manage to obtain the stay, it would be in place until the Supreme Court decides whether to take the case, though it could be longer if SCOTUS were to vote to hear the case. 

The expectation is West Flagler will file a petition with the Supreme Court in their 90-day window that began Sept. 11

Lay of the land in Florida

The Seminole Tribe basically has a monopoly on the Florida sports betting market. It was facilitated by the 2021 gaming compact that the tribe agreed to with Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida customers have been unable to bet legally in the state since sports betting was suspended on Dec. 4, 2021

On June 30, a DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously overturned the District Court ruling that blocked FL sports betting.