The motion by West Flagler Associates to suspend Hard Rock Bet’s online sports betting offering in Florida has been rejected by the state’s Supreme Court. The motion was filed earlier this month and aimed to halt Hard Rock Bet’s sports betting service until a final ruling on its petition for writ of quo warranto could be made. The court’s decision to deny the motion was announced in a short notice released on Friday, November 17.
Hard Rock Bet, operated by the Seminole tribe, had launched its sports betting service in Florida on November 7, providing early access to customers who had previously placed bets with the operator and members of Hard Rock’s loyalty scheme. Following this, West Flagler challenged the launch, arguing that it was not previously announced and only referenced games authorized by the 2021 compact at tribal casinos.
In response to the court’s decision, West Flagler now has the option to file a petition with the Supreme Court. The conflict between West Flagler and Hard Rock Bet has been ongoing for nearly two years and follows a string of legal challenges and developments.
After Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed off on a gaming compact, allowing the tribe to offer sports betting exclusively in the state, the launch was suddenly halted in December 2021 when a district court ruled that the compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). This led to legal challenges from West Flagler, questioning the legality of offering sports betting through tribal-based servers.
Despite the US Supreme Court’s rejection of West Flagler’s motion to stay in October and the subsequent launch of Hard Rock Bet, the conflict continues. The ruling by the Florida State Supreme Court is unlikely to conclude the debate, and the dispute between West Flagler and Hard Rock Bet is expected to persist.