May 22, 2024 3 min read


SCOTUS Receives Final Brief from West Flagler on Florida Betting Dispute

The US Supreme Court will now have to make a decision whether to take the case as it only accepts between 100 and 150 cases out of the thousands it receives every year

The legal battle led by West Flagler and Associates over a controversial gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Gov.Ron DeSantis, which granted exclusivity of the Tribe to sports betting in Florida, continues.  In the latest chapter of the legal hurdle, West Flagler filed a final brief on the case with the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), highlighting a number of concerns. The Court’s next move will now be to determine whether or not to take the case.

The company reiterated issues raised previously, mainly that the contract between the state and the Seminole Tribe was in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), a law established to regulate the conduct of gaming on Indian Lands across the United States.

In the brief, filed by West Flagler Tuesday, the company explained that the Court of Appeals “correctly interpreted the Compact as not authorizing any sports gaming off Indian lands and therefore the approval of the Compact did not violate IGRA.” However, the company argued that if approved, the gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and Florida would have been in violation of the IGRA.

By contrast, the Government effectively concedes that if the Compact authorized gaming off Indian lands, then its approval would have violated IGRA and the Court of Appeals’ decision would have conflicted with decisions of this Court and other circuits, necessitating review and reversal by this Court,

reads West Flagler’s latest brief

The Company Claims the Gaming Compact Breaches Florida’s Constitution

Late last year, the Seminole Tribe relaunched Hard Rock Bet, which remains the only legal sportsbook in the state. Currently, the tribe offers the activity exclusively by keeping the servers required for the activity on Tribal lands. This was in fact among the arguments that the gaming compact doesn’t violate IGRA.

Of course, the requirement for a referendum to authorize all new Class III gaming that is set forth in Article X, section 30 of the Florida constitution has an exception: it states that it will not apply “to limit the ability of the state or Native American tribes to negotiate gaming compacts pursuant to the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for the conduct of casino gambling on tribal lands,”

wrote West Flagler

Yet, West Flagler disagreed that keeping the servers on Tribal land doesn’t violate IGRA. In its recent brief, the company said that based on the Florida constitution, statewide sports betting can only be offered after a voter-approved referendum. West Flagler said that such a referendum was never organized which otherwise means that the activity is offered in breach of the state’s main law.

Considering the final brief filed by West Flagler during the certiorari stage of the lawsuit, the US Supreme Court will now have to select one out of a handful of options in the case.


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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