Florida Sports Betting will Not Go Before SCOTUS

Industry

Oh, what could have been. We were really looking forward to the Florida sports betting case being heard by the US Supreme Court. Then perhaps we would have had some clarity on the whole issue of where a bet actually takes place: Where the player is, where the casino is, or where the server is. It could have set legal precedent and helped the expansion of our industry. But no.

On June 17th, SCOTUS declined to review the Florida sports betting case brought by West Flagler and Associates,  thereby allowing digital sports betting to continue in Florida. That’s the bright spot. But now, WFA may only consider pursuing its case through the Florida state court system. After a decision there, perhaps it could be appealed to the high court.

Earlier in March, the Florida Supreme Court rejected WFA’s quo warranto petition, stating it was not the appropriate avenue for the sports wagering issue in the state. This decision left open the possibility for WFA to re-file its case in a lower Florida court. Initially filed in federal court in the latter half of 2021, WFA has exhausted its options at the federal level.

According to the compact, the Seminoles are obligated to pay Florida $2.5 billion annually for the first five years of their 30-year agreement. The US Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the Florida sports betting case could have broader implications, particularly for other tribes assessing its relevance. Essentially, the decision upholds and validates a compact that establishes a hub-and-spoke model for wagering.

A spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe stated that they applaud the decision of SCOTUS to pass on hearing the case. “It means members of the Seminole tribe and all Floridians can count on a bright future made possible by the compact.” And while we agree that this is good for those in Florida, it sure would have been nice to get some legal precedent set at the Federal level which woul have helped other tribes across the country.

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