The Seminole Tribe has decided to suspend its Florida online sports betting operation with its Hard Rock Sportsbook app as a result of an appellate court decision to not grant an emergency motion of stay.

The Seminole Tribe requested an emergency motion of stay after a federal judge dismissed Florida’s 30-year gaming compact. The court of appeals denied the request late Friday afternoon, simply noting the “Appellant has not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending appeal.”

Florida sports betting suspended

The tribe had hoped it would be allowed to continue its sports betting launch, and a planned gaming expansion at Hard Rock Casinos, throughout the lengthy appeal process.

Instead, the tribe announced this morning through its Hard Rock Sportsbook social media account that sports betting would be suspended due to the court decision.

The Seminole Tribe launched sports betting in early November and continued to do so even after Federal Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich dismissed the 30-year Florida gaming compact after determining it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

All account users will have sports betting balances refunded

All account balances for users of the Hard Rock Sportsbook app will be refunded, according to a statement the Seminole Tribe released this morning.

“Despite the decision, the Seminole Tribe looks forward to working with the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice to aggressively defend the validity of the 2021 Compact before the Appeals Court, which has yet to rule on the merits of the 2021 compact. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, the State of Florida and the United State have all taken the position that the 2021 Compact is legal,” the tribe wrote in its release.

If a motion of stay had been granted to the tribe, it would have been allowed to continue offering sports betting, and go through with a planned craps/roulette expansion at its Hard Rock facilities, throughout the appeal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to make a decision.

We’ll continue to update the story as more information comes in.