Florida Supreme Court to rule on legality of online sports betting in the state – FOX 13 Tampa

Jordan Bowen reports
The fate of online sports betting in Florida is now in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court. This week, West Flagler Associates filed their final brief with the court now leaving it up to the seven-judge panel to rule on the issue.
In the latest filing by West Flagler Associates, they argue that the gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis, which currently allows people in Florida to place real bets on live sports through the Hard Rock Bet app, violates Amendment 3 of the Florida Constitution. 
Amendment 3 requires voter approval to expand casino gambling in the state.
READ: Here’s what to know as the Seminole Tribe launches sports betting, table games in Tampa
In the brief, they point to a situation in 2018 when during oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court for Amendment 3 both proponents and opponents "…agreed that Amendment 3 would require a ballot initiative to authorize sports betting…"
"That's a very important factual nugget that West Flagler researched and brought to the court's attention that all of the relevant parties in this case, including Governor DeSantis, have taken the position previously that sports betting is a form of casino gambling," Gaming Attorney Daniel Wallach said.
While that may help their legal argument, Wallach said the composition of the Florida Supreme Court will be a big challenge considering five of the seven justices were appointed by Governor DeSantis. Since becoming governor, he's faced 14 similar lawsuits. 
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Each time the state's highest court has ruled in his favor.
"You have to like the state's chances, because that's just the nature of the beast. In a case that could go either way, I think the tie goes to the governor. West Flagler needs to have what I consider to be a slam dunk legal argument, and I believe it does have one," Wallach said.
Meanwhile, both sides are also awaiting a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the compact violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, because it doesn't require people to be on tribal land to place bets. 
MORE: Sports betting plan faces new challenge in Florida
Currently, anyone 21 or older can place bets on the Hard Rock Bet app from anywhere in the state.
For now, Wallach said online-sports betting is most likely here to stay for at least a few months until both sides get a decision from either the U.S. Supreme Court or Florida Supreme Court.
"Regardless of where West Flagler succeeds, it only needs to win or prevail in one of the two forms," Wallach said.
Wallach expects a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in mid-2024.
He said the Florida Supreme Court could rule any day now, but said he expects to issue a decision sometime in the first quarter of 2024.
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