- A three judge panel has denied the Seminole Tribe’s attempt at a stay on the shutdown of their sportsbook.
- In response, Hard Rock Sportsbook App shut down immediately.
- The sportsbook is staying open for refund purposes, but is not accepting bets.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The plans for Florida to open an online sportsbook have hit yet another serious snag. The Seminole Tribe attempted to secure a stay of Judge Dabney Friedrich’s ruling that the method by which online sports betting was legalized in Florida was, in fact, illegal.
This stay has now been denied by the court, which means that online gambling via the Hard Rock Sportsbook app is officially illegal again in Florida.
The Hard Rock App suspended operations after this ruling came down, despite utilizing every resource to stay in business.
Due to yesterday’s appellate court decision, the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app will temporarily suspend accepting new bets and deposits. Player information and account funds are safe and secure, and the app will remain online for easy withdrawals via all payment methods. pic.twitter.com/8XhDcXzRKa
— Hard Rock Sportsbook (@HardRockSB) December 4, 2021
All active bets for events running through 11 a.m. EST on Dec. 4th will be processed, and bets for events after that time will be voided. The sportsbook will stay open so that players can remove money from their accounts, and they have promised that the process will be easy and functional.
Bettors on Twitter have reported that there have been problems with the withdrawal system, however.
What's Next For Florida Sports Betting?
This application for a stay was a last-ditch effort to keep the sportsbook open while the Seminole Tribe appealed Friedrich’s original ruling. Now, there are several paths in front of them, and Florida’s bettors likely won’t see a state-regulated sportsbook in the state for a while.
The tribe could continue appealing this ruling, which would entail a tough legal fight that they might not win. They could go back to the drawing board, and come up with a new plan to maintain control of Florida’s sports betting market with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Finally, they could attempt to get this plan passed via a majority of voters, something that is required by a constitutional amendment passed in Florida in 2018.
Whatever happens, Florida gambling has taken a huge step back with this ruling, and now it seems that step back is going to be significant.