Florida Online Betting Opponents File Wrong Petition in Yet Another Failed Challenge

  • The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the parimutuel firms filed the wrong petition
  • The West Flagler and Bonita-Fort Myers contest the legality of a Seminole compact
  • Legal challenges from them delayed the betting launch until November last year
Arrows on target
Opponents to Florida online betting have failed to hit the target again in another failed legal challenge. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Opponents to the online sports betting market in Florida are really scraping the barrel now. The West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation have had yet another attempt to thwart the new market rejected, this time because they supposedly filed the wrong kind of petition.

On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against the companies, which operate racetracks and poker rooms in Florida. Although officials ruled that the wrong petition was filed, the two parimutuel firms can file a motion for a rehearing on the case if they so choose.

contest the legality of a 2021 online betting compact signed between the governor and the Seminole

The West Flagler and Bonita-Fort Myers have found themselves in a long-running legal battle over Florida betting. They contest the legality of a 2021 online betting compact signed between the governor and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, arguing that it contravenes federal law.

They filed two lawsuits shortly after the signing of that document. While these ultimately proved unsuccessful, they did manage to delay the launch of the market for two years as the Seminole and state fought back in the courts.

In August 2022, the White House advocated for an appeals court to reinstate the compact. This wish wasn’t granted until June 2023, when a three-judge panel in the DC Circuit’s Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the tribe.

Despite additional challenges by the parimutuel firms, the Seminole launched online sports betting in November 2023 through its Hard Rock Bet brand. Florida’s share of tribal online betting revenue has already reached $120m in 2024.

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