The relaunch of the Hard Rock Bet App for online sports betting in Florida has come back, but only for those who signed up in 2021. The Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook app was pulled down in 2021 following a ruling issued by a federal judge that blocked the gaming compact. However, after almost two years of litigation and court rulings in the tribe’s favor, the compact was reauthorized, leading to the app’s relaunch.
Daniel Wallach, a gaming attorney, explained that the reauthorization of the compact paved the way for the app’s relaunch, as any reversal by a federal court would have taken more than a year to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. This soft relaunch of the app followed the tribe’s announcement that it would begin offering sports betting at its Florida casinos.
The relaunch has raised concerns among some parties. West Flagler, a South Florida Pari-Mutuel Operator, is expected to challenge the new gaming compact and petition the Florida Supreme Court for an emergency stay in an attempt to shut down online sports betting.
However, Wallach predicts that such a request would likely be rejected, and online sports betting would stick around for the long term. Although there is already a legal battle in play to stop the sports betting deal, the future of online sports betting in Florida remains uncertain.
The legal battle stems from concerns that the sports betting deal between Florida and the Seminole Tribe violates a 2018 constitutional amendment that requires voter approval for casino gambling. Attorneys for West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation have filed a motion with the State Supreme Court to halt online sports betting, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the future of online sports betting in Florida.