Online sports betting resumes in Florida for some

ORLANDO, Fla. — Online sports betting is once again up and running in Florida, but not for everyone.


The Hard Rock Bet App relaunched statewide this week, allowing people to bet online, but only if they made an account when the app originally launched in 2021.

The soft relaunch of the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook app comes just five days after the tribe announced it would begin offering sports betting at its six Florida casinos.

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The app originally launched back in 2021 after the new gaming compact with the tribe was approved.

However, it was pulled down just a month later following a ruling issued by a federal judge that blocked the compact.

Gaming attorney Daniel Wallach says, after nearly two years of litigation and a series of court rulings in the tribe’s favor, the compact was reauthorized, paving the way for Wednesday’s relaunch.

“It was just a matter of time before the Seminole Tribe relaunched their sportsbook, at least the online version of it, because any reversal by a federal court would be in the U.S. Supreme Court more than a year from now,” Wallach explained.

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It’s not clear yet exactly when the app will become available to new customers, and as Wallach explains, there’s a possibility online sports betting could be blocked once again.

“If the bets and the wagers are occurring outside of Indian lands and are deemed to be placed outside of Indian lands, that same act would be a violation of both Florida amendment three and the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Wallach says West Flagler, The South Florida Pari-Mutuel Operator that challenged the new gaming compact, is likely to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an emergency stay quickly in hopes of shutting down online sports betting.

That could mean the end of sports betting in a matter of a week or two, but Wallach predicts such a request would likely be rejected, and online sports betting will stick around for the long haul.

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“At least at the present time, whether that’s days, weeks, or months, sports betting is alive and well and probably looking good,” Wallach said. “But it’s not final yet.”

There’s already a push to stop sports betting in Florida as attorneys for West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation filed a motion with the State Supreme Court arguing that the sports betting deal between Florida and the Seminole Tribe violates a 2018 constitutional amendment that requires voter approval for casino gambling.

The companies want the justices to halt online sports betting as that legal battle continues to pay out.

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