Florida Sports Betting Legal Battles

  • The Florida Supreme Court rejected the challenging of the gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe.
  • Their decision didn’t address if online Florida sports betting violates the state constitution, opening the door for petitioners to file a constitutional challenge.
  • Legal expert Daniel Wallach expects the petitioners to file a constitutional challenge immediately.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thursday’s Florida Supreme Court decision opens the door for online sports betting opponents to file a constitutional challenge. The Florida Supreme Court denied the petitioner’s legal sports betting challenge of the Florida gaming compact, but this doesn’t mark the end of the legal battle.

West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Meyers Corporation received a silver lining from the denial of their petition to invalidate online sports betting in Florida. The court’s decision failed to address the merits of potential violations of Amendment 3, meaning they can still constitutionally challenge online Florida sports betting in state court.

West Flagler Expected To File Constitutional Challenge

“It’s all but a gold-plated invitation for West Flagler to file a case in Leon Circuit Court immediately,” said Daniel Wallach, gaming law expert and founder of Wallach Legal. “And that’s what will probably happen.”

Wallach recently sided with West Flagler by providing legal support towards their challenge against the Florida gaming compact in the US Supreme Court. His amicus curiae brief claims that allowing gaming outside of tribal lands is a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and unconstitutional based on Amendment 3 of the Florida Constitution.

Since the Florida Supreme Court hinted that the opponents should file a different petition, it’s expected that the Florida parimutuel companies will challenge immediately. The state supreme court decision was just the latest setback for West Flagler and Bonita Fort-Meyers Corp, but it created a window to climb the ladder back up to the Supreme Court in a few years.

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