Sports Betting Continues in Florida as Supreme Court Decides to Intervene

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a request to halt sports betting in the state amid an ongoing legal battle over the Seminole Tribe’s monopoly. Pari-mutuel operators West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp. sought to suspend sports betting and expedite a resolution to the case, but the court denied their request in a brief order on Friday. This unanimous decision did not provide any reasoning.

West Flagler is challenging a gaming compact that the Seminole Tribe reached with the state in 2021, which allowed the tribe to expand the games offered at its casinos and gave it exclusive access to mobile sports betting. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the compact, allowing the tribe to launch its Hard Rock Bets mobile sportsbook in Florida last week.

While the court’s decision is discouraging for opponents of the sports betting arrangement, the underlying case will continue, with a ruling expected next year. Opponents argue that the compact violates federal and state laws by allowing the tribe to offer gaming outside of its reservation, potentially earning the tribe millions from what may be deemed as unconstitutional activity.

In the meantime, mobile sports betting is expected to expand in Florida, as select customers have already begun placing bets through Hard Rock Bets. New customers can sign up for a waitlist to gain access to the platform. Additionally, the tribe’s casino offerings will soon include craps and roulette, with plans to roll out these games at the six tribal casinos in the state next month.

The legal battle over sports betting in Florida continues, with the court’s decision allowing the tribe to proceed with its mobile sportsbook while the case is ongoing.