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Florida Court Rejects Bid to Stop Tribal Sports Betting

The Florida Supreme Court rejected West Flager Associate’s bid to halt the Hard Rock Seminole’s launch of mobile sports betting products statewide. Officials at West Flagler, which is a parimutuel outfit that runs jai alai operations, argued unsuccessfully that the State of Florida was acting outside of its authority to authorize new gambling products by allowing Hard Rock Bet to launch statewide.

Figuring out exactly why the judges dismissed Flagler’s case will be difficult given the court’s short, and information-free ruling, whic read only, “The ‘Motion to Expedite Consideration of Request for All Writs Relief Pending Resolution of Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto and Suspend the Sports Betting Provisions’ is hereby denied.”

What the court did not address was West Flagler’s argument about the Governor’s ability to change the state’s gambling compact with a public vote. West Flagler’s entire case was built around the idea that by allowing Hard Rock Bet to launch, the state was in clear violation of its own gambling compact. The company’s lawyers also argued that the Hard Rock Seminole was dishonest in the planning stage of the process by suggesting that it would only offer in-person sports betting.

Hard Rock Bet, the Seminole Tribe’s sports betting operation launched in 2021 after the Tribe cut a deal with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to give a large share of sports betting to the state.

With its options in State Court exhausted, West Flagler’s only option at this point is to seek relief with the US Supreme Court.