Governor DeSantis Seeks Extension to File Response to the West Flagler Petition

Governor DeSantis Seeks Extension to File Response to the West Flagler PetitionGovernor DeSantis currently has until November 1 to respond to the petition filed by West Flagler Associates, which seeks to review the potential reinstatement of Florida’s 2021 sports betting compact. However, a request was made for the deadline to be extended to December 1, which would give DeSantis an additional 30 days to file his response.

The reasoning cited has to do with how the Solicitor General’s Office of Florida is facing a “particularly heavy workload” in the 14 days to follow. In the formal request, it was also noted that the No Casinos Inc. citizens group, which is in support of West Flagler’s petition, had been granted a 10-day extension to file its amicus brief. An emphasis was also placed on the fact that the Court had made a statement clarifying that entities that needed to respond to the writ were permitted to request such extensions.

Florida’s Sports Betting Case Has Been Tumultuous

At the center of this case is the 2021 compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, which features a “hub and spoke” model of operation. The said model entails that the servers in tribal territory would be the “hub” of any online sports bets placed within the state of Florida. Two years later, the approval of this compact has been put into question.

No Casinos Inc. expressed its disapproval of the compact following West Flagler’s writ of certiorari filing, stating that it was “disrespectful” to the state’s constitution and those who supported the implementation of the Florida Amendment 3, which dictates that voters would be those who can authorize gambling operations within the state.

Earlier this October, West Flagler and Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation also requested a stay motion with the aim of preventing the launching of sportsbooks within the state of Florida before the resolution of the case. The petition was later approved. However, the Department of Interior criticized the granting of this request. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asserted the department’s stance that, due to West Flagler’s failure to make it clear how exactly the mandate would lead to significant harm if it was not stayed, the petition warranted rejection.

The Matter is Urgent According to West Flagler

Following DeSantis’ extension request, West Flagler issued a statement addressing the impact such a delay could have. In it, the situation is described as warranting swift action. A seven-day extension was presented as an alternative.

According to West Flagler, “there is no imminent emergency,” citing the temporary stay motion that the association was granted. In spite of this, the petitioner also argued that there is uncertainty regarding the US Supreme Court’s future proceedings, and that it is also unknown what the Seminole Tribe’s intentions are. According to West Flagler, the Seminole Tribe could make the decision to launch a Florida sports-betting application. West Flagler also expressed its intention to request emergency relief, if necessary, although the association has not taken this action given the mandate’s stay.