Sports Betting has Officially Halted in Florida
The Seminole Tribe in Florida tried to monopolize the sports betting market in the state. However, the United States District judge ruled that the gaming compact went against both the Florida Constitution and the Indian Gaming Regulation Act.
Florida Shuts Down Sports Betting For the Foreseeable Future
Florida was seen as a market with untapped potential as it not only has a high population but also the state attracts many tourists each year. Sports betting in Florida took another turn on Friday as the federal court of appeals denied the Tribe’s request for an emergency motion to continue the operation.
Hard Rock casinos in both Tampa and Broward County will also be halted from becoming Vegas-style casinos. This will also block any attempt for the Tribe to expand its reach by not being able to create more casinos.
Attorney Daniel Wallach, who is an expert in rules and regulations in the sports betting industry and gaming industry, expected the Seminole Tribe will not succeed in their attempt to keep sports betting within the state’s borders. Tribal spokesman Gary Bitner told the Tallahassee Democrat that the Hard Rock Sportsbook app will “temporarily suspend operations” for the time being.
Bettors who have participated in the early launch of the sports betting app and market will no longer be able to place wagers as of Saturday. If one of the users tried placing a bet on the platform, an error message would appear. However, those who have winnings or money on their account will be able to withdraw without any hesitation.
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe had the vision to bring sports betting in the state with a 30-year compact agreement. The Seminole Tribe agreed to pay a hefty price tag of $2.5 billion in the next five years which averaged to be $500 million per year. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Tribe has already paid $75 million since October.
What is in Store For Sports Betting in the Sunshine State
Hard Rock Sportsbook stated that the bets placed before the 11 pm deadline on Saturday were still considered to be settled. Bets placed after were voided as the app has been suspended. That means no one was allowed to place a wager on the College football’s Championship games that were taking place on Saturday.
This does not mean the Seminole Tribe will give up their position on bringing sports betting in the state as it is a very lucrative business and they look forward to another appeal in the future.
For now, the Tribe cannot operate under the former agreement but District Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote it can craft a new one to allow sports gambling “solely on Indian lands.” if this takes place, the Tribe cannot accept bets that are trying to be placed outside of their jurisdiction.
Sports betting giants have already petitioned to enter Florida by the year 2023 but must have the required number of signatures to operate in the state.
Ryan Butler of WagersUSA said the outlook of FanDuel, DraftKings, Barstool, and anyone else launching an online sportsbook by at least 2025. The reason is sports betting will most likely be on the 2024 ballot.