The US Department of the Interior on Wednesday filed a response in opposition to West Flagler Associates’ application to stay a mandate with the US Supreme Court, pending a petition for writ of certiorari in the ongoing Florida sports betting case.
West Flagler has a 90-day window, which began on Sept. 11, to file its cert petition with the Supreme Court.
Last week, SCOTUS granted a temporary stay to delay the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ mandate that would have allowed the Seminole Tribe of Florida to relaunch its Hard Rock Bet app for Florida sports betting.
Next steps for SCOTUS case
A legal expert told LSR that SCOTUS now has three options following DOI’s “hefty, pretty serious” response:
- Extend the temporary stay until West Flagler files its petition (90 days from Sept. 11) and through a determination on the petition.
- Read the briefs and then kill the temporary stay (as of now through the petition window.)
- Tell the Seminole, who are not party to the case, that they want to hear from them (which could happen within the next week, if necessary.)
Feds Florida sports betting argument
The DOI’s argument centers on the following points, as per its opposition filing:
- This court would not likely grant certiorari, or reverse the court of appeals, on any of the three questions that applicants present:
- The Compact is consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)
- The Compact is consistent with Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
- The Secretary’s approval of the Compact is consistent with equal-protection principles
2. Applicants fail to demonstrate irreparable harm or equities warranting relief from this court.
Florida sports betting state case
In a separate case, West Flagler is arguing in the state Supreme Court that the Seminole Compact, via a pact with Gov. Ron DeSantis, violates the Florida Constitution.
West Flagler’s argument is that expanded gambling must be approved through a referendum, with 60% voter support.
The Seminoles have what is essentially a monopoly on the Sunshine State’s sports betting market through the gaming compact that was agreed to with DeSantis in 2021.