What’s Going On with Florida Sports Betting? Legal Drama Explained

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Florida Sportsbooks

The Florida sports betting legal drama has seen many developments recently. To recap, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the initial Florida compact from 2021 back in June 2023. Since then, West Flagler has been fighting to prevent online sportsbooks from relaunching in Florida. West Flagler has taken the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) has responded to the Supreme Court petition by West Flagler. Additionally, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the Supreme Court for a 30-day extension to respond. The constant embroilment in legal issues continues to delay the launch of Florida sportsbooks.

What Is The Next Steps For Florida Sports Betting

The Supreme Court will determine if they plan to take up the case. With the D.C. Circuit ruling, the Seminole Tribe of Florida could legally launch. West Flagler filed a stay mandate that would prevent Florida sportsbooks from going live while the case is still in flux.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary recall and stay mandate as the Supreme Court reviews West Flagler’s application. The DOI responded to the application. U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Proctor argued that it is unlikely for the Supreme Court to reverse the Circuit Court’s decision, making the stay unnecessary.

“The Solicitor General, on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior and the Department of the Interior, respectfully submits this response to the application to stay the court of appeals’ mandate pending the filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari,” wrote Elizabeth Proctor. “The application should be denied.”

If the Supreme Court does not take up the case, or if the stay mandate is not extended, the Florida Seminoles could legally relaunch sports betting.

Florida Governor Delays Everything

Gov. DeSantis requested a 30-day extension through Dec. 1 to file his response to West Flagler. The reasoning for the extension was cited as a “particularly heavy workload.” Sports Betting Lawyer Daniel Wallach believes this is a “game within the game.”

“Delay the filing of the state court response until after West Flagler has filed its petition for writ of certiorari with #SCOTUS, depriving it of the ability to highlight inconsistencies,” wrote Wallach on his Twitter/X account.

There are many threads in the Florida sports betting case. It is unlikely that the market will relaunch this calendar year. However, a resolution is on the horizon. There are not many more courts for West Flagler to protest the case should the Supreme Court uphold the ruling.