Florida Sports Betting Legal Drama Highlights Recent News

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Sports Betting News

The sports betting industry has seen a lot of developments take place in multiple markets. The West Flagler petition against the recent Florida sports betting ruling has seen some momentum. Kentucky lawmakers are slated to begin approving sports betting licenses as early as next week. Oklahoma gaming officials see no timetable for launch. Let’s take a look at the recent sports betting news in these markets.

Florida Ordered To Respond To Petition

After the D.C. Circuit Court ruled to uphold Florida’s sports betting compact, West Flagler filed a petition. What was initially viewed as a Hail Mary on West Flagler’s part may actually have some legs. The D.C. Circuit Court has ordered the Seminole Tribe of Florida to respond to the petition.

What this does is acknowledge that there is indeed some interest in rehearing the case. The court’s rules allow for no response to be filed unless explicitly ordered to do so. Since the Seminoles have been ordered to respond, this case may still be ongoing in the Circuit Court.

A rehearing is possible, however, lawyer Daniel Wallach doesn’t believe it will happen.

“To obtain rehearing en banc, West Flagler would have to convince a majority of the circuit judges “who are in regular active service” (meaning not on senior status) to rehear the appeal,” wrote Wallach. “There are only 11 active judges on the Court; the remaining four are on senior status. Assuming that the 3 active judges who were on the original panel vote the same way, West Flagler would have to win over 6 out of the remaining 8 active judges – a very daunting task.”

At a minimum, the appeal by West Flagler and call for a response from the D.C. Circuit Court delays the potential relaunch of Florida sports betting.

Kentucky Set To Approve Licenses

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is set to vote on wagering license applications next week. A meeting set for Aug. 22 will see lawmakers vote on both retail and mobile sportsbooks in Kentucky. There have been seven retail applications filed and seven online applications filed.

Kentucky Retail Applicants

  • Churchill Downs
  • Cumberland Run
  • Ellis Park Racing & Gaming
  • Oak Grove Racing & Gaming
  • Red Mile Racing & Gaming
  • Sandy’s Racing & Gaming
  • Turfway Park Racing & Gaming

Kentucky Mobile Applicants

  • Bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Circa
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Penn Entertainment (ESPN Bet)

For mobile, so far only three operators are confirmed to have partnerships with Kentucky operators to gain market access. Those are BetMGM with Revolutionary Racing, FanDuel with Churchill Downs, and Caesars Sportsbook with Keenland and Red Mile.

It is likely more partnerships will be announced ahead of the Aug. 22 vote as this is a requirement to gain a license. Kentucky seems well poised to stick to its Sept. 7 launch date for retail and Sept. 28 launch date for online.

Oklahoma Sees No Timeline For Launch

On the opposite end of sports betting news, Oklahoma seems to have no clear launch window for its betting market. During the annual Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Conference, officials made it clear there is no timeline for launch.

“We have an impasse with the chief executive of the state of Oklahoma,” said Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association

Oklahoma borders three markets in Colorado, Kansas, and Arkansas that have legalized sports betting. It’s clear that the local tribes are interested in bringing sports betting to their residents. For now, that remains a distant dream.