Seminole Sign Florida Sports Betting Partners Under Hard Rock

Posted on October 28, 2021
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Written By on October 28, 2021

Courts still have not decided if mobile sports betting in Florida will be legal but the Seminole Tribe is pushing forward.

The tribe announced Thursday five pari-mutuel partners that will market the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app:

  • Hialeah Park Casino
  • Ocala Gainesville Poker
  • Palm Beach Kennel Club
  • Tampa Bay Downs
  • TGT Poker & Racebook

How Florida sportsbook profits split

The partners will get 60% of the profits for their efforts marketing online FL sports betting through the Hard Rock app. The operators get a 40% cut.

More marketing agreements should be announced soon, according to the Seminole release.

Gov. Ron DeSantis praised the announcement as a “great success” for Florida:

“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.”

When will Florida sports betting start?

Sports betting in Florida technically could have started Oct. 15 through the new compact. That is not what happened, for a few reasons.

Lawsuits from another pari-mutuel owner, West Flagler Associates, are a big reason why. The pari-mutuel still has DC-filed litigation active despite its Florida-filed suit being dismissed.

It does not sound like the launch would have happened even without the lawsuits, though. The Orlando Sentinel reported at least a one-month delay while the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported a mid-December launch. The Seminole then told LSR there were no dates released by the tribe for the start.

Thursday’s announcement did not grant any clarity on the launch date either. The only detail given about the app and retail sportsbooks at Seminole Hard Rock casinos in Tampa and Hollywood is that they are being prepared for launch.

Deals keep Seminole sports betting taxes lower

Remember, the Seminole Indians did not technically have to sign any partnerships.

The compact called for a minimum of three partnerships to be signed but that was only if the Seminole wanted to keep their tax rate from climbing.

Now that the partnerships are in place, the tribe will pay a 13.75% tax on sports betting revenue.

Competing proposal still alive

DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook initially talked to Hard Rock about sports betting but eventually decided to launch their own ballot initiative.

Launched in June, t he initiative has not raised much cash since its first financial filing in July. That was for $20 million and only $154 has been added since then through September. Expenses are rising, though, with nearly $9.9 million spent so far.

If qualified, the ballot initiative would need 60% approval to pass.

Matthew Waters Avatar
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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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