Retail Florida sports betting, craps, and roulette will debut on Dec.7, more than two years after the Seminole Tribe of Florida was granted the right to offer them in a 30-year deal with the state.
The fate of mobile and online sports betting, the controversial part of the compact that has led to two years of litigation that now brews in the United States Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court, was not addressed in a Seminole Tribe press release announcing the so-called “New Era of Gambling in Florida.” The tribe touted “star-studded celebrations at its six Florida casinos. No Seminole Tribe property in Florida opened a sportsbook before mobile sports betting was shut down. Craps tables were stationed around the casino floor in the Tampa Hard Rock property in 2021 but were never used.
Retail Sports Betting, Craps, Roulette Schedule
- December 7: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
- December 8: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
- December 11: Seminole Casino Immokalee, and Seminole Brighton Casino
Meanwhile, Back at the Mobile Betting Question
Mobile sports betting in Florida lasted from Nov. 1 to Dec. 4 before US District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ruled the “hub-and-spoke” tech model that allowed the Seminoles to accept digital bets off tribal lands, state-wide, was beyond the scope of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
West Flagler Associates and the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room, who had successfully sued the Department of the Interior to void the Seminoles’ compact, enjoyed a series of legal victories at the federal level until a three-judge panel from the US District Court of Appeals, DC Circuit in June ruled that the deal should be allowed to resume. West Flagler has subsequently sued in the US and Florida high courts, with deadlines approaching in the next month for legal action. West Flagler has promised to deliver its official request for the US Supreme Court to take up the case by Nov. 20.
On Oct. 12, the US Supreme Court denied a permanent stay request on the compact.
Three key questions remain:
- When will mobile sports betting resume?
- Was the launch of these games timed because Hard Rock and the DOI felt litigation would be over by then?
- Will the Seminole Tribe resume the $500 million yearly revenue share payments it halted when mobile sports betting was shut down?
Seminole Tribe of Florida spokesperson Gary Bitner told Gaming Today there would be no further updates today. So, for now, Floridian gamblers have a timeline for everything but mobile sports betting.