Seminole Tribe to Launch Florida Retail Sports Betting in December

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting


  • Hard Rock casinos briefly accepted sports bets before legal challenges were presented
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fully supports the launch of sports betting
  • Reports suggest online sports betting could come in the next 2-3 weeks

The Seminole Tribe of Florida announced Wednesday that it will offer sports betting, along with new forms of gaming, at its six casinos next month.

“Craps, roulette and sports betting will launch to the public on Thursday, December 7 at all three Seminole Casinos in South Florida: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek,” the statement said.

The announcement comes immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed a motion to stop a longstanding agreement between the Seminoles and the Florida government that would allow the natives to control the state’s sports betting market.

Grand re-opening

After the new games and sports betting lines are unveiled at three locations on December 7, they will launch Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa a day later, and at Seminole Casino Immokalee and Seminole Brighton Casino on December 11.

The tribes reached an agreement with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on a sports betting compact in 2021. Hard Rock Casinos briefly accepted legal sports bets before a series of legal objections were presented.

The following years were spent arguing the merits of the compact, which was centered on a “hub-and-spoke model” that required all bets to be processed on servers located on tribal gaming territory.

DeSantis released a statement following the Seminoles’ announcement in a sign of support for the re-launching of Florida sports betting.

“The Seminole Tribe of Florida's new initiative will create jobs, increase tourism, and provide billions in added revenue for our state,” DeSantis said. “I was proud to work with the Tribe on our historic Gaming Compact and I look forward to its full implementation.”

Florida is now the second of the USA’s most populous states to legalize (and soon, launch) sports betting, alongside New York. California and Texas are the odd ones out, although just this week two proposals were presented that could get the topic of California sports betting on the next general election.

New York (which has 2.5 million fewer residents than Florida) generated $693 million in tax revenue and $1.36 billion in gross gaming revenue during its first full year of operation in 2022.

Online sports betting next?

Despite the milestone, there is still no clear timeline for online sports betting in Florida. However, it will certainly be a topic of discussion moving forward, given that Florida’s population, tourism, and attractiveness for sports fans give it enough of an infrastructure to challenge for one of the top markets in the country.

“With the expansion of the new scope, we are creating over 1,000 new jobs made possible by the Compact,” Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, said in the release. “This is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league with the world's great gaming destinations.”

Miami radio show host Andy Slater shared that according to his sources, Hard Rock plans to begin work on its online sports betting platform in the next 2-3 weeks.

The Seminoles did not provide any comment on the report.

According to local news site Axios Miami, Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, said that it should come as no surprise the tribes want to establish retail sports betting first since their legal battles revolve around online betting.

“There really never was any dispute over the Tribe's right to have in-person sports betting,” Jarvis said via email to Axios Miami. “The Tribe is unlikely to start mobile sports betting until all the pending litigation, in both federal and state court, is over.”

The news comes as Disney, in conjunction with PENN Entertainment, is preparing to launch ESPN Bet in 17 states—Florida not being one of them.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.