Mobile sports betting is officially live in the Sunshine State.
The Hard Rock Sportsbook app, ran exclusively by the Florida Seminole Tribe, unexpectedly launched on Monday, allowing Florida users to legally place bets on sporting events in the state. The sports betting app, which can be downloaded now on iPhones and Android devices, allows bettors to wager on game lines, spreads, futures, player props and more. As a benefit of signing up on the highly anticipated app, Hard Rock is running a special promotion where gambling aficionados can receive a risk-free bet of up to $100 with their first deposit.
The mobile app is the latest move from the Seminole Tribe, who entered in marketing agreements last Thursday with five Florida pari-mutuels ahead on today’s launch.
News of the pari-mutuel agreements comes on the heels of a historic compact struck in April between the Governor and the Seminoles, just one week before the 2021 Legislative Session was set to end. It was overwhelmingly approved with bipartisan support by the Florida Legislature in May and it was deemed approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior in August.
The deal is expected to give the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights over sports betting in the state, allowing the Tribe to open statewide mobile sports wagering and retail sportsbooks, which would only be offered through their own Hard Rock facilities, as well as through state pari-mutuels. The group would also be able to add three additional casinos and oversee craps and roulette gaming exclusively. In return, the Seminoles would pay the state of Florida $500 million a year, or $150 million more than the old deal. The new gaming compact guarantees a minimum of $2.5 billion in revenue sharing for Florida over the first five years.
While the Seminole Tribe’s gaming expansion has been lauded by many, major sports betting operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, are attempting to spearhead a voting initiative led by Florida Education Champions that would expand online sports gambling beyond the proposed Seminole Tribe Compact. The newly-established sports-betting committee, formed to secure placement on the November 2022 ballot to authorize sports and event betting at professional sports venues, pari-mutuel facilities, and statewide via online sports betting platforms, could play spoiler to the deal struck between DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe.
Additionally, there are also lawsuits challenging the state’s gaming deal with the Seminole Tribe when it comes to controlling mobile betting. The lawsuits, however, did not prevent Hard Rock from launching their app earlier today.
SLATER SCOOP: Sports betting in Florida has begun.
Hard Rock Sportsbook just started accepting wagers on their mobile app.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) November 1, 2021