Florida sports betting is back online after some time away, as the Hard Rock Bet app began taking wagers in the Sunshine State early Tuesday.
A select number of Florida sports betting players can deposit, withdraw and place bets with Hard Rock Bet before it expands to the rest of the state, according to the group that controls online gaming in the state.
Only users who bet with the app in the brief live period in 2021 are eligible to bet during the early access period. At least for now, potential Hard Rock Bet users must sign up in-person for a loyalty account to join the waiting list.
“The Seminole Tribe is offering limited access to existing Florida customers to test its Hard Rock Bet platform,” said a spokesperson with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Online Florida sports betting relaunches amid legal battle
The surprise relaunch comes a few weeks after the US Supreme Court denied a request for a stay in a lawsuit that challenged the Seminole’s compact with the state and held online gaming in limbo for years. The compact gives the tribe exclusivity over online sports betting.
A previous iteration of the app, Hard Rock Sportsbook, took bets for thirty-four days back in late 2021, but shuttered amid a series of court rulings. Florida is once again the largest state with legal online sports betting.
In-person betting is set for Dec. 7, the Seminoles previously announced, as part of a broader expansion including roulette and craps.
Florida sports betting challengers not done yet
West Flagler Associates, the chief group to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ 2021 compact with the Seminoles, has until Dec. 11 to file a cert petition with the Supreme Court.
West Flagler is arguing that off-reservation gaming expansion can only occur after an approved referendum.
That could impact the app’s availability, though the court’s recent decision makes it a tough road ahead for West Flagler, legal experts have indicated to ˆLSR.
Hard Rock Bet adds 7th state
Hard Rock rebranded its app earlier this year . That included adding iGaming in states where it is legal and integrating a new sports betting tech stack.
The app is now available in:
- New Jersey
Sunshine State in, Hawkeye State out
Also on Tuesday, Hard Rock notified Iowa customers that November 28 will be its final day of online betting in the Hawkeye State.
The company said the change stems from a change in property ownership, though gaming operations at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City are unaffected.
Iowa Hard Rock Sportsbook users have through December 27 to withdraw their funds, per a company email.