Home Gambling Industry The Seminole Tribe launches sports betting but doesn't tell anyone

The Seminole Tribe launches sports betting but doesn't tell anyone

01 Nov 2021
3 min. read


Yesterday, online sports betting was launched by the Seminole Tribe in Florida. This was done discreetly because of the issues that the tribe has with certain pari-mutuel owners that have yet to be resolved, although state lawmakers approved a gambling deal with this tribe last May.

Social media was very lively on Monday, when it was discovered that the Seminole's Hard Rock Sportsbook permitted gamblers in Florida to use an app that lets them place bets on professional football, soccer and hockey games, among other sports.

Florida is considered to be one of the biggest markets for digital betting, and the Governor, Ron DeSantis signed a deal with the chairman of Hard Rock, Marcellus Osceola Jr., through a deal called a "compact." However, this deal is being debated in Federal Court.

The compact permits players in all of the state to place bets online, and the bets are registered in computer servers that are located on tribal property, thus allowing the tribe to be made anywhere in Florida.

The tribe is to pay $2.5 billion for the first five years of a 30-year agreement which includes sports betting, roulette, and craps in tribal casinos in Florida. The tribe has already paid $37 million to the state of Florida as part of the payments it will have to make in this deal.

Another aspect of the deal is that the Seminoles must sign agreements with pari-mutuel owners that are to receive 60% of the profits obtained through marketing. According to the tribe, last Thursday, it signed contracts with seven of these pari-mutuels as partners in digital sports betting.

"Not only will this compact bring a guaranteed $2.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, but it also brings together Florida pari-mutuel businesses from across the state in a creative partnership with the Seminole Tribe providing increased access to safe and transparent sports betting in Florida," said DeSantis.

A lawsuit was filed against the US Department of the Interior and Secretary Deb Haaland. The plaintiffs contend that the sports betting plan goes against federal laws and will cause a "significant and potentially devastating impact" on their businesses.

Owners of the Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade and Bonita Springs Poker Room in Southwest Florida, the Havenick family, which has owned these facilities for over 50 years, also filed a lawsuit in July. However, the court dismissed the case in October.

On the other hand, DraftKings and FanDuel have each contributed $10 million to a political group backing a Florida amendment that will legalize sports betting in professional sports facilities, pari-mutuels and others throughout Florida in online platforms. At the moment, these other competitors are in the initial phase of collecting signatures for it to be approved by the Florida Supreme Court.

Image source: RawPixel

01 Nov 2021
3 min. read