Hard Rock CEO Explains Why Florida Sports Betting Relaunched

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Florida sports betting

Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen explained Friday why the Seminole Tribe of Florida elected to relaunch online Florida sports betting via the Hard Rock Bet app. 

The US Supreme Court decided on Oct. 25 to deny West Flagler Associates’ request for a stay of mandate in the ongoing Florida sports betting case. 

As a result, Hard Rock Bet relaunched in the Sunshine State on Nov. 7, and the Seminole are debuting in-person sports betting at six casinos from Thursday-Monday.  

Why Hard Rock decided to relaunch

Allen said that court victory, plus the longevity of a legal challenge, helped sway the decision:

“The plaintiffs were trying to stop us from launching and the court ruled 100% in our favor that they couldn’t do that,” Allen told Gaming Today. “They can file another appeal to the actual merits of the case. But once we had that in place, we know that process will take at least a year or two. So that’s when we determined we wanted to move forward.”

Florida sports betting case standing

Also on Friday, in the state Supreme Court case, the Seminole Tribe submitted an amicus brief in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis

West Flagler Associates is arguing that expanded gambling violates the Florida Constitution. However, the Seminole Tribe wrote in its filing requesting the court deny West Flagler’s writ petition: 

“The Legislature’s interpretation of Amendment 3 as preserving its authority to deem online sports betting transactions to occur entirely where wagers are received, on tribal lands, was rational and in keeping with existing legal principles. The Implementing Law should receive heightened deference and the Legislature’s contemporaneous interpretation should therefore be treated as dispositive.” 

Allen: case could still be a losss

In the SCOTUS case, Chief Justice John Roberts granted West Flagler’s request for an extension to file a federal Supreme Court petition until Feb. 9, 2024

Allen said: “We could still lose, there’s no doubt about that. The one thing I can tell you, we certainly talk to all of the major players in this space and it is unanimous. I do not have one of the other big companies that don’t believe in our legal position. Not one. Now that doesn’t mean a judge won’t rule against it.”