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Sports Betting Resumes in the Sunshine State Thanks to Hard Rock Bet


It has been a long two years for keen Floridian sports betting fans. After the only sports betting app in the state suddenly disappeared from the market in 2021  after just a month in action, bettors were dismayed to learn that there would be no online sports betting in the state. But now, the app has popped back onto the market after a long hiatus. Aside from rejoicing with the news that sports betting has resumed, Floridians can also celebrate the fact that they can claim bonuses using BonusMonitor.com.

What happened with the Hard Rock app?

The original Hard Rock Bet app residence was due to the fact that the owners of the app, The Seminole Tribe, were tied up in the courts over a decision about mobile sports betting - a decision that was originally made in combination with state and federal governments. The original decision effectively eliminated competition in the online sports betting market, which riled up competitors.

Thanks to the original decision, the state and it's then governor, Ron DeSantis, were sued by competitors West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp, for running illegal sports betting operations. Now, after two years tied up in the courts, there is an app relaunch - but it’s not quite the end of the story yet for Seminole Tribe’s opposition.

A tricky situation

After sports betting was ruled a matter for the US states back in 2018, many states and tribal authorities looked to establish gambling operations to gain an opportunity in the market. In 2021, Florida reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe, known as a gambling compact, that allowed the tribe, through Hard Rock Bet, to offer mobile betting within the state. This would create a monopoly on the market, which, accordingly, upset competitors in the space. Rather than arguing for a piece of the pie, the competitors attacked the agreement from a law perspective: that gambling needed to be offered on tribal lands.

However, the state and the Seminole Tribe had agreed that mobile sports betting would be offered to players across the state through fixed servers on tribal lands: that the betting itself was actually done on tribal lands. Thanks to this argument, the case has been stuck in the federal courts for some years, being argued over the validity. The Hard Rock Bet app was only operational a month before it was pulled amid the legal drama.

The current state of play

The Hard Rock Bet app is now live again for players who signed up during the month-long period the app was open back in 2021. Players who want to join the waitlist for access must sign up on site, at a Seminole Tribe owned casino. While there has been no actual ruling that has said one way or another about the legality of mobile sports betting in the state, the US Supreme request has just denied a request for stay by the challengers. West Flagler Associates now have until December 11 to raise a petition again in the case. In the meantime, the app has soft-launched, although the opposition has filed a motion at the Florida Supreme Court for them to halt operations.

The competitors do fancy their chances at being heard in the Supreme Court, however, it’s unclear at this stage what path they will take, and whether they will continue to pursue action. 

The launch of the Hard Rock betting app in Florida makes it among eight states where the Hard Rock app is available, alongside Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Hard Rock name is a big player both in the casino space and sports betting worldwide, where it equates to a household name.

What other news in Florida?

Regardless of the outcome of mobile sports betting in Florida, the Seminole Tribe has committed to a December 7 launch date for in person betting at their sites across the state. The launch also sees more gaming offerings at their sites including roulette and craps. This goes across six different sites over December 7, 8, and 11: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Seminole Casino Immokalee, and Seminole Brighton Casino.

Florida joins many of the other US states in expanding into sports betting, supporting a growing market for the industry. With so much at stake, state governments and tribal owners see revenues that can be delivered back to the people of the lands instead of into the bank accounts of offshore operators. While sports betting opponents have their position that gambling can create fierce addictions that can wind up costing individuals and even the state, it seems that these activities will occur regardless of whether the state offers legal sports betting or not. Because of the easy access of web-based betting, people are able to access what they want when they want it, and sports betting is no different.

As Editor-in-Chief for a leading affiliate marketing company, Roy Carswells job is to develop an effective content strategy and mentor a team of casino-expert writers. 

Mobile Sports Betting Back on the Table in Florida?


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