The 104th season of the National Football League started on September 7, 2023, and will finish on January 7, 2024. This might prove a tough period for sports betting fans, and especially NFL enthusiasts in the Sunshine State. Florida is home to three NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. All three of them boast a remarkable history and massive fan base and take part in this year’s edition of the sports event.
However, with Florida’s complex state of the sports betting landscape, punters, and especially NFL fans, might have to wait a bit longer until they can place legal wagers on their favorite teams and players. What are the details behind this situation?
Back in April 2021, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis announced a historic gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe that would authorize sports betting in the state through the Tribe. The agreement allowed the launch of the Hard Rock Sportsbook betting app. As per the conditions of the 30-year agreement, the Seminole Tribe was granted a monopoly over sports betting in exchange for a minimum of $2.5 billion over the first five years.
According to estimates, the historic gaming compact would generate $6 billion by 2030. The state would benefit from improved opportunities for positive economic development.
Is Legal Sports Betting before the End of 2023 NFL Season Possible?
The app was suspended in Florida after just over a month of operation, following a court ruling in December 2021 due to the Tribe’s violating federal Indian gaming law. More specifically, the court’s decision was related to the tribe’s plan to allow state-wide wagering by keeping its servers within tribal grounds.
Subsequently, the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook has been rebranded to Hard Rock Bet. It went live across several other states including Indiana, Arizona, Tennessee, Ohio, and Virginia. On June 30, 2023, the appeals court reversed the low court’s decision. However, the opportunity for the agreement to be challenged in state courts has remained.
With the NFL’s occupying a major presence in Florida’s sports culture and its substantial impact on the state economy, it remains to be seen if local punters will be able to place wagers on their favorite teams before the end of the 2023 season. The future of sports betting in the state is yet to be decided. If the courts side with the Seminole Tribe, sports betting enthusiasts may be able to place wagers on their favorite teams before the NFL’s finals in January 2024. Provided that the relaunch of the sports betting app becomes a fact, the Seminole Tribe would monopolize the sector in Florida, which is, at present, the country’s biggest legal wagering state.