Updated August 13, 2023By Chris Boline
In a highly-publicized gaming rights battle, West Flagler Associates has been positioned to potentially appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals’ recent Florida sports betting decision. Per a recent report and a sports betting expert, the plaintiffs, in this case, will likely apply for a rehearing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. However, per the same article, West Flagler likely faces long odds in being granted a rehearing with the Court or actually having the decision heard by SCOTUS. As noted in one article, an important appeal date for the fate of Florida sports betting is approaching fast as West Flagler has until Monday, August 14, to officially appeal the ruling that restored a 2021 Florida gaming compact.
In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming out of the Sunshine State and also more notes about Florida betting.
West Flagler Associates could file a petition on Aug. 14th
Per the same report, West Flagler, the plaintiffs in the hearing, have until Monday to file a petition for an “en banc hearing” of the U.S. Court of Appeals decision. If they do not file a petition by Aug. 14, the official mandate restoring the Florida gaming compact will go into effect on Monday, Aug. 21. If restored, the Seminole Tribe will once again be able to launch its Florida sports betting services, along with craps and roulette in its Florida casinos. So what are the odds that West Flagler will appeal the decision? Daniel Wallach, a gaming law attorney, told one outlet that he expects West Flagler to continue their fight in one way or another, but face long odds to have a rehearing request granted.
Now, for a little bit of historical context on the case. In late June, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously agreed to overturn a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Daney L. Friedrich. Per reports, this ruling declared a 2021 Florida gaming compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The gaming compact was initially thrown out by Friedrich in November 2021. Ultimately, Friedrich determined the compact violated the conditions set forth by IGRA that limited tribal gaming to the confines of tribal lands. The Seminole Tribe argued that since the servers that processed the online bets were located on tribal land, then the bets themselves were placed on tribal lands.
An appeal is likely in this case but faces uphill battle
The same source also commented about the potential for an appeal from West Flagler. Wallach said an appeal in this situation is a “no-risk” play for West Flagler and he expects them to file with both the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court moving forward. Moreover, there could be more support for West Flagler’s legal position in this matter than there is for the D.C. Circuit ruling the attorney said. The logic here is that the D.C. Circuit used in concluding that the compact addresses internet wagering as a permitted term is “inconsistent with decisions” made by federal appeals courts in the ninth circuit, 10th circuit, and D.C. Circuit. Moreover, Wallach said SCOTUS may have an interest in hearing the case if West Flagler goes that route.
However, the odds are steep if an appeal is granted. Per the same report, en banc hearings are rarely granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals. This is because the court typically grants only one review for every 500 three-judge panel decisions. Additionally, Wallach noted that an en banc hearing has not been granted since 2021.
Other thoughts and information about Florida wagering
Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest Florida gaming news, make sure to also check out the variety of wagering resources at SBS. Of course, for even more information related to the topic at hand, our Florida sports betting guide has you covered with all the latest wagering and gaming news. Moreover, for those on the go, the best betting apps rundown is an excellent page that helps you learn about the nuances of mobile betting sites. Of course, if you are perhaps looking for some higher-stakes wagering options, then our VIP sports betting sites breakdown is a must-read page. Here you can learn more about VIP betting and if it is the right fit for you.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
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