Sports betting in Florida could be a reality again, if the Seminole Tribe decides to relaunch the Hard Rock sportsbook.
If that were to happen, it would be just in time for the lucrative NFL season which could produce upwards of a billion dollars, according to some experts.
Last week, a D.C. Circuit Court denied the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room a rehearing in front of a full circuit court.
South Florida sports gaming attorney Daniel Wallach says this means online sports betting could relaunch as soon as Monday.
“If they wait until next year that will represent a lost revenue opportunity of in excess of $1 billion dollars,” Wallach said.
However, Wallach told NBC6 the challenges are far from over.
“They have to convince the Supreme Court to even hear the case and statistically, that’s a long shot but this case does possess a lot of the elements that the Supreme Court would tend to look for,” said Wallach. “The federal law governing gaming on Indian land is known as the Indian Gaming Regulatory act…it only authorizes gambling to take place on Indian lands and nowhere else.”
Opponents have argued that online sports betting can occur in any location across the state, not just Indian land owned by the Seminole Tribe.
In 2021, the state granted the Seminole Tribe exclusive control over all sports betting. It launched the Hard Rock Sportsbook app the same year, but was paused after a little more than a month later when West Flagler, the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room filed challenges.
The Seminole Tribe said it was pleased with the court’s latest decision, but did not provide details on a potential relaunch.
West Flagler has not commented on the legal battle.