US Supreme Court hands out June 13th date for Florida betting battle

Updated June 1, 2024
Updated June 1, 2024By Chris Boline
florida betting news june 2024

Over in Florida, the ongoing West Flagler gaming case saga has seen some new developments in relation to the highest court in the United States. Per a recent article, the U.S. Supreme Court has set June 13th as the date the group of justices will review the case of West Flagler and Associates vs. the State of Florida. On this day, the group will decide where things go from there. Moreover, four justices must vote to accept a case. For those new to this case, the ability to offer sports betting in Florida could potentially be at stake. Currently, the Seminole Tribe, under its Hard Rock Bet sportsbook brand, enjoys sole jurisdiction over the Florida sports betting market. However, the highest court in the U.S. could weigh in on whether or not that remains, should it accept the case. 

In this report, SBS will be going over the latest gaming news updates coming from the state of Florida along with even more developments in regards to Sunshine State gaming. 

Kavanaugh suggests case has national significance

Per the same report, when the Supreme Court declined to stay the mandate of the Circuit Court decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh filed a supplemental brief in which he suggested that the case could have national implications. Noted in one article, this could indicate that this case might be worth hearing. Furthermore, Justice Neil Gorsuch is well known for being a champion of tribal rights, meaning he might take an interest in the case as well. 

The Supreme Court chooses which cases to hear based on the potential far-reaching effects of its decisions. Although the Florida sports betting case encompasses specific components of a single compact, plaintiffs have argued the way the courts have interpreted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to regulate online gambling constitutes an issue of national importance

West Flagler against state sports betting compact

As noted in the same article, the case is making its way to the Supreme Court after both West Flagler and the federal government filed briefs earlier this month. Lawyers for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asked SCOTUS to deny any motions by West Flagler to move this case forward. This is because, in the federal government’s opinion, earlier rulings upholding the Florida sports betting compact were correct. Moreover, West Flagler argues that the legality of the current status of sports betting in Florida is “plainly unlawful.” In legal terms, what West Flagler has done is file a petition of certiorari, essentially asking the Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision. 

At the heart of the issue, according to the report, is Florida’s gaming compact with the Seminoles, which grants exclusive rights to the tribe to conduct statewide online sports betting. The agreement has been the source of a lengthy legal battle at both federal and state levels on whether the “hub-and-spoke” aspect of the company, which allows off-reservation bets wired through tribal servers, meets the IGRA

According to this report, Florida attorney Daniel Wallach has filed an amicus brief, arguing that the structure does not violate IGRA. He cited Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s statement that if the compact authorized the tribe to conduct off-reservation gaming operations. This could either be directly or by deeming off-reservation gaming operations to somehow be on-reservation, then the compact would “likely violate” IGRA

Supreme Court hearing an uphill battle for this case

Historical evidence suggests that the court denying the cert is the likely outcome. The U.S. Supreme Court receives about 7,500 requests for writs of certiorari a year but, in contrast, it typically grants just about 50. This means more than 95% of cases presented before the Court are turned down. If the cert is denied, then West Flagler would only be able to turn to state courts to challenge the compact. In contrast, should SCOTUS decide to grant cert in the Florida case, the court will hear oral arguments on the issue likely in late 2024 or early 2025 per this article. 

Moreover, a summary reversal would be the most convenient outcome for West Flagler, which would reverse the previous court’s decision and immediately half the current Florida sports betting system. While all nine justices would have to vote in favor of this ruling, Justice Kavanaugh’s past statements could give West Flagler some hope. Moreover, earlier this year, West Flagler filed a response in the ongoing Florida sports betting battle, arguing the Seminole Tribe’s Florida gaming compact violates IGRA. There was no submitted brief reply from the tribe to West Flagler. As noted in another report, it came a week after the Department of the Interior backed the Seminole Tribe’s request for the Supreme Court to deny any rival writ of certiorari. 

Even more news & thoughts regarding Florida betting 

After you are all squared away regarding the latest gaming updates coming from the Sunshine State, make sure to also tap into the awesome array of information available to you at SBS. For even more updates on the state covered here, the Florida sports betting guide has your back when it comes to all of the latest updates regarding Sunshine State wagering. Conversely, if you are someone who is always on the go, then the best betting apps rundown could be a great solution for you. Here you can learn about the nuances of mobile betting and how you can use it to your advantage. Finally, if you are interested in diversifying your deposit and withdrawal options, look no further than the payment methods breakdown for a variety of different options available. 

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About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

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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