Gamblers who are anticipating the return of legal sports betting in Florida gained another win in the US Supreme Court last week, as the Hard Rock Sportsbook app now has clearance to open up for business and begin accepting wagers.
The question is, will they?
The Seminole Tribe of Florida opened mobile sports betting apps in Florida for a few weeks in late 2021 but closed them down once a lawsuit was filed in state court regarding the agreement they signed with Governor Ron DeSantis earlier that year.
Nearly two years later, the denial of the United States Supreme Court of the appeal does indeed grant the Seminoles the right to start taking bets from 21 and older clients in FL, but there is pending legal action in state court that appears to have legs.
When Gov. DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of FL signed a revised gaming compact in 2021, it included a sports betting monopoly for the tribe, permitting them to offer their services in-person, over the Internet, and via mobile sportsbook apps.
However, Florida voters did not approve of the domestic gambling expansion, and a couple of parties are challenging it in the state’s Supreme Court.
West Flagler Associates is the initial plaintiff and is the same party that took the other case to the SCOTUS. They own South Florida gaming interests and believe that the sports betting monopoly possessed by the Seminoles will harm their business.
The second plaintiff that joined West Flagler in their lawsuit is No Casinos, an anti-gambling legislative group that also believes that sports betting cannot become legal in the state without voter approval.
The continued closure of Hard Rock Sportsbooks in Florida initially suggested either a courtesy to the legal system or that No Casinos and West Flagler’s argument has some legs.
Yesterday, the Seminole Tribe announced that sports betting will return to Florida on December 7th. The kicker is that it will only be available at their Hard Rock Casino locations, with more brick-and-mortar sportsbook venues coming in the future.
No mention was made in regard to their online sportsbook or sports betting application.
For those who are after online sports betting or mobile sportsbooks for iPhone and Android right now, there are some outlets that currently accept wagers in the Sunshine State.
Legal online sports betting is available in Florida now for those who choose to gamble with offshore sportsbook sites. Because these online sportsbooks are located on foreign soil, US and FL gambling laws do not impact their operation nor make it illegal for locals and visitors to join one and bet on pro and college sports.