DC Circuit Court denies West Flagler stay request in Florida sports betting case

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The DC Circuit Court has rejected West Flagler and Associates’ request for a stay motion in its appeal against the launch of legal sports betting in Florida

West Flagler is claiming that siding with the Department of the Interior – which is representing the Seminole Tribe – would undermine the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The DC Circuit Court has already denied a request for a rehearing, which led West Flagler to file this request for a stay motion while it takes the case further. 

This development had been anticipated after the DOI had objected to the request to stay, but West Flagler has already indicated that it will take the case to the Supreme Court of the US

West Flagler has already signaled its intentions to take the case to the Supreme Court within another filing. The company has 90 days to appeal for a rehearing of the case at the SCOTUS from the day that the DC Circuit denied a rehearing, which was September 11.

After the motion to stay was rejected, the Seminole Tribe could technically go ahead and launch Hard Rock Bet in Florida, though officials have stated this is off the cards for now while some proceedings are still active. 

Gary Bitner, spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe, stated: “It’s another positive development, but it will have no immediate effect on the Seminole Tribe’s plans.”

Despite West Flagler failing in its bid in the Federal route, the firm has taken its litigation to the state level, where it has filed a constitutional challenge against Gov. Ron DeSantis as well as Florida Speaker of the House Paul Renner, and President of the Senate, Kathleen Passidomo.

This came after the Circuit Court opinion in the case suggested the proper venue to challenge the off-reservation elements of the tribal compact would be in the state courts.

West Flagler’s argument insists that the only way to expand gambling in Florida any further is by a constitutional amendment, therefore another public vote. It goes on to claim that the compact between the state and Seminole is beyond DeSantis’ authority. 

Meanwhile, legal experts in sports betting also believe West Flagler will still petition the SCOTUS to hear the case at the Federal level, though there is no guarantee that the court would ever choose to do so.