US Supreme Court denies writ of certiorari in Florida sports betting case

Decision comes as major win for Seminole Tribe and its Hard Rock brand after single sitting Justice rejects to hear the case
The post US Supreme Court denies writ of certiorari in Florida sports betting case first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Digital are set to retain a Florida sports betting monopoly after the US Supreme Court has denied a petition for a writ of certiorari from West Flagler.

The much-anticipated decision was made yesterday, 17 June, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh the sole dissenter after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson took no part in the consideration or decision of the petition.

The decision will see the Seminoles hold a monopoly in the Sunshine State until at least 2051.

The Supreme Court’s decision not the hear the case will come as a bitter blow to the pari-mutuel operator after it had challenged the Seminole’s monopoly model based on violations concerning the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

The firm also claimed that the state compact, penned between the Seminoles and Floridia Governor Ron DeSantis paved the way for “off-reservation tribal gaming operations”, something the group described as a “plain violation” of IGRA.

IGRA authorises Class III gaming activities, which include sports betting, only on Indian lands.

The challenge had suggested this is not the case for mobile sports betting outside of Indian lands. However, the rebuttal to the argument lies in the fact the Seminoles’ severs that process the bets are on Indian property.

Hard Rock relaunched in Q4 2023, initially on a bricks-and-mortar basis before relaunching its online operations shortly after.

The relaunch came after a US district court judge ordered the closure of the brand, with the US Supreme Court ruling not to enforce the stay on the implementation of the DC Court of Appeals ruling.

A ruling from Florida came in November 2021, with the Hard Rock operations shutting down in the same month.

Following the relaunch of sports betting late last year, West Flagler had been readying itself for a US Supreme Court challenge.

In May, the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to deny any writ of certiorari, having previously been given an extension to expand on its position via a submission.

However, the decision from the US Supreme Court does not rule out any further legal challenges from the likes of West Flagler, or non-monopoly operators possibly entering the state later down the line.

Additionally, some industry stakeholders have suggested this decision could now pave the way for online sports betting to be legalized via similar routes, namely the current blockade in California.

A Seminole Tribe spokesperson said: “The Seminole Tribe of Florida applauds today’s decision by the US Supreme Court to decline consideration of the case involving the Tribe’s gaming compact with the State of Florida.

“It means members of the Seminole Tribe and all Floridians can count on a bright future made possible by the compact.”

The post US Supreme Court denies writ of certiorari in Florida sports betting case first appeared on EGR Intel.


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