As expected, the Department of the Interior filed a motion objecting to West Flagler and Associate’s request for a stay of the DC Circuit Court of Appeal’s mandate in the Florida sports betting case.
While West Flagler argued the court’s decision in favor of the DOI and the Seminole Tribe of Florida could fundamentally undermine and create future issues around the use of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), the DOI suggested that the very narrow scope of the decision creates no such issue.
“A stay is not warranted, because any such petition could present no substantial question for Supreme Court review. This Court reached a narrow, case-specific holding about the meaning of particular language in one particular Compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”),” the motion argued.
Moreover, the DOI finds the idea that the Supreme Court would even take up the case in the first place far-fetched.
“There is no reasonable probability that the Supreme Court would grant certiorari in this case and reverse this Court’s decision.”
As the DOI has argued many times over, West Flagler has every right to question the nature of Florida’s agreement with the Seminole to offer Hard Rock Bet to Florida residents off state lands, it repeatedly reiterated the DOI does not need to be involved and it is a matter of the state and not federal courts to decide.
Now, West Flagler has until Oct. 2 to respond to the DOI’s filings. From there, the court will need to issue a ruling on the stay. If the stay is denied, it could open up the window for Hard Rock Bet to launch in the state.
As for West Flagler’s intent to petition for a writ of certiorari? The group has until Dec. 11 (90 days from the date of the Circuit Court decision) to file, then the DOI and Seminole will have 30 days from the filing to respond before SCOTUS decides whether or not to hear the case.