Hard Rock Sportsbook Quietly Launches in the State of Florida. The sports betting industry has grabbed the attention of another state as the Seminole Tribe quietly launched the Hard Rock Sportsbook app. This was quite a surprise on Monday because of the continuing legal challenges to a gambling deal that was approved by state lawmakers back in May.
Residents will now be able to sign up and fund their accounts on the app to place wagers on different sports. There were no press conferences, news releases, or even a post via social media in regards to the launch.
There are two key legal challenges that were scheduled to be heard in the District Court for the District of Columbia. Two anti-gambling parties are seeking to cease the sports betting agreement the Seminole Tribe has with the state of Florida. The second issue is the Seminoles could have launched sports betting on October 15th but stated they didn’t want to rush the process and wanted to wait until November 15th to do so.
For those who are not familiar with the situation, the Tribe in the state agreed to a 30-year gaming compact back in May. That essentially granted them a state-sanctioned monopoly on sports betting. The agreement gave them the exclusive rights to every wager that will be placed on every game within the Sunshine State. Due to the compact, all bets that will be placed online and in-person at a gambling facility must be processed by the Tribe’s servers.
The Seminole Tribe owns and operates six different casinos, which also include gambling resorts like Hard Rock Hollywood in Southeast Florida and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Gulf Coast. Now, they have a monopoly on the online sports gambling market with the help of their app launch. For allowing sports betting to take place, the Tribe has agreed to pay the state of Florida a sum of at least $500 million a year for the next five years and a percentage of the guaranteed gaming revenue.
The money will be used to improve the education system, improve infrastructure, and fix the healthcare system as well. It can also be used to cut taxes in the state. State Representative Randy Fine, who supported the compact, stated,” I think to get $500 million, most of which will be paid on activities that were already taking place, I think is a pretty good deal for the state.”
Florida is home to 22.4 million people, which is the third most populated state behind California and Texas. More than half of its residents are of legal age to wager on sports. Florida is also second on the list in regards to attracting the most tourists when comparing the numbers to other states across the United States as the state sits right behind California.
The Seminole Tribe is expected to add more pari-mutuel license holders that are currently approved to accommodate more people to increase the number of wagers in the state. The Tribe will also receive 40 percent of their net revenue as the license holders can have their own platform that is managed by other operators.