Florida sports betting: Seminole Tribe praises link-up with five pari-mutuels

Florida sports betting: Seminole Tribe praises link-up with five pari-mutuels

Seminole Tribe of Florida has officially launched its online sports betting operations on Monday, November 1, amid objections from groups questioning the legality of the deal approved by the State’s lawmaker last May.   

Nevertheless, five pari-mutuels have begun marketing the Tribe’s sportsbook offerings at their facilities as part of an agreement entered into days before the roll-out.

Seminole Tribe – Parimutuels Deal

About the Deal

On October 29, Seminole Tribe announced a sports wagering agreement with five Florida-based pari-mutuels. The gaming operators needed to partner with at least three pari-mutuels operating within the State of Florida to meet one of the essential requirements in the gambling compact. 

The announcement of the agreement with these five pari-mutuels would only mean the Tribe had already satisfied all the requirements for launching their sportsbook.

These pari-mutuels are located alongside Palm Beach Kennel Club, West Palm Beach; Hialeah Park Casino, Hialeah; Ocala Gainesville Poker and Ocala Breeder’s Sales Company, Ocala; Tampa Bay Downs, and TGT Poker & Racebook.

Marketing Agreement

Details of the agreement revealed a massive windfall in store for these pari-mutuels, which will pocket 60 percent of the profits generated from their marketing activities. The Seminole Tribe of Florida also disclosed that they would be announcing similar marketing agreements in the future. 

More about the Compact 

Last spring, Florida governor Ron DeSantis took concrete steps toward the legalization of online sports betting in the Sunshine State by signing a pact with tribe Chairman Marcelus Osceola Jr. 

The agreement, known as the Compact, would enable the Seminole Tribe to run an online sports betting operations, which would earn the State $2.5 billion over the first five years of the 30-year agreement. The Tribe also confirmed that the State already received the first payment of $37 million in October.

 The Compact received bipartisan approval by the Florida Legislature and later secured the go-ahead by the U.S. Department of the Interior in August.

After several months of preparations, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has taken their sportsbook live in Florida despite facing scrutiny from several groups and stakeholders. 

Operators, such as Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room – had already filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Deb Haaland before the Federal Court. The lawsuit asserted that the sports-betting plan – which received approval by the Department of Interior – violates federal laws and will cause a “significant and potentially devastating” impact on their businesses.   

Despite the prospect of being shut down just days after going live, Seminoles’ Hard Rock Sportsbook proceeded with the launch of its online sports betting app. Using this app, customers can deposit and place bets on various sports betting options, including professional football, hockey, soccer games, and other sports.

Quotes from the Press Release

Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chair of Hard Rock International, commented on the link-up with the pari-mutuels. 

“Today’s announcement follows through on the Tribe’s commitment to include pari-mutuel marketing partners in Florida sports betting. They are an important component for the coming launch of sports betting throughout the State of Florida. We have already exceeded the Compact’s requirement for a minimum of three pari-mutuel agreements, and we look forward to developing more relationships with pari-mutuels around Florida.”

Governor DeSantis hasn’t changed his stance on his decision to allow sportsbook operations in Florida, calling the agreement historic and beneficial to the State’s economy. 

“As was promised when it was signed, this historic Compact is expanding economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation in Florida,” said DeSantis.

“Not only will this Compact bring a guaranteed $2.5bn 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.”

About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.