May 14, 2024 3 min read


DoJ Recuses Itself from Ongoing Florida Sports Gambling Saga

The Department of Justice has finally answered a filing by the Supreme Court of Florida that it would not be able to offer input in the ongoing gambling saga in the state

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has said that it will not be able to intervene in the case involving the regulation of sports gambling in Florida, which saw the state launch tentatively with sports betting offer through the Hard Rock Bet, the result of a state compact negotiated between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

DoJ Won’t Help WFA Push Back Against Tribal Sports Betting

The compact essentially circumvented a host of legal challenges that previously proved too difficult to overcome on the timeline desired by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and whereby the compact proved a shortcut to the establishment of sports betting in the state. However, West Flagler and Associates have been actively challenging this decision and the compact’s legality in court, even though the challenge has already been dealt several legal slaps.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political acumen and prowess also helped secure additional funds for the state, but also move forward with an issue that would have otherwise taken up too much time to pass through legislature.

In the latest chapter of the saga, the validity of the compact signed between Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida was not a federal issue, and the DoJ recused itself from the matter, dealing another blow to West Flagler and Associates which have been trying to exhaust every possible legal avenue to challenge the legality. Yet, the plaintiff argues that granting exclusivity to the Hard Rock Bet is effectively undermining existing businesses and is in its essence illegal.

The DoJ, though, said that the legality of the matter would be best determined if three matters are examined, including whether the compact violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which it does not, whether it breaches the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which it also doesn’t, and notably – the equal-protection measures as per the Fifth Amendment.

Hard Rock Ready to Harness the Power of iGaming

Although the last question seems to have some legal standing, it actually is not reason enough to challenge the compact in the DoJ’s opinion, which means that the Seminole Tribe has been right all along. Hard Rock is also fighting the challenge by West Flagler and Associates while also trying to expand its reach into online casino gaming as well.

Yet, the market has to also ask itself – is it healthy for Florida to have a single sports betting and online casino operator, as most other markets in the country, and especially the most competitive ones, tend to establish a competitive framework that invites multiple operators.

In fairness, Hard Rock Bet may deserve the reprieve as it took more than 3 years to sway the courts to allow it to reap the benefits of the compact in the first place. WFA’s cause is so far doomed to fail.


Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

1 Comment

  • Tony
    May 14, 2024 at 4:00 pm

    casino online it would be good mgm and other all ready got it why not hard rock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *