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Florida sports betting SCOTUS appeal

The United States Department of Justice filed a 31-page brief stating its belief the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t need to hear the appeal in the Florida sports betting case.

The case is known as West Flagler Associates, et al. v. Deb Haaland, et al. West Flagler filed the lawsuit against Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland after the gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe and State of Florida was allowed to go into effect.

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West Flagler Associates are trying to get the Supreme Court to take the case. The Department of Justice, representing the Department of the Interior, doesn’t want to the case to be heard. The purpose of its brief was to state there was no need for the Florida sports betting SCOTUS appealto be heard.

Sports betting is getting all of the attention from the compact, but is actually just one part of the deal. The Seminole Tribe was also allowed to have live craps and roulette at its Hard Rock Casino locations in the state.

Those, along with sports betting will bring in close to $750 million annually from the Tribe for the next six years. It’s no surprise Florida has been supportive of the Seminole Tribe during its legal battles.

The compact was both good and bad for Florida residents who enjoy online sports gambling. On one hand, they now had access to legal sports betting. On the other hand, bettors are limited to just the Hard Rock Bet app. The Seminole Tribe does have a monopoly on sports gambling in Florida.

What is the Next Step?

West Flagler is unlikely to take any action until a decision is reached in the Florida sports betting SCOTUS appeal. If the Supreme Court elects to hear the case, then the company will proceed with its appearance before the Court. However, if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, West Flagler will likely revert to its state lawsuit.

West Flagler tried to get a hearing in front of the Florida Supreme Court, but was turned down. They were told to take the proper route and file in a lower state court first. The Florida Supreme Court didn’t rule on the merits of the case, just the avenue taken.

The case could impact the decisions of several other states in regards to tribal compacts. Other states and tribes will likely start offering some form of betting online. It could be sports betting or casino games.

The key here is the tribes and the states both agree to have online betting. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Seminole Tribe and Florida, it doesn’t mean tribes can start online casinos and sportsbooks wherever they are located. It has to be done with state approval, as the Department of Justice brief stated.

“In any event, the compact in the case is an agreement between two sovereigns — the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe — concerning the Tribe’s own conduct of commercial gaming operations within the state,” the brief said.

Both parties in the Florida sports betting SCOTUS appeal are now waiting to see what the U.S. Supreme Court does. Several other states are also keeping an eye on the proceedings. Until a decision is reached, it is business as usual for the Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Bet.

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