West Flagler Associates has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit to prevent Hard Rock Bet from operating until the Supreme Court hears its appeal.
The two Florida pari-mutuel operators’ filing is the latest twist to the legal battle that has been raging for years over whether or not the Seminole Tribe can offer online sports betting statewide through its compact with the State.
West Flagler won its case against interior secretary Debra Haaland, clearing the compact of federal objections. appealed to the court for a second hearing. The court denied this request.
West Flagler has confirmed that they will appeal to the Supreme Court. This confirms previous speculation.
The Seminoles can launch online betting through their Hard Rock Bet platform tomorrow if the court denies the motion. The tribe may still prefer to wait to see how the Supreme Court will handle the case to eliminate legal ambiguity.
The Seminoles declined to comment when asked by iGB about West Flagler’s case.
If the DC Circuit accepts the motion then they are forced to wait. This could delay legal sports betting in the state by months or even years, depending on whether SCOTUS takes up the case.
Jeff Ifrah is the founding member of Ifrah Law.
There may not be a court in Florida that is willing to settle this issue. West Flagler is right to seek a stay.
Will the court accept the stay?
Ifrah, a spokesperson for iGB, told iGB the DC Circuit refused last week to grant West Flagler’s motion for a rehearing en bloc. However this does not mean that the court will reject the latest motion.
He said that a stay was an unusual remedy which could be granted in novel cases. “A stay is only granted if West Flagler can prove it will win in a further appeal.” The en banc court rejected West Flagler’s arguments, but that doesn’t mean the stay request will be denied.
West Flagler argued in the filing that the Supreme Court should review many of the key questions raised by this dispute.
The questions referred to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), the Equal Protection Clause of the 14 th Amendment and the Florida State Constitution.
In the filing, it was stated that “the DC Circuit’s ruling allows an extreme shift in policy regarding legalised gaming, which, once begun, may be hard to stop.” It is in the public’s interest to maintain the status quo regarding online gaming until the Supreme Court reviews [West Flagler’s appeal].