The companies seeking to block Hard Rock Bet Florida from offering online sports betting in the state asked the U.S. Supreme Court Monday afternoon for two more months to file its appeal. If approved, they would have until Feb. 9 to submit their petition.
In a seven-page document, West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp. claim their similar case before the Florida Supreme Court could impact their case before the nation’s top court. The federal case is against the U.S. Department of the Interior, while the state case is against Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida leaders.
“The Florida Supreme Court’s resolution of the State Petition may be relevant to whether the reasoning of the Circuit Opinion is accepted, or whether instead the Applicants are caught in an absurd trap between two judicial systems saying inconsistent things about the nature of this Compact,” lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote.
On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court declined West Flagler and Bonita-Fort Myers’ request to expedite their state case.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a stay on a federal appeals court ruling that the 2021 gaming compact reached between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and DeSantis was valid. If that court declines to give an extension, lawyers for the plaintiffs would have until Dec. 11 to submit their request for the justices to review their case.
Online Sports Betting Resumes In Florida
While the legal battle continues, the Seminole Tribe has already taken steps to bring online Florida sports betting back. Seminole Gaming relaunched Hard Rock Bet in the Sunshine State on a limited basis earlier this month. It is currently available for bettors who previously wagered with Hard Rock’s Florida app two years ago or active members of Unity, Hard Rock’s loyalty rewards program.
The 2021 compact, which was approved by both the Florida legislature and the federal government, gives the tribe exclusive access to online sports betting statewide. The Hard Rock mobile app initially launched in the state two years ago this month. However, on Nov. 22, 2021, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled the compact invalid. The tribe suspended operations in Florida in early December of that year after losing appeals for stays on her decision.
Besides online Florida betting apps, the gaming compact allows Seminole Gaming to open brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and offer roulette and dice-based table games at its casinos. Tribal leaders have announced those will become available starting next month. The compact also allows Seminole Gaming to build three more casinos on its land in southern Florida.
Stay with FloridaBet.com for the latest developments in the ongoing Florida sports betting lawsuits.