Florida sports betting launch delayed: here’s what we know


There was a lot of excitement in Florida for October 15, when sports betting would become legal, but that crucial day has arrived, and no casinos or sportsbooks have launched retail or online sports betting. The Seminole tribe is theoretically now capable of taking bets on their lands, but they are not yet ready to go.

A spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe reportedly said the tribe never planned to launch on October 15. There is still a lot of work to be done regarding regulations and to sort out the legal details despite the official launch taking place today. The Orlando Sentinel has indicated that there will be a delay of at least a month to launch online and retail sports betting.

Hard Rock Sportsbook set to be the first to launch

In partnership with the Seminole Tribe, Hard Rock Digital is expected to be one of the first brands to offer online sports betting in Florida, in addition to retail sports betting at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Hard Rock Digital is run by former online gambling executives for the Stars group and is developing its own sports betting product called Hard Rock Sportsbook using source code from Amelco. Hard Rock Sportsbook hopes to allow you to place remote sports bets from anywhere in Florida, including at Seminole casinos.

Ongoing legal concerns overshadow the regulatory process

There are ongoing questions regarding the legality of the gambling pact between the Florida government and the Seminole Tribe, as third parties are unhappy that it has been unilaterally agreed to effectively make the tribe a monopoly on sports betting in the United States. ‘State. An anti-gambling group, No Casinos, local pari-mutuel lanes and nearby casinos have filed lawsuits in recent months. These lawsuits further threaten to halt the already delayed launch of legal sports betting in Florida.

A critical lawsuit focuses on whether the bettor must be on Seminole land to place a sports bet. West Flagler Associates represents the Complainants, Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room. West Flagler Associates claims that the gambling contract between Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe impermissibly extends sports betting in Florida to anyone located anywhere in the state of Flordia. West Flagler Associates calls this determination “unprecedented and illegal” because it considers that the Seminole tribe has extended its reach too far in the situation.

The hearing for this lawsuit between Florida and Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room will take place on November 5th. If the judge dismisses the case, we can expect sports betting to be fully launched within 60 days.

Future implications

Florida residents will be eager to see sports betting kicked off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers amid their Super Bowl title defense and the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic prepare for the NBA regular season. A launch of online sports betting before December seems unlikely given the timing adjustments due to lawsuits and regulations. DraftKings and FanDuel will also look forward to this timeline as they tabled a statewide mobile sports betting voting initiative in 2022.

With so many different parties involved in different programs, attorney Daniel Wallach said: “it could be late 2022 before the issue is resolved in a federal appeals court,” and the Supreme Court would likely still be involved afterwards. this point. With billions of dollars at stake, developments in Florida should be exciting to watch.


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