Hard Rock Bet officially launched its online Florida sports betting app across the state Tuesday. The move comes a month after Seminole Gaming brought it back for a soft launch after a federal appeals court restored the Seminole Tribe’s amended gaming compact in the Sunshine State.
Matt Primeaux, Hard Rock Bet’s executive managing director and president, went to social media Tuesday morning to make the announcement.
“Hard Rock’s early access period for sports betting in Florida has been great this past month, but thinking about just turning it off and letting everyone bet,” Primeaux posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
A half-hour later, Primeaux posted a graphic saying “Florida’s Sportsbook” is now open to everyone in the state. Over the past month, Hard Rock Bet Florida has been available to those who previously wagered on the Florida sports betting app two years ago and to members of Unity, Hard Rock’s customer loyalty rewards program.
The app initially launched in November 2021, but it lasted just a month because a federal district court judge ruled the U.S. Department of the Interior should not have approved the compact reached between the tribe and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis since it included gaming outside of tribal lands.
The federal government appealed that decision, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned the lower court’s ruling in June. West Flagler Associates and Bonita-Fort Myers Corp., two commercial parimutuel operators, continue to wage their legal battle against the compact and the online sports betting provision as they seek the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court to review the case.
Who Can Wager With Hard Rock Bet In Florida
Hard Rock Bet is the only legal Florida sports betting app operating in the Sunshine State. It received that exclusivity in the 2021 Gaming Compact amendment.
Anyone age 21 and older will be eligible to wager on Hard Rock Bet, which is available as an app through Apple and Android stores. Hard Rock Bet also has a website available for betting. Users must be physically located in Florida to bet. Hard Rock Bet will not be limited to just Florida residents. That means anyone 21 and up taking a trip to the state this holiday season can register for an account.
Individuals outside of Florida can still access the Hard Rock app or website. That will enable them to make deposits or withdrawals and check odds. However, they cannot place a bet unless they’re physically in another state where Hard Rock Bet is an approved licensed operator. Besides Florida, Hard Rock Bet is also available for online sports betting in Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Retail Sports Betting, Roulette and Craps To Start Later This Week
Those who do not want to bet online in Florida will have other options to place a sports wager. Starting Thursday, Seminole Gaming will begin opening retail sportsbooks at its brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. The tribe plans to roll out the red carpet and have celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Mike Tyson, Ja Rule, Dwyane Wade and others to celebrate the start of a “new era.” Besides sportsbooks, the gaming compact allows Seminole Gaming to offer roulette and dice-based table games at its casinos.
Retail sports betting and the new table games will begin Thursday at Seminole Hard Rock and Seminole Classic casinos in Hollywood and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. Hard Rock Tampa will start offering the new games on Friday, and Seminole Casinos in Immokalee and Brighton will have them available starting Monday.
The Seminole Tribe will also partner with select parimutuel gaming operators, allowing them to offer sports betting at their facilities as well. Those in the “hub-and-spoke” network can brand their sports betting offerings how they see fit, but the wagers will still go through tribal lands, with Hard Rock receiving 40% of the revenues generated from the parimutuel operators.
Two years ago, the tribe selected the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Hileah Park Casino, Ocala Gainesville Poker, Ocala Breeder’s Sales, Tampa Bay Downs and TGT Poker and Racebook in Tampa as its first parimutuel partners. Additional operators may also join the network.
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