Department of Justice Appeal for Florida Betting is Officially In

Hang on to your hats, folks, as the battle to try and get Florida sports betting up and running isn’t over. Matter of fact, things just got incredibly interesting for things as a whole, as the Department of Justice appeal for Florida betting is officially in. This appeal could be historic for Florida, as they’re going after the U.S. District Judge who ruled against governor Rob DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe in the fall.

From the moment that happened, everything has been up in the air for Florida. Recent reports even stated that Florida sports betting could even be delayed until 2024 because of the judge’s decision. However, there could be some major help on the way with this appeal, which could turn things all the way around and open the doors for people to start making their bets in the near future.

According to multiple reports, the appeal is focusing on three different categories. No. 1, the appeal has stated that the judge simply went too far with the decision and they had no right to do so. No. 2, the appeal states that the judge should have never even heard the case contesting against the sports betting. Lastly, the group has also presented the fact that they’re completely against the ruling as a whole.

The hope is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District will take everything into account and reverse the decision made by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich back on Nov. 22. When the groundbreaking decision was made by Friedrich, we don’t have to tell you how many hearts were broken all over Florida, as people were lined up to make in-person sports bets. Now, the wait continues.

Friedrich shut down Florida sports betting before it could really even take off

As a reminder, Friedrich shut down Florida sports betting before it could really even take off. Originally, things were set to be launched on Oct. 15, with countless people having that date circled on their calendars for months. Then, the multiple lawsuits against the betting came in, delaying things. It was then announced that betting would start on Nov. 15, but once again, that was delayed.

However, that didn’t stop the HardRock from having a silent launch of their mobile sports app. As soon as this went down, people sprinted to download the application, check out all the different sports odds, of course including the Super Bowl odds, and placing bets. The operation was open just for a short little while because Friedrich’s decision came in and the mobile app in Florida had to be shut down.

“We structured the Compact so that the Compact is preserved for the casinos and the other stuff,” DeSantis said shortly after it was announced that Florida sports betting couldn’t move forward as planned and the lawsuits had won in this case. “The government wasn’t prepared. It seems like they did a poor job in the argument.”

This also hurts The Seminole Tribe, as they were all set to take the lead for sports betting in the state. This is a venture worth billions of dollars. However, the lawsuit that was filed against the tribe and Florida accused the two sides of breaking multiple state laws. The district judge ruled against them, but now we’ll have to wait and see if this appeal can make things right and allow betting in Florida to finally happen.

Florida sports betting delayed until 2024 would be a nightmare

If this appeal doesn’t come out the way that people are hoping for, then it would lead to another push back. With that, Florida sports betting delayed until 2024 would be a nightmare for everyone out there. There was hope that the referendum could get on the ballot for November of 2022, but the group of sportsbooks getting things together didn’t even come close to getting the needed signatures.

With things not getting on the ballot for 2022, that would mean that we’d have to wait until November of 2023 for things to once again be looked at. Then, the earliest you’d see betting legalized would be early 2024. At this point, people are starting to lose patience with the process and it’s easy to see why. The good people of Florida had so much hope for this all to be over, then the lawsuits came.

What made things worse was that they were given access to the mobile sports app from the HardRock for a brief period, only to have things taken away from them in a flash. Now, this appeal is giving them hope once again that they can have their betting options brought back to life. If that fails, though, there’s going to be so much disappointment. You’d almost start to feel bad for everyone.

This has been a rollercoaster ride and people just want it to end. With Florida being such a big and popular sports state, there’s no reason that people should have to travel to different places to make their bets. We’ll see if things are changed here. Keep your fingers crossed, Florida sports fans.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.