Florida’s Seminole Tribe to Launch In-Person Sports Betting Even as Legal Fight Drags On

Craps, roulette, and retail sports betting will be offered to the public starting in December, the tribe says.

Nov 3, 2023 • 08:52 ET • 2 min read
Seminole Casino Florida
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Seminole Tribe of Florida says it will launch legal Florida sports betting at its casinos in December, but the return date of a statewide online option remains TBD as the court battle over its lawfulness continues.

Craps, roulette, and retail sports betting will be offered to the public starting on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the tribe’s three South Florida casinos, a press release noted. 

Those same games will then launch the following day at the Seminole casino in Tampa and on Dec. 11 at Seminole Casino Immokalee and Seminole Brighton Casino. 

The new gambling options were granted to the Seminole under a compact the tribe agreed to with the state in 2021. That agreement included the rights to statewide online sports betting sites, which was challenged in the courts and continues to be fought over, although the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to pause the arrangement any longer. 

You gotta fight for your right to parlay

The Seminole Tribe's official plans to toast “A New Era in Florida Gaming” in December did not appear to include mobile sports wagering, as Wednesday's press release made no mention of online betting.

That said, Miami radio host Andy Slater tweeted Wednesday morning, citing sources, that the Seminole-owned Hard Rock Bet sportsbook app could return to the state within the next two to three weeks to accept mobile wagers.

There is the possibility of both a U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court review of the compact and its online sports betting provisions, which may account for the retail-only announcement.

Hard Rock Bet launched briefly in Florida in late 2021 before it was shut down following a court ruling that invalidated the federal government's approval of the Seminole-state gaming compact. 

"This is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league with the world’s great gaming destinations."

- Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming, chairman of Hard Rock International

An appeals court overturned that lower-court decision earlier this year. At any rate, however, Florida’s legal fight over mobile sports betting has dragged on for two years and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the Seminole Tribe seems ready to celebrate. 

“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,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., chairman of the tribe, in Wednesday’s press release. “By working together, the Tribe, the State and the federal government achieved a historic legal victory.” 

Florida is one of the biggest state-level markets in the U.S., and it is currently without any legal sports betting options.

That is now set to change, and the Seminole will control any wagering in the state, giving their gambling business a boost. Meanwhile, other sportsbook operators must watch from the sidelines.  

“With the expansion of the new scope, we are creating over 1,000 new jobs made possible by the Compact,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International, in the release. “This is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league with the world’s great gaming destinations.”

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo