Published: February 8, 2024

West Flagler Asks US Supreme Court To Review Challenge Of Seminole Compact In Florida

A Florida pari-mutuel company is asking the US Supreme Court to take a look at the legality of the Seminole Tribe’s gaming compact with the state of Florida.

West Flagler filed a writ of certiorari on Thursday requesting that the nation’s highest court review the case West Flagler v. Haaland, which questions the Department of Interior’s allowing a tribal compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to contain online sports betting off Indian lands.

Thursday was the deadline for filing the cert petition on the case, which began in 2021 after the Seminole Tribe and state of Florida executed a gaming compact under IGRA to provide the tribe with statewide exclusivity on online sports betting.

According to the petition:

"As different jurisdictions make different decisions regarding the legality of sports betting, it is critical that this Court not allow the unlawful approach taken by Florida to become a model, or for the D.C. Circuit decision to create confusing and misleading precedent.”

Details of Supreme Court petition

West Flagler, represented by attorney Hamish Hume, presents the following three questions to the US Supreme Court:

  1. Whether IGRA authorizes the approval of a compact that purports to allow for an online sports gambling monopoly throughout the state and off Indian lands.
  2. Whether an IGRA compact violates the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act if it provides for internet sports betting that is unlawful where many of the bets are placed.
  3. Whether the secretary’s approval of a tribal-state compact violates equal protection principles where it provides a specific tribe with a monopoly on online sports gaming off tribal lands, while state law makes that conduct a felony for everyone else.

Arguments made to grant cert petition

West Flager’s reasons for granting the petition focus on three areas:

IGRA does not authorize the approval of a compact that provides a statewide tribal monopoly over online sports gambling.

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