West Flagler Submits Final Brief Challenging Florida Compact

USA Legal Betting


  • Flagler submitted its final brief to the US Supreme Court
  • The Department of the Interior continues to defend compact
  • Seminole Tribe owns sports betting monopoly in Florida

The legality of Florida’s controversial gaming compact is about to be put to its final test.

West Flagler officially filed their final brief to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) challenging the compact. The move comes after the group filed a writ of certiorari requesting the nation’s highest court to review their challenge.

The group’s challenge focuses on the state’s decision to award sole rights for Florida sports betting to the Seminole Tribe by citing the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The Act allows for federally recognized tribes to offer gaming on their lands. Since the tribe would host the servers for their online sportsbook on tribal lands, the state decided the IGRA would apply to retail and mobile sports betting.

SCOTUS will not review the brief and decide if they will take the case. This represents the final chance West Flagler will have to win their years-long legal battle. If the court decides not to review the case or rules in favor of Florida, it’s unlikely the compact will be affected.

If the court decides to grant West Flagler its writ of certiorari, it could once again pause Florida’s legal online sports betting industry.  

Department of Interior Files Rebuttal

After West Flagler made their request for a SCOTUS review, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) filed its own brief. Their filing was a strong rebuttal of West Flagler’s challenge, standing by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s decision to give the green light to Florida’s gaming compact.

The DOI has stood firmly by the compact since a lower court paused the industry soon after it launched. The department and Secretary Haaland are in charge if reviewing all gaming compacts, which is why they have inserted themselves into the battle. The DOI’s opinion carried a lot of weight with lower courts and will make West Flagler’s current challenge even more difficult.

How The Compact Affects Bettors

While many Florida residents have cheered the long-awaited arrival of online sports betting, many are already seeing the compact’s drawbacks.

Since the compact creates a sports betting monopoly, bettors have no alternative to the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Bet platform. The lack of competition means worse odds compared to other markets. It also makes a big difference for player promotions, including welcome bonuses.

Some industry experts believe that this could lead to more bettors opting to use offshore sportsbooks, leading to less money for the state.

The effect the monopoly has on Florida’s market will be closely monitored by states still without legal sports betting markets.