Hard Rock Bet Green Lights Sports Betting for Existing Florida Customers
November 9, 2023
For the better part of two years, West Flagler, a commercial gambling interest in Florida, waged a battle to stop the state's Seminole Indian Tribe from getting exclusive rights to offer sports betting in the state. It was only in late October of this year that West Flager's efforts might have been dealt a final blow. That possible final blow came when the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay against a lower court's ruling, a ruling that gave the Seminole Tribe the right to start accepting retail and mobile sports bets.
After patiently waiting through two years of legal proceedings, the Seminole Tribe has announced that they intend to give existing mobile sports betting customers the ability to start placing sports bets again. If the term again seems puzzling, it's worth noting that the Seminoles initially started taking bets in November of 2021. They were forced to apply the breaks when a lower district court ruled that a new compact signed with the state in mid-2021 was invalid because it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. That ruling was eventually overturned by the U.S. District Court in Washington, a move that prompted West Flagler to take action.
Hard Rock Bet is Accepting Bets in Florida
It's noteworthy that the Florida Seminole Tribe owns and operates the Hard Rock Cafe brand. They have used the brand to develop a proprietary retail and mobile sports betting platform called "Hard Rock Bet".
Under the Hard Rock Bet name, the Seminoles have started taking legal mobile sports bets from Florida residents. However, the release of the new app is only being made available to Florida customers who already signed with the Tribe's mobile betting service in November of 2021. The intention is to use this rollout to existing customers as a beta test. If everything goes smoothly and no other legal challenges appear on the horizon, the Seminoles will likely extend its mobile sports betting access to the rest of Florida's residents. That could take place in December of this year.
In addition to the launch of its mobile Hard Rock Bet platform, the Seminoles have announced the Tribe's intention to start offering retail sports betting access at its Hard Rock casino properties throughout Florida. That launch is tentatively scheduled to take place on December 7.
According to the new compact, which is now considered legal, the Seminole will also be permitted to expand its menu of retail casino gambling options. That expansion is expected to include popular casino games like craps and roulette with more games slated in the future.
Florida Residents Cheer
To Florida sports fans who follow the state's Miami Dolphins (NFL), Miami Heat (NBA), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), and Florida State Seminoles (NCAAFB), the sense that sports betting has finally arrived in Florida brings great pleasure. These are largely devoted sports fans who have been waiting their entire lives to place legal sports wagers on their favorite teams without having to leave the comforts of home.
There is a lawsuit still pending with the SCOTUS, but for now, it's all systems go.