Bonita Springs Poker Room and Magic City Casino based in Miami, West Flagler Associates, disagree with the decision the officials made in a case of sports betting in Florida, which led to them asking for a rehearing in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Heading to the Supreme Court:
The appeal followed the three-judge panel’s decision established in June this year, which decided to go against the company and restore the gaming compact from 2021, granting exclusive access to the online sports betting industry in the state to Seminole Tribe.
Not long after that, West Flagler filed a petition, where the company wrote: “The Opinion is erroneous and will create confusion, and thus rehearing is warranted.”
However, a sports gambling attorney from South Florida, Daniel Wallach, isn’t optimistic about the outcome of the rehearing. But he doesn’t think the company will give up. On the contrary, he is sure that the case will have to be completed in the U.S. Supreme Court since there is a disagreement between lower courts and the gray area of the law that can’t be easily resolved at the lower instances.
The main concern is the so-called Seminole’s “hub and spoke” model that the tribe uses in its online sports betting business. The gamblers will be able to be present anywhere in the state, nevermind where the tribal land is, while the servers for accepting the bets must be based on the tribal land since the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows tribal gaming to occur only on lands owned by the tribes.
Wallach claims that this is a federal question of great importance, which makes the whole process much more complicated than it would usually be.
Seminoles’ opinions and rights:
However, according to Wallach, Seminoles have the right to launch their sportsbook whenever they want, without obstacles. He said: “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.”
All of this happened just after sports betting in Florida became legal. The lawsuit paused the legalization, but in June, it was legalized once again. Seminoles didn’t want to make any moves since then, showing their respect to the court.
The Seminoles commented on the process in the statement, saying that the judges approved the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to grant control over the business to the tribe.
However, if the tribe wants to proceed, another panel of judges will have to approve it, which Wallach doesn’t believe will happen.
According to the source, the tribe didn’t want to further comment on the course of events.