Hard Rock’s Chairman Jim Allen Terms Pari-Mutuel Interest Tremendous, As Florida Sports Wagering Begins

Sports wagering in Florida didn’t begin with a bang. Sooner on Monday, the Florida Seminole Tribe revealed its online application with an elastic launch in the Sunshine State.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson told Casino.org the tribe anticipates announcing more information soon. They said the current information is available at the Hard Rock Sportsbook site. The Seminole Tribe owns Hard Rock International.

With the amended compact, approved by the federal government in August, but with some concerns, the Seminoles are the only authorized sports wagering operator in Florida. FanDuel and DraftKings are behind the petition expedition to have a constitutional amendment on next year’s election, allowing other sportsbooks to run in the state.

The unroll surprised many, as the agreement between the tribe and Florida still faces legal challenges in the Columbia District federal courts. A hearing on one of the lawsuits in the nation’s capital is scheduled for Friday.

Lawsuits want to quash federal approval

Friday’s hearing is about a case two pari-mutuel gaming operators filed against the Interior Department and US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. That is the federal agency with supervision authority on tribal gaming.

The Bonita Springs Poker Room and the Magic City Casino have requested two legal decisions: either a quick judgment quashing the federal government’s approval of the amended gaming compact or a preliminary order barring the online sports wagering part of the compact.

The critical concern of the lawsuit is whether the sports wagering provisions defy the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That federal law allows the Interior Department to permit tribal gaming agreements that allow for gaming on tribal territories.

Federal executives have asked for dismissal of the lawsuit, while the Seminoles have requested to intervene in the case. That is to defend its rights, which might not necessarily conform with the federal government in the case.

Bonita Spring and Magic City also filed a federal case in Florida to bar state executives from enforcing the agreement. However, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last month.

The other case in the DC federal court involves adversaries of expanded sports betting. They have filed a lawsuit against national executives and in an attempt to have the deal tossed. The complainants, in that case, claim the amended compact is a shortcut around established laws calling for Florida residents to approve gaming expansion proposals.

Seminoles to add more sports wagering partners

The gaming agreement allows the Seminoles to offer sports wagering statewide in three ways: through its online application, at sportsbooks in its casinos, and across a network of pari-mutuel operators who enter marketing agreements with Seminoles.

Pari-mutuel will be part of a hub-and-spoke plan. Under the compact’s terms, pari-mutuel operators will host kiosks at their properties connected to servers on tribal land. Due to their effort in promoting and hosting, participating operators will receive 60% of the net revenues their kiosks create.

The agreement required the tribe to initiate partnerships with at least three pari-mutuel operators within 90 days of the federal signoff or pay a little higher state share.

The Seminoles last week unveiled agreements with five pari-mutuel properties. Jim Allen, Seminole Gaming CEO and Hard Rock Chairman, told Casino.org that is only the beginning.

When asked about the pari-mutuels’ at the Hard Rock’s Cincinnati casino grand opening, in response, Allen termed it “Tremendous.”

“There were so many naysayers,”

Allen said.

“So many were saying that we just put that in the compact, but we weren’t going to do anything. The direct opposite has occurred. We’ve already got five done. Frankly, we sent an RFP out to, I think, 26, 27 (operators). I would say over 20 are actively engaged, and I look forward to more of those agreements being signed in a very near feature.”

Last Updated on by Ryan

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