The status of sports betting in Florida appears to be green-lit as the Seminole Tribe has announced they’ll open in-person sportsbooks this December.
For two weeks in late November and early December of 2021, the Hard Rock Sportsbook app was available for download in Florida to mobile devices owned and operated by 21 and older residents and visitors to the state.
A gaming group in South Florida challenged the legality of the state’s new compact with the Seminole Tribe, resulting in the closure of the Hard Rock Sportsbook with no timeline given for their return.
Nearly two years to the day, in-person sports betting will return to Florida’s Hard Rock Casinos. Local sportsbooks will open their doors to bettors at their locations in Tampa, Coconut Creek, Immokalee, Brighton, and their two Hollywood venues.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida made no announcement regarding any online sports betting component when making the December 7th relaunch declaration.
The Return Of Mobile Sports Betting In Florida
Perhaps actions speak louder than words in this case, as the Hard Rock Sportsbook application became available to Floridians yesterday. Gamblers can download the app from Google or Apple’s app stores right now, but only if you were a registered user before the platform was disabled in 2021.
Anyone who placed a bet during the initial run of the sports betting app can apparently start gambling on sports using the Hard Rock Sportsbook’s mobile version today.
We cannot confirm this because although we signed up back in 2021, we never placed a wager while they were in operation. We did manage to download the application to our iPhone and can sign up for “early access” to sports betting before the rest of the public can get in on the action.
Your update status can become escalated by joining the Unity by Hard Rock loyalty program. Benefits of membership include perks at their hotels, casinos, and sportsbooks.
Additional Legal Challenges To The Gambling Compact
An existing case against the state’s compact is being heard by the Florida Supreme Court. Within hours of the mobile gambling app’s relaunch, plaintiffs in the case requested that the FL Supreme Court suspend all sports betting until the lawsuit is resolved.
The Seminoles had abstained from accepting sports bets during the prior legal actions that traveled to the US Supreme Court, but they’ve not been as concerned regarding the state case.
The lawsuit is being pursued by the same parties as the prior case, but they’ve now been joined by No Casinos, a legislative action group. The pair argue that gambling expansion cannot occur in FL without being voted on.
No decision has been issued by the Florida Supreme Court as of this writing.