For the most part, legalized sports betting has launched in many states without much trouble this year. Arizona launched its sports wagering on September 9th, and, thanks to the start of the NFL season, it’s been extremely successful. Connecticut launched in the fall as well, seeing a $54.6 million total handle in October. And, with Maryland launching this week as well as sports wagering in Ontario and New York on the horizon, more states are hoping for lucrative rollouts. However, one state has had an extremely difficult time getting sports betting stability, and it might spell trouble for one sportsbook. Here’s what you need to know about the possible refunds from Hard Rock Florida.
Bettors Might Be Getting Refunds From Hard Rock Florida
The saga of legal sports betting in Florida has been fascinating, if somewhat frustrating, one to watch. After a soft launch in November, in which the Hard Rock Sportsbook was the only sports betting platform available, everything abruptly stopped only a few weeks in thanks to a ruling by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, who claimed that the approved compact with the Seminole Tribe actually violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, putting sports betting in Florida in a state of limbo.
Well, to add to the big list of problems, Hard Rock Sportsbook might have to start handing out some refunds. The Hard Rock Sportsbook app in Florida was officially shut down last Saturday, and now the cash that’s been bet since the shutdown of sports betting in the state. Since the Hard Rock app has been operating since last weekend, while the gaming compact was struck down on November 23rd, Florida sports bettors that placed wagers on the app in the meantime might be entitled to full refunds.
Seminole Tribe Might Receive Money Back As Well
As key players in the rollout of legal sports betting in Florida, the Seminole Tribe might be entitled to receive money back as well. Since October, the state of Florida has received approximately $75 million from the Tribe, although that might change soon. According to attorney Daniel Wallach, the Seminole Tribe might receive that money back, as the initial compact has now been invalidated.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Needless to say, Florida sports betting is in a complicated spot. It’s not looking likely that mobile sports betting will make its return to the Sunshine State anytime soon. In the meantime, the Seminole Tribe and the state can still collaborate on a new compact for in-person wagering at brick-and-mortar locations. One organization, the Florida Education Champions, might be pivotal in the fight for legal sports betting in the state. The organization is currently attempting to collect petition signatures for a measure to be included on the 2022 ballot. If this measure passes, legal mobile sports wagering would make an official return to Florida. Keep in mind that the measure would need to pass by 60% in order to pass. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see how the complex situation with Hard Rock, the Seminole Tribe, and the state of Florida plays out.