SCOTUS Decides Whether To Hear FL Sports Betting Case In June

Written By Steve Schult on May 29, 2024
A calendar of June 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide within a month whether to hear the case surrounding the Florida sports betting industry.

If the court decides to hear the case and grants West Flagler Associates’ writ of certiorari, the saga will continue into 2025.

On the other hand, if it’s denied, the 2021 Florida gaming compact will be cemented as law. West Flagler can’t appeal the deal any further.

As a result, Florida sports betting would remain in its current form. In other words, the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Bet would be the only online sportsbook available in the Sunshine State.

SCOTUS calendar indicates decision coming in June

According to the Supreme Court’s calendar, they will release order lists on all four Mondays in June. Nothing is scheduled for the following three months before oral arguments begin in October.

Therefore, a decision will be made no later than June 24.

Gaming attorney Daniel Wallach said on X (formerly Twitter) that the decision will be made on June 17 or 24.

He added that the court has three options accompanying the decision to hear the case.

The court can deny the writ of certiorari, grant it, or issue a summary reversal. Wallach said denial is the most likely outcome, but a summary reversal isn’t out of the question.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh stated that if the compact “authorized” off-reservation gambling, it likely violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

In November 2021, a circuit court judge ruled the compact violated IGRA. However, the DC Court of Appeals overturned the decision last summer.

If the court issues a summary reversal, SCOTUS will overturn the DC Court of Appeals’ decision while the case is pending at the nation’s highest court.

Decision could affect Florida online casino timeline

The 2021 gaming compact expanded the Florida gambling market to allow sports betting and certain Class III games like craps and roulette. While the Supreme Court’s decision affects the current landscape, it will also affect future Florida expansion.

Last month, Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen said the tribe would lobby for online casinos if a favorable ruling is obtained.

Real-money Florida online casinos aren’t legal yet. Aside from sports betting, the compact didn’t allow for online betting. Instead, Florida sweepstakes casinos are the only options for bettors in the state.

If the court decides the sports betting model is legal, it provides a solid legal framework for online casino games. Then, the Seminole Tribe can start negotiating with lawmakers to amend the compact to allow them.

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Steve Schult

As Managing Editor of PlayFL, Steve will stay on top of all things related to the Florida gaming industry. He is also a veteran of the gambling world. The native New Yorker started covering high-stakes tournaments in 2009 for some of poker's most prominent media outlets before adding the broader U.S. gaming market to his beat in 2018.

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