Published: August 18, 2023

Lawfulness of internet sports betting in Florida remains up in the air

MIAMI – As football season quickly approaches, many Floridians are waiting to find out if they will be able to place their bets on their favorite teams.

Back when the Hard Rock sportsbook was first allowed in 2021, several groups sued to try and block it - including one entity called West Flagler Associates, better known as the Magic City Casino. They won their initial lawsuit.

A federal judge put a stop to mobile gambling only weeks after it started, but in June, an appeals court in Washington, D.C., threw out that decision.

Aug. 15 is the last day that West Flagler Associates and others associated with the lawsuit are able to file a petition for a federal court appeal rehearing.

If they don’t, it essentially clears the way for online sports gambling to resume, but gaming and sports betting experts such as Attorney Daniel Wallach said petitions for rehearing are “rarely granted” in the D.C. Circuit but seeking U.S. Supreme Court review remains an option.

“This issue will continue to surface – even after this case concludes,” Wallach wrote. “Therefore, it would make sense for the Supreme Court to address this issue now and bring much-needed clarity to the divisive question of whether IGRA’s reach extends to tribal-regulated gaming activities outside of Indian lands, rather than let the issue further devolve into a maze of conflicting and contradictory federal court rulings.”

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