Seminole Tribe reaches online sports betting partnership with five Florida pari-mutuels
The potential launch of Florida online sports betting is still murky, but the Seminole Tribe is striking partnerships with several pari-mutuels to make certain it’s ready when (and if) a date is finally cleared.
The Seminole Tribe announced today it agreed to online sports betting partnerships with the Palm Beach Kennel Club, West Palm Beach; Hialeah Park Casino, Hialeah; Ocala Gainesville Poker and Ocala Breeder’s Sales Company, Ocala; Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa and TGT Poker and Racebook, Tampa.
But will Florida online sports betting actually launch?
All of this is contingent on the launch of Florida online sports betting. There are currently several lawsuit levied against online sports betting in the state, one of which will likely be heard on Friday, Nov. 5, in Washington, D.C.
“As was promised when it was signed, this historic compact is expanding economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in a release. “Not only will this compact bring a guaranteed $2.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, but it also brings together Florida pari-mutuel businesses from across the state in a creative partnership with the Seminole Tribe providing increased access to safe and transparent sports betting in Florida. Today’s announcement is a great success for the state and the Seminole Tribe, and I look forward to the announcement of additional partnerships to come.”
The pari-mutuels will use the Hard Rock sportsbook brand at their own facilities. As agreed to in the Florida gaming compact, the pari-mutuels will keep 60% of the profits that are generated from sports betting at the sportsbooks.
The compact called for a minimum of three pari-mutuel partnerships when it was approved.
“Today’s announcement follows through on the Tribe’s commitment to include pari-mutuel marketing partners in Florida sports betting. They are an important component for the coming launch of sports betting throughout the state of Florida,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe. “We have already exceeded the Compact’s requirement for a minimum of three pari-mutuel agreements and we look forward to developing more relationships with pari-mutuels around Florida.”
The new gaming compact guarantees a minimum of $2.5 billion in revenue sharing for Florida over the first five years. The state received its first monthly revenue sharing contribution from the Seminole Tribe in October, when a $37 million payment was transmitted.
Florida online sports betting faces legal challenges
Florida still faces several legal challenges to the gaming compact. A lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., by West Flagler Associates against Deb Haaland, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, will likely determine the future online sports betting in Florida.
The D.C. lawsuit will be heard in an Article III regulated court by an objective judicial body.
Prior agency interpretations of IGRA, two failed prior attempts by Congress to amend IGRA to expand its reach to include online sports betting, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmation that bettors placing mobile wagers outside tribal lands is not protected by IGRA and Florida’s prior admission on an almost identical point all lead to trouble for the online sports betting component of the gaming compact, Daniel Wallach, principal at Wallach Legal, previously told Saturday Down South.
Additionally, a second lawsuit levied by N0-Casinos against the gaming compact will also be heard. The group levied the suit against the Department of the Interior, alleging that Florida and the Seminole Tribe expanded gambling in the state without voter approval.
The group said the gaming compact violated the state constitution when it expanded gambling without seeking approval from Florida voters.