Florida Supreme Court Rejects Hard Rock Bet Shutdown Request

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The Florida Supreme Court recently declined a motion to suspend operations of the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Bet sports wagering app, marking another chapter in the ongoing legal saga surrounding Florida sports betting.  

Hard Rock Bet made a surprise relaunch earlier this month, two years after 2021’s launch and subsequent shutdown.

The Florida Supreme Court’s denial came in response to a petition by West Flagler and Associates. The Florida card room operator sought to shut down Hard Rock Bet until the resolution of its case against the sportsbook.

The request followed last month’s refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to extend an emergency injunction covering the duration of its appeal on a recent ruling that led Hard Rock to launch Florida retail sportsbooks.

West Flagler had argued that the relaunch of Hard Rock Bet mobile violates the Florida constitution and would cause irreparable harm to both the plaintiff and the state while it operates. However, the state’s highest court rejected that argument.

The Seminoles’ Response

The Seminoles, the largest Tribal casino operator in the U.S via its Hard Rock brand, have been tight-lipped in the media recently.

“The Seminole Tribe of Florida is pleased with this unanimous decision by the Justices of the Florida Supreme Court,” the Seminole Tribe of Florida said in a statement.

This gives the green light for Hard Rock Bet to operate over at least the final months of 2023, and possibly into 2024. Any Supreme Court case will take quite a while to complete, with an initial response due from the State of Florida by December 1.

West Flagler’s Fight Not Over

West Flagler and Associates are concurrently contesting decisions by the state of Florida and the U.S. Department of the Interior at both state and federal levels.

They are essentially challenging the 2021 gaming compact signed between the Seminoles and the State of Florida and ratified by the Department of Interior.

Both the Supreme Courts of the U.S. and Florida have now rejected temporary shutdowns requested on Hard Rock Bet during ongoing legal proceedings. That indicates a nonfavorable opinion on West Flagler’s arguments.

But that does not guarantee anything, and the Seminoles are certainly taking a risk with their bold launch of Florida retail and online betting.

Hard Rock Bet Remains Online

The tribe also took the latest rulings in their favor as approval of the gaming compact’s clauses on craps and roulette games at their Florida casinos.

These games, and retail sports betting, will roll out in a staggered start from December 7. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will be the first venues to see this expansion. Then, later in December, sports betting will commence at Hard Rock Tampa, Seminole Casino Immokalee and the Seminole Casino Brighton.

Meanwhile Hard Rock Bet has been taking in some serious bets in the few weeks it has been active. It basically has a monopoly on sports betting in what could be one of the nation’s largest markets.

The operator said in a social media post it had already taken a $500,000 wager in the form of one football betting parlay.

The winning four-leg parlay on the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals resulted in a $6 million payout for the sportsbook and one lucky day for the bettor.  

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