The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the request by West Flagler Associates for an en banc hearing in Florida.

The latest development in the ongoing legal battle between the Seminole Tribe and West Flagler Associates could see Florida sports betting back operational within a week.

The outcome from the Circuit Court is as expected, given there has not been an en banc hearing granted for a minimum of two years. The Seminole Tribe and Department of Interior issued a strong worded response to the request for an en banc hearing, dubbing West Flagler’s arguments as “strawman”.

The appellant has now exhausted all Circuit Court options, so the next step would see the case escalated to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). West Flagler has 90 days to file a petition with the Supreme Court, who will then make a decision on whether to hear the case.

After the en banc hearing was denied, the Hard Rock Sportsbook and the Seminole Tribe could legally relaunch their app after seven days of the decision. It has not yet been announced whether the company will relaunch imminently or it potentially waits to see the full outcome of federal court proceedings. However, without any pressure on West Flagler to file the SCOTUS petition, it may take 90 days for a petition to even be made, never mind heard. That could lead to over four months until the app relaunches, which will see the prime months of sports wagering handle disappear for the Seminole and Hard Rock.

This is the latest turn in a lengthy ongoing legal battle surrounding the Seminole Tribe’s gaming compact with the state. The Seminole has successfully argued that due to servers hosting mobile wagering being on tribal land, it satisfies the terms of its gaming compact with Florida.

In 2021, the Circuit Court found that the compact violated the terms of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Impact and caused an abrupt cessation to FL sports betting. The Sunshine State was due to welcome mobile sports betting back after the D.C. Circuit court reversed the 2021 decision, but at the last minute West Flagler submitted a petition for an en banc hearing, thus stalling the relaunch schedule.