The Seminole Tribe made a significant announcement this week, revealing the relaunch of its mobile sports betting app in Florida, albeit in a “limited” manner. According to Gary Bitner, a spokesperson for the tribe, they are extending limited access to existing customers in the state to trial their Hard Rock Bet platform. However, specific details regarding the extent of access and any limitations have not been disclosed.
This move follows closely on the heels of the Seminole Tribe’s decision to expand its casino games after the approval of a gaming compact between the tribe and the State of Florida in 2021. In a bid to further enhance their gaming offerings, the Seminole Tribe had initially launched the sports betting app in 2021, only to halt wager acceptance due to a Supreme Court ruling that put a hold on the deal.
In a recent announcement, tribal officials from the Seminole Tribe and Seminole Hard Rock shared their intentions to introduce craps, roulette, and sports betting at all six Seminole Casinos in Florida starting in December. The rollout is scheduled to begin on December 7 at key South Florida locations, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. On December 8, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will join the lineup, followed by the launch of these offerings on December 11 at Seminole Casino Immokalee near Naples and Seminole Brighton Casino on the northwest side of Lake Okeechobee.
Marcellus Osceola Jr., Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, expressed gratitude to various parties for their support in defending the Compact. He stated, “The Seminole Tribe thanks the State of Florida, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Justice for defending our Compact. By working together, the Tribe, the State, and the federal government achieved a historic legal victory.”
Governor Ron DeSantis also praised the initiative, highlighting its potential benefits. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s new initiative will create jobs, increase tourism, and provide billions in added revenue for our state,” said Governor DeSantis. He emphasized his pride in working with the tribe on the historic Gaming Compact and his eagerness to see its full implementation.
The saga of sports betting in Florida has been fraught with legal challenges for two years, stemming from a $2.5 billion gambling agreement between the Seminole Tribe and the state. Besides permitting the Seminoles to introduce craps and roulette at their casinos, the compact paved the way for the tribe to establish three casinos on tribal property in Broward County. In return, the Seminole Tribe committed to paying the state a minimum of $2.5 billion over the initial five years, with the possibility of contributing billions more over the 30-year agreement.