US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued an order for a temporary stay in a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe to keep sports betting in Florida on hold until further notice. The order will trigger the temporary stay of the ruling from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals having previously allowed relaunch of sports wagering in the state. Chief Justice ordered a temporary stay to make a detailed review the record of the case to be delivered by the Court of Appeals.
Request For A Stay:
The order follows the request for a stay submitted by West Flagler, the operator of Bonita Springs Poker Room, on 6 October 2023, as LSR reports. The operator filed a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe questioning the Tribe’s exclusive right to offer sports betting in Florida under the 2021 compact signed between the Seminole and the state that made sport wagering operators engage in multiple petitions and lawsuits against the Native American operator over the last two years.
Granting Competitive Advantage:
This time, West Flagler reportedly filed the request for a stay to allegedly prevent Seminole from relaunching their Hard Rock Bet app. As reported, West Flagler stated that such an action would bring the Tribe an enormous competitive advantage: “Absent a stay, the Compact will give rise to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of sports betting transactions that violate both state and federal law before this Court has the opportunity to address the merits.”
claims that the temporary stay would be in public interest: ”The Circuit Opinion enables a dramatic change in public policy on legalized gaming that, once started, may be difficult to stop. It is in the public interest to preserve the status quo with respect to online gaming until such time as this Court has a chance to review Applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari.”
As Bonita Springs venue is physically close to the Seminole’s Immokalee Casino and Hard Rock Tampa, the company claims that the impossibility to compete for the same customers will cause irreparable harm to the Bonita Springs. West Flagler reportedly stated: “If the Tribe is permitted to launch a statewide online sports betting operation, Applicants (and other non-tribal operators of gaming facilities that cannot offer online sports betting) will be irreparably harmed.”
Supreme Court to Review The Case:
The statement added: ”Sworn testimony shows that Applicants will suffer lost revenue and profits, increased expenses, and diminished goodwill as a result of the statewide tribal monopoly. Further, the loss of customers includes the loss of goodwill, which is generally held to be irreparable.”
As reported by LSR, the petition to the Florida Supreme Court is the operator’s second attempt to prevent Hard Rock Bet from relaunching. The previous request was rejected by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals but West Flagler took the issue to the higher instance. Now, the Chief Justice John Roberts ordered a temporary stay to to review Applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, i.e. the review of Court of Appeals’ respective record to help rule the case.