A month after launch, sports betting in Florida has been suspended indefinitely.
The Seminole Tribe announced over the weekend that they will be “temporarily suspending operations” of their Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile betting app after the Appeals Court denied their request for a stay against the District Court’s decision to vacate the gambling compact signed between the tribe and the state.
Without the compact in place, mobile sports betting is not longer allowed in the state.
According to the tribe any bets received after 11 a.m. local time on Saturday were voided and refunded. Any bet placed before the deadline would be honored. The app will remain active to allow customers to withdrawal funds, but no bets will be accepted.
In a Tweet posted on Saturday the Seminole Tribe said “Due to yesterday’s appellate court decision, the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app will temporarily suspend accepting new bets and deposits. Player information and account funds are safe and secure, and the app will remain online for easy withdrawals via all payment methods.”
The Florida sports betting saga will now shift to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where the tribe will attempt to overturn the District Court’s ruling that vacated the compact. This could leave Florida gamblers without sports betting for a long time as the appeal process can take anywhere from six months to a year. Of course, there’s no guarantee the tribe’s appeal will even be successful.
Florida’s best strategy to bring back sports betting may be one of two other alternate approaches that have been proposed.
In the first approach the tribe could ask for assistance from Florida federal lawmakers to try and revive legislation that would allow online betting to proceed under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
In the second approach a ballot initiative, that is reportedly already in the works, could legalize online sports betting throughout the state. That earliest this initiative could appear on the ballot would be November 2022, which means the earliest this approach could give sports betting new live in Florida would be early 2023.