On November 1, 2021, mobile sports betting officially launched in Florida as the Seminole Indian Tribe (Tribe) unveiled its Hard Rock Sportsbook App and began to accept wagers on sporting events. Under the current law, the Tribe has exclusive control over sports betting in Florida, so the Hard Rock Sportsbook App is the only mobile sports betting app available for use there.
As we reported previously, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a 30-year Tribal Gaming Compact (Compact) with the Tribe placing retail and mobile sports betting under the Tribe’s exclusive control. There has been substantial opposition to Florida giving exclusive rights to the Tribe with pari-mutuel operators filing three federal lawsuits in Washington, DC and Florida challenging the provisions in the Compact and a corresponding state law .
This Friday, November 5, 2021, there will be a hearing in one of the pending lawsuits in the D.C. District Court where the Court may rule on the pari-mutuel operators’ motion for preliminary injunction along with competing summary judgment motions submitted by the pari-mutuel operators and the Department of Interior. In the meantime, mobile sports betting on the Hard Rock Sportsbook App will continue in Florida until or unless a court rules otherwise.
We will continue to stay apprised of the ongoing developments, particularly with regard to the upcoming hearing on November 5.