The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has denied West Flagler Associate's motion to stay.
West Flagler’s request to stay was its latest attempt to block the Seminole Tribe of Florida from rolling out Hard Rock Bet. The Seminoles were permitted to exclusively offer sports betting in Florida in May 2021. This was after Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, approved a compact agreement with the tribe.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals filed the denial yesterday (28 September).
“Upon consideration of appellees’ motion to stay issuance of the mandate pending the Supreme Court’s disposition of a petition for writ of certiorari or, in the alternative, to stay issuance of the mandate for a reasonable time to permit appellees to seek a stay from the Supreme Court, and the opposition thereto, it is ordered that the motion be denied,” read the filing.
Gary Bitner, spokesperson for the tribe, said the denial would not change any of the tribe’s immediate plans.
“It’s another positive development, but it will have no immediate effect on the Seminole Tribe’s plans,” said Bitner.
What does this mean for West Flagler?
The back-and-forth between West Flagler and the Seminole Tribe has been complex, with several twists and turns. However, few have been as eventful as this week.
Shortly after the DOI’s objection, West Flagler filed a legal challenge against DeSantis and the Florida legislature. West Flagler claimed that DeSantis and the legislature had exceeded their authority in relation to the passing of the compact.
The roots of the Seminole West Flagler battle comes from West Flagler and fellow operator Bonita-Myers’ loss in a suit filed against Debra Haaland in June. Haaland is secretary to the DOI.
The loss reversed a decision made by a District of Columbia judge in November 2021. This decision halted the Seminoles from offering sports betting in Florida. The judge ruled that the Seminoles’ compact with the state of Florida violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).