The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app has been shut down temporarily by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, removing the only legalized sports betting platform for online bettors in the state. The tribe suspended operations on Saturday, shutting off any new account sign-ups, deposits, or new wagers.
The decision was the result of an Appeals Court ruling on Friday denying the tribe a temporary stay connected to a District Court decision of the 2021 Compact. Account balances for players that are already signed up at the site will be refunded.
Emergency Motion Denied
Late last week, an appeals court decided to deny an emergency motion by the tribe for a stay connected to the pending appeal regarding its sports betting case. This decision came within a week of a ruling by a federal judge that the gaming compact signed between the tribe and Florida was invalid.
The federal ruling caused the sports betting operations of the tribe to cease and stop the addition of craps and roulette within Seminole casino properties. The tribe plans to continue to fight the rulings.
Seminole Tribe spokesperson, Gary Bitner, stated that despite the decision the tribe plans to work with the state and the United States Department of Justice to defend the validity of the 2021 Compact within the Appeals Court. This court has yet to rule on the matter.
In the statement, Bitner does reiterate that the state, the tribe, and United States have approved the legality of the compact.
The tribe must also contend with a new lawsuit filed by the Las Vegas Sands, where the Seminoles are accused of interfering with business relationships by paying off petition workers involved with a gaming amendment campaign.
An investigation may soon begin as Senator Jeff Brandes wants to see consideration given to the tribe’s reported actions regarding an attempt to try and stop rival constitutional amendments. It has been reported that the tribe is paying people to interfere with those who are gathering signatures for petition efforts pushed by competitors like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Some reports have surfaced that the tribe is using these individuals to intimidate and harass voters to try and stop the ballot initiatives from moving forward. The Seminoles want to see their compact remain in place, maintaining their stronghold of the gaming industry in Florida. Operators like DraftKings and FanDuel want to be able to offer sports betting services as they do in other states across the US.