The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has formally requested the state’s Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging sports betting in the state. This comes ahead of the scheduled expansion of sports betting this week.
Attorney General Ashley Moody has claimed that the petition brought by pari-mutuel betting operator West Flagler Associates is “unjustifiable.” The submission defended the state’s gambling compact between the Florida authorities and the Seminole Tribe, signed in 2021.
Moody has put forward several reasons for the dismissal, including the length of time West Flagler took to submit its petition after the signing of the gambling compact. She also argues that West Flagler’s petition fails to meet legal standards and is incorrect in claiming sports betting is “casino gambling” as defined in the Florida Constitution.
West Flagler has faced multiple legal challenges, with petitions failing in both the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Last month, the Florida Supreme Court rejected West Flagler’s motion to suspend Hard Rock Bet and its online sports betting offering until a final ruling is handed down.
The Seminole tribe, which holds the exclusive right to offer gambling in Florida, has re-launched its Hard Rock Bet service in the state, and is set to expand to offer sports betting, roulette, and craps at all six of its casinos. The launch will be marked by a star-studded party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
The case has been ongoing for two years, starting with the launch of Hard Rock Bet in 2021 after DeSantis signed off on a gaming compact allowing the tribe to offer sports betting exclusively in Florida. Despite legal challenges and doubts, the Seminoles have been able to proceed with their plans for sports wagering.