Seminole casinos to introduce sports betting on Dec. 7; online wagering status still uncertain

by | Nov 1, 2023

  • The Seminole Tribe of Florida will introduce sports betting, along with roulette and craps, at its six casinos from Dec. 7.
  • The move follows the finalization of a gaming compact with the State of Florida in April 2021 and subsequent legal approvals by June 2023, overcoming challenges related to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
  • Despite reports suggesting the imminent launch of online betting via the Hard Rock Bets app, a representative clarified that the current rollout is only for in-person betting at Seminole casinos.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has announced its plans to introduce sports betting, along with roulette and craps, at its six state-wide casinos starting Dec. 7, though a timeline for online wagering is still unknown.

Starting Dec. 7, six Seminole casinos, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, will introduce sports betting, with other properties following in quick succession, per the tribe.

The decision comes after the tribe and the State of Florida finalized a gaming compact in April 2021, ratified by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Although legal challenges, particularly concerning the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), initially halted the rollout, the DC District Court of Appeals overturned an opposing ruling by June 2023. The US Supreme Court also ruled in favor of the Seminoles, paving the way for next month’s launch.

In June, the initial ruling by the District of Columbia (D.C.), which had sided against the tribe, was overturned by the D.C. District Court of Appeals, giving the tribe the green light to proceed with their gaming expansion plans.

“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,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

Following the Wednesday morning announcement, Fox Sports personality Andy Slater reported that online betting will launch within the next month, with the mobile app set to release before the Dec. 7 in-person debut.

“Sports betting in Florida will begin on the Hard Rock Bets app within the next 2-3 weeks, sources tell me,” said Slater.

Upon outreach, however, a media representative for the tribe clarified to The Capitolist that the rollout currently pertains only to in-person betting at Seminole casinos.

“No additional information is available today,” said Gary Bitner regarding the app.

Following the initial approval of the Gaming Compact, the Seminole Tribe launched its Hard Rock Sportsbook app, allowing bettors to wager on game lines, spreads, futures, player props, and more. However, the platform was forced to shutter after the compact was struck down.


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