September 1, 2023 3 min read


Florida: DOI Criticizes West Flagler’s Rehearing on Betting Case

The ongoing legal battle doesn't allow sports betting to resume after it halted in December 2021

Sports betting has been on hold in Florida for a few years now and there’s no indication when it will be relaunched. After the state signed a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, stakeholders within the sector, including West Flagler Associates, challenged that decision, claiming it was in breach of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). This ultimately resulted in a legal battle that continues to unravel.

On Thursday, the US Department of the Interior (DOI), criticized West Flagler’s petition for a rehearing en banc on the sports betting case, claiming that the request was “unwarranted.” The latest episode of the legal fight comes after mid-August, West Flagler filed for an en banc hearing of its case. This rare occurrence is actually a rehearing of a court case with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, what’s different with en banc rehearings is that they are held before a majority of judges on active service, rather than the usual panel consisting of three judges. The DOI described its case in a 25-page response, criticizing West Flagler’s rehearing request for the sports betting compact in Florida.

The DOI wrote: “West Flagler’s arguments for rehearing are strawmen, premised on its erroneous assertion that, by referencing the state-sanctioned wagers, the Compact — and the Secretary’s approval thereof — purport to unilaterally legalize the placement of those wagers and the State regime for regulating them.” The lengthy response adds: “But, as West Flagler acknowledges, the panel held in no uncertain terms that the compact does not do that. And the panel did so while making scrupulously clear that neither its opinion nor the Secretary’s approval prevents West Flagler from challenging the relevant State law in Florida’s courts.”

In light of the current circumstances, sports betting remains on hold in Florida, and it is yet to be confirmed when the activity will be able to resume. The Seminole Tribe previously said it plans to resume the betting offering via the Hard Rock brand, but the legal hurdle needs to be cleared before this can happen.

Next week marks the start of the new National Football League (NFL) season. By the look of it, residents of Florida will have to wait further before they can place wagers on the NFL. After legalizing the activity in 2021, Florida launched it briefly for a month before it was put on hold on December 4, 2021.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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