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Hard Rock Bet could launch next week in Florida

13 Sep 2023

By Jarrod LeBlanc
Hard Rock Bet could launch next week in Florida.

Hard Rock Bet could launch next week in Florida.

Much like Aerosmith’s ride at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, it’s been a Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster indeed, but it appears Hard Rock Bet is “Back In the Saddle” again.

Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied West Flagler’s request for en banc rehearing of its case against The U.S. Department of the Interior. This in non-legalese terms means the South Florida gaming operator wanted all judges of a particular court to hear its case to prevent Hard Rock Bet from relaunching in Florida.

The Department of Interior responded to West Flagler’s 14 August request for a rehearing on 31 August, which didn’t necessarily mean anything was imminent as courts have taken months in the past to respond to rehearing grants. The court; however, didn’t’ take long this time as it stated “Upon consideration of appellees’ petition for rehearing en banc, the response thereto, and the absence of a request by any member of the court for a vote, it is ordered that the petition be denied.”

As a result of the court’s decision, which according to appellate court rules doesn’t go into effect until eight days after the ruling, Hard Rock Bet could begin accepting wagers online and at its retail properties as soon as Tuesday, 19 September.

West Flager could file the case in the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to prevent the Seminole Tribe to relaunch. The South Florida gaming operator could also try to prevent the relaunch by filing in Florida State court based on the 2018 Amendment 3, which requires that any expansion of gambling be put before voters. Law experts, though, feel neither of these cases would go in favor of West Flagler, and in the interim Hard Rock bet would be open for business.

At the heart of the matter is whether the U.S. Department of the Interior rightfully approved the 2021 compact signed by Governor Ron DeSantis between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, which granted the tribe a monopoly on retail and sports betting in The Sunshine State.

This, of course, is the second time that the Seminole Tribe would launch its sports wagering business as it initially opened for business for a little over a month in 2021 before being shut down following a court order as a result of this legal challenge by West Flagler, which operates the Bonita Springs Poker Room in South Florida.
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