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Rehearing sought in Florida sports gambling case

West Flagler Associates has asked for a rehearing in front of the full court of appeals.
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Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 14, 2023

West Flagler Associates, the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room and Magic City Casino in Miami, asked for a rehearing in front of the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday afternoon in a Florida sports betting case.

In late June, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled against West Flagler and restored Florida’s 2021 gaming compact which gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive access to online sports betting.

“The Opinion is erroneous and will create confusion, and thus rehearing is warranted,” West Flagler wrote in its petition.

Daniel Wallach, a sports gambling attorney in South Florida, doesn’t believe a rehearing will be successful.

Instead, he believes this is a case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is the perfect fact pattern. The perfect issue for the court to resolve. Given the conflict among the lower courts. What was once considered a settled area of law has now become muddied and unsettled,” Wallach said.

At issue is the Seminole tribe’s so-called “hub and spoke” model of online sports betting.

The servers accepting the bets will be placed on tribal land, while the bettors themselves will be anywhere in the state.

Several previous court cases have found the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) only authorizes gaming to take place on tribal lands.

“This is an important federal question. And I think the odds and the likelihood of the court accepting this case on the merits is much higher than in the usual case,” Wallach said.

What does this mean for you?

Wallach says the Seminoles “could launch their sportsbook next week, tomorrow if they want.”

“The withholding of the mandate isn't the equivalent of an injunction. It's just that most parties aren't really looking to offend the court by jumping the gun while the potential for further proceedings is still possible.”