November 4, 2021
Under the terms of an amended gaming compact, legal sports betting was slated to begin on Oct. 15. That compact was negotiated between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe. It was approved by state lawmakers back in May.
The US Department of the Interior gave final approval for the amended compact on Aug. 6. This cleared the way to go live with legal sports betting in the state.
Marcellus Osceola Jr. is the chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He released the following statement ahead of the Nov. 1 launch:
“The Gaming Compact is a mutually beneficial partnership between the State and Seminole Tribe that positively impacts all Floridians. In addition to our revenue sharing contributions, we are hiring hundreds of Floridians and investing millions of dollars in the state.”
The Seminole Tribe recently signed marketing deals with five pari-mutuels in the state. That group includes the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Hialeah Park Casino, Ocala Gainesville Poker, Ocala Breeders Sales Company, Tampa Bay Downs and TGT Poker & Racebook.
Under the terms of this deal, the horse and dog tracks will receive 60% of the sports betting revenue in return for their marketing efforts.
Part of the amended compact dictated this move. The Seminole Tribe was able to maintain its gaming monopoly in the state. However, it was required to sign marketing agreements with pari-mutuel gaming companies in the state.
A big selling point of this compact was the revenue guaranteed to the state. The tribe will pay Florida $2.5 billion over the next five years. Over the course of the 30-year term, the total payment will be $20 billion. A payment of $37 million was received by the state in October.
There is still legal opposition to the amended compact going through the court system. However, that has not deterred the Seminole Tribe from moving forward with the recent launch of the Hard Rock Sportsbook betting app.
One of those challenges contend that legal betting on sports should only take place on tribal land. This would have a direct impact on legal online betting through mobile apps.
The Hard Rock sports betting app is available for download by both iOS and Android devices. Anyone 21 and older and physically in the state of Florida can access the app.
New Florida law tied to the amended compact states that any sports bet placed in Florida would be considered to be on tribal property. The physical computer servers taking the bets are located on land owned by the Seminole Tribe.
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.