The Seminole Tribe, owners of the Hard Rock brand, will be expanding its gaming options to customers at all of its Florida sportsbook locations, which will include retail sportsbooks.
Seminoles Roll the Dice
In early December, a staggered schedule will see all six of the Seminoles’ Hard Rock Casinos in Florida expand their gaming menu with craps, roulette, and retail sports betting. The reported schedule is as follows:
December 7, 2023
- Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
- Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
December 8, 2023
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
December 11, 2023
- Seminole Casino Brighton
- Seminole Casino Immokalee
Compact in Action
“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.
“The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s new initiative will create jobs, increase tourism, and provide billions in added revenue for our state,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I was proud to work with the Tribe on our historic Gaming Compact and I look forward to its full implementation.”
Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, commented, “With the expansion of the new scope, we are creating over 1,000 new jobs made possible by the Compact. This is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league with the world’s great gaming destinations.”
Mobile Betting in Limbo
The Seminole Tribe, operating under the assumption that its Compact with the state allowed it to launch mobile sports betting, did just that for a little over a month in 2021 until a lawsuit filed by a parimutuel company, West Flagler Associates, put a stop to online sports betting in the Sunshine State.
This has become a legal ping-pong match, with West Flagler winning the initial round but the triumvirate of the Department of the Interior, the state of Florida, and the Seminole Tribe winning the appeal.
However, the issues remain unresolved until the Florida Supreme Court can decide on the merits of West Flagler’s case while the U.S. Supreme Court is also weighing whether or not to hear this case at the federal level. The plaintiff has a much better chance of its pleas being heard at the state level as early indications are that it won’t pass muster with the SCOTUS.
The crux of West Flagler’s contention is that mobile sports betting should not be allowed unless the wagers are placed on tribal lands. The Seminoles contend that because their computer servers are located on their grounds, the genesis of the wager should be considered there even if the bet is placed outside of tribal lands but within Florida’s boundaries.
The Seminoles could theoretically open back up for online sports betting but if they ultimately lose in court, they would have to shutter their mobile operations for a second time and that would not be favorable to the Hard Rock brand.