Hard Rock Bet Opens To All Florida Sports Betting Customers Ahead of Schedule

Hard Rock Bet Opens To All Florida Sports Betting Customers Ahead of Schedule article feature image

Desiree Navarro/Getty Images. Pictured: Exterior view of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

This article was written by Bennett Conlin and originated on Sports Handle, the home for the best information on the legal U.S. sports wagering industry — legislation, business, and policy. You can read more of their coverage of the sports betting business landscape here.

The Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Bet mobile wagering platform opened to all Florida customers Tuesday. The full mobile launch had been expected to take place Thursday, but in a pleasant surprise for bettors, Hard Rock Bet began accepting wagers across the state Tuesday.

Hard Rock Bet had been open and available to a limited group of Florida sports betting customers since Nov. 7, but the betting app wasn’t widely available until late Tuesday morning.

The official retail launch across three brick-and-mortar locations, including the Hollywood location near Fort Lauderdale, is still expected to take place Thursday. Celebrities are expected to be at the casino locations Thursday, including Jon Bon Jovi and Mike Tyson at the Hollywood casino’s sportsbook.

Customers gain access amid NFL season

Sports Handle’s Jeff Edelstein recently reviewed Hard Rock Bet, which is also available in Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. Edelstein came away impressed with the speed, look, and feel of the platform.

“We’re never satisfied with our speed, and lately it’s been one of our main points of emphasis,” said Mike Primeaux, the managing director of product and technology at Hard Rock Digital. “We understand how important product speed is to our players and that it’s a differentiator among our competitors, so we take it personally and will continue to push on this front.”

Florida customers can try the mobile wagering platform this week ahead of a notable stretch of games for the state’s NFL teams. The 8-4 Jaguars play at the 7-5 Cleveland Browns on Sunday, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s health a major question after he left Monday’s loss to the Bengals with an ankle injury. The Buccaneers (5-7) play at the NFC South-leading Falcons (6-6) on Sunday.

The Dolphins (9-3) host a Monday Night Football game the following day, as about two-touchdown favorites against the Titans. Miami is currently the top seed in the AFC.

The ability to use the app long term could be jeopardized by ongoing legal battles. Hard Rock Bet’s Nov. 7 soft launch in Florida took place despite multiple court cases aimed at forcing the tribe to take the platform down.

West Flagler and Associates filed suit in the Florida Supreme Court against Gov. Ron DeSantis and the legislature. The parimutuel operator is also preparing to take its case against the U.S. Department of the Interior — for approving the 2021 Seminole-Florida compact — to the U.S. Supreme Court in February 2024. The West Flagler suit aims to have the sports wagering monopoly created by the 2021 compact declared illegal.

Courts refused WFA’s previous request to keep a stay in place, which would have prevented operation of the Hard Rock Bet platform.

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