The plaintiff will decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected West Flagler’s rehearing request.
In a single sentence, the court denied West Flagler’s motion . This is the latest twist in the story of the two parimutuel betting companies who are challenging the Seminole Tribe of Florida compact with the State of Florida.
The court issued a statement that read: “Upon consideration and response to the appellees petition for rehearing by the full court, as well as the absence of any request for a vote from any member of the Court, it IS ORDERED the petition is denied.”
West Flagler was seeking an en-banc rehearing. This means that the case will be heard by all the judges of the court instead of just the three who ruled on the original case. West Flagler Associates Ltd. v. Haaland.
In the end, the Seminoles were allowed to offer mobile sports wagering statewide. This was because the “hub-and-spoke” model of the state had been confirmed as legal by the federal government. The opinion stated that the compact can still be challenged by state courts.
A spokesperson for the Seminoles said, “The Seminole Tribe of Florida was pleased that the US Circuit Court of Appeals District of Columbia denied the request for en banc hearing.”
Many legal commentators expected the rehearing to be granted, but were skeptical that it would succeed. In the DC Circuit, en banc petitions that are approved by the court are rare. Only a few have been approved over the past few years.
The US Department of Interior responded to the petition by , rebuking for “false arguments” and “erroneous claims” made in the filing.
Will West Flagler turn to the Supreme Court as a next step?
Speculations have been made that West Flagler, having exhausted all of its options before the DC Circuit, will now file an appeal at the US Supreme Court.
Jeff Ifrah is the founding member of Ifrah Law. He said, “It’s not hard to prepare or file an appeal.”
“I suspect West Flagler will do this and seek a delay of the matter, until the US Supreme Court determines whether or not to accept the case. A stay could be granted if such a request is granted. It would last until December.
A second stay could complicate the relaunch of Hard Rock Bet , which has been offline because of legal disputes since 2021.
Hard Rock’s relaunch date is still uncertain
Ifrah said that there is a good chance that a guest’s stay will influence when the operator plans on relaunching its website.
Hard Rock will most likely wait for the official decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (also known as a “mandate”), and this mandate will depend on whether West Flager files an appeal and whether a stop is issued so that the District Court’s ruling remains in effect,” he said.
The fact that this all happens at the beginning of the NFL season – the most popular time for sports betting – may also be a factor in whether Hard Rock decides to wait until the legality is finalized and continue to remain on the sidelines.