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UPDATED: Florida Online Sports Betting to Fully Launch on Thursday

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Dec 5, 2023 · 7:47 AM PST

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  • Hard Rock Bet will fully launch Florida online sports betting this Thursday
  • A Seminole Tribe spokesperson confirmed the launch
  • The sports betting launch will coincide with the state’s in-person sports betting, roulette, and craps launch this week

UPDATE: While the official Florida online sports betting launch is still scheduled for this Thursday, it seems as if the Hard Rock Bet sportsbook app opened to all in Florida earlier this morning, according to a tweet from Matt Primeaux, President of Hard Rock Bet.

Florida online sports betting will fully launch on Thursday, Dec. 7, after several weeks of limited access for Florida bettors.

A Seminole Tribe spokesperson confirmed with Sports Betting Dime last night that Hard Rock Bet will be available for all Florida sports bettors this week. The full online sports betting launch will coincide with the tribe’s launch of in-person sports betting, craps, and roulette in Florida casinos on Thursday.

“We’re continuing our rollout of the Hard Rock Bet app in Florida and look forward to the official launch of in-person and mobile sports betting on Thursday,” the Seminole Tribe spokesperson told Sports Betting Dime.

Limited Florida Sports Betting Launched in November

Hard Rock Bet has offered limited online sports betting to users with existing accounts since Nov. 7.

Florida online sports betting was first launched on Nov. 1, 2021, but shut down the app in early December 2021 after its gaming compact with Florida was dismissed by District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich.

The Hard Rock casinos are planning a star-studded launch of in-person sports betting, roulette, and craps throughout the state on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and a number of celebrities are slated to walk the red carpet the the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and other Seminole Casinos this week for the “New Era” of Florida gaming.

Jon Bon Jovi, Tiësto, Heather Graham, DJ Khaled, Mike Tyson, Emilio Estefan, Dwyane Wade, Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Bobbi Althoff, Sarah Hyland, Xandra, Prince Royce, Willy Chirino, Max Weinberg, Blaise Matuidi, Diplo, Prince Royce, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models such as Brooks Nader, Camille Kostek, Jena Sims, Nicole English, Christen Harper, plus many more entertainment and sports celebrities are schedule to appear at the launch events, according to the tribe.

“The Seminole Tribe of Florida is proud to point to a new era in Florida gaming with the unveiling of our new casino games,” said Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., in a release. “With the addition of craps, roulette and sports betting, we now offer a full complement of casino games and we join the ranks of leading casinos around the world.”

How Did Florida Get Here?

Florida’s sports betting journey began in 2021 when the state approved a 30-year gaming compact that granted the Seminole Tribe exclusive retail and online sports betting rights in the state. The gaming compact granted the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to online sports betting through a “hub-and-spoke” system, as well as expanded gaming rights, in exchange for at least $2.5 billion over the first five years. The “hub and spoke” system allowed sports bets to be placed anywhere in the state as long as they were processed by computer servers located on Tribal Land.

The gaming compact also allows casinos to offer craps and roulette.

The gaming compact was thrown out by Friedrich in November 2021. Ultimately, Friedrich determined the compact violated the conditions set forth by IGRA that limits tribal gaming to the confines of tribal lands. The Seminole Tribe argued in the gaming compact that because the servers that processed the online sports bets were located on tribal land, then the bets themselves were placed on tribal lands.

The three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the the District of Columbia disagreed with her ruling. The court vacated the opinion of the district court and ruled in favor of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who initially approved the gaming compact.

Currently, West Flagler Associates has a lawsuit against the online sports betting provision in the gaming compact with the Florida Supreme Court and is planning to petition the Supreme Court of the United States to take up its lawsuit.

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