- The launch comes as the Seminole Tribe of Florida awaits an appellate court ruling and Louisiana awaits the state police force to finish their background investigations into licensees.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – BetMGM’s mobile horse racing app officially launched in both Florida and Louisiana on Devember 20, expanding the app’s presence to three states.
The launch of the app is good news for bettors of both states, as both are currently lacking an operational and regulated sports betting industry.
BetMGM Horse Racing App May Temporarily Fill FL Sportsbook Void
Sports betting in Florida has gone on a wild ride over the last few months. On November 1, the Seminole Tribe of Florida quietly launched their Hard Rock Sportsbook App with no formal announcement.
The terms of the updated Florida-Seminole gaming compact stated that mobile sports betting would not launch before November 15, 2021. Regardless, the Seminole Tribe launched a full two weeks before the prescribed date and the app remained functional and available for download until Federal district court judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that elements of the updated Florida-Seminole gaming compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on December 22 – the ruling nullified the entirety of the gaming compact, making sports betting in Florida unregulated once again.
As a result, Friedrich ruled that “sports betting will need to cease in the Sunshine State.”
The Seminole Tribe requested a stay, which was summarily denied. The tribe then filed an appeal, which is currently in progress. As a result, sports betting in Florida went from fully operational to non-existent in just over a month when the Seminole Tribe officially closed their Hard Rock Sportsbook app on December 4.
With the Seminole Hard Rock Sportsbook app on indefinite hiatus and the 2022 elections – when the sports betting voter initiatives will appear on the ballot – still almost a year away, there is a huge void in the Florida sports betting market. The launch of the BetMGM online horse racing app in the Sunshine State could serve as an attractive Florida online gambling option and a tie-over of sorts until full-scale sports betting becomes available once again.
BetMGM’s choice to launch their horse racing app in Florida on December 20 was a part of the company’s strategy “to engage a new customer base in the South,” according to CEO Adam Greenblatt.
Horse Racing App Launches In Louisiana, Sports Betting Expected Soon
Along with Florida, BetMGM launched their mobile horse racing app in Louisiana on December 20. The launch of the app comes at an ideal time – despite passing the enabling legislation for legal sports betting to become a reality in Louisiana on July 1, the state has yet to launch the industry.
Similarly to the situation in Florida, the BetMGM horse racing mobile app is now the primary sports option to legally gamble online in Louisiana.
This window will close soon, however, as the mobile sports betting industry in Louisiana is expected to launch by mid-January. The Louisiana State Police is near the end of their required investigation into each sports betting license applicant – the deadline for any other potential operators to apply for a license is December 31.
While the online sports betting industry has yet to launch in Louisiana, that has failed to stop major sportsbook operators from trying to claim their share of the market: several online gambling sites, including BetMGM and FanDuel, are already offering sign-up bonuses and free-play cash to players of Louisiana in anticipation for the January launch.