Sports betting may soon return to Florida if the Seminole Tribe chooses to relaunch its Hard Rock sportsbook.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit denied the request from West Flagler Associates, the owners of the Bonita Springs Poker Room, for a full en banc rehearing of its case.
The circuit court is expected to release its mandate on Monday, which will reinstate Florida’s gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe.
Florida Gambling Law Expert Daniel Wallach says that mandate will be the green light for the tribe.
“It’s a fairly safe bet that the Seminoles are planning a big unveiling, or a re-unveiling, of their online sports book,” Wallach said.
The Seminole Tribe hasn’t said if or when they plan to relaunch their online sports app.
“Nothing new to share today on behalf of the Seminole Tribe,” spokesman Gary Bitner said in a statement to Fox 4 Investigates.
West Flagler has asked the court not to reinstate Florida’s gaming compact while they consider petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States.
Wallach believes this case is ripe for the highest court in the land due to the conflicting rulings in other federal courts along with the importance of the issue.
“Which is why the stakes of this litigation is so high. If the tribe wins, they get to control sports betting in the state for the next 30 years,” said Wallach.
If the sports app returns to Florida, it will become the largest state in the country with legalized sports gambling.
Throw in the fact that more than 100 million people vacation in Florida everywhere, and you suddenly have what could be one of the largest gambling markets in the country.
“This is going to become the dominant market for sports betting in the United States. And it’s going to be controlled by one entity, the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” Wallach said.
Under the compact, the Seminole Tribe has exclusive rights to sports betting in Florida for 30 years.
The Tribe will pay the state $500 million per year.