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No Casinos request motion to file late amicus brief in West Flagler case

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Anti-gambling lobbying group No Casinos has requested a motion to file a late amicus curiae brief to the Florida Supreme Court, supporting West Flagler in its bid to overturn the Seminole Tribe’s gaming compact.
No Casinos

In the brief, No Casinos argues that statewide online sports betting through the compact “cannot be squared” with Amendment 3 of the Florida constitution.

No Casinos is the amendment’s author. As written it prevents the expansion of casino gambling without approval from a majority of the state’s voters in a referendum.

The case, West Flagler vs Ron DeSantis, concerns whether the governor “exceeded his authority” when he agreed to a compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe in 2021.

This compact granted the Seminoles, through their Hard Rock brand, exclusive rights to offer online sports betting through a hub-and-spoke model.

An amicus curiae brief, which means friend of the court, is when a person or organisation sets out legal arguments in a case, despite not being party to the proceedings.

No Casinos files amicus brief after deadline

The deadline for filing amicus briefs for the case was 5 October. No Casinos filed its brief after this time and so is seeking a 10-day extension from the time the court grants this request.

However, legal experts cast doubt on whether the court will allow No Casinos to file the brief.

“I do not think it is likely an extension will be granted,” Jeff Ifrah, founding member of Ifrah Law told iGB. “Courts generally do not accept testimony or evidence from the authors of legislation.

“Amendment 3 will be the subject of the court’s analysis and be informed by the court’s views on statutory construction.”

Lawyers representing Ron DeSantis responded to the brief. While DeSantis said he did not oppose the filing of the brief itself, the governor said he would only support an extension if he received one as well.  

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