Seminole Tribe Will Open New Casino and They Hope Florida Sports Betting Will Follow

While everyone is waiting to see what happens with Florida sports betting, as things continue to be limbo, this doesn’t mean that the Seminole Tribe isn’t still operating with business as usual. If anything, the tribe and governor Ron DeSantis remain confident that things will be ruled in their favor with the appeals court. With that said, the Seminole Tribe will open a new casino and they hope sports betting will follow.

That’s right, it was announced last month that the Seminole Tribe had officially broken ground on its new project, which is called the Seminole Casino Hotel Brighton, located about two hours outside of Miami. Per the press release posted by the tribe, the new casino will feature 38,000 square feet of gaming floor. In addition to this, there will be 18 tables for blackjack and 623 slot machines.

With that said, you already know that with all of that space, the Seminole Casino Hotel Brighton will also be offering up a sportsbook and kiosks as soon as sports betting is legalized in Florida. When will that happen? Well, that’s tough to say, but the Seminole Tribe remains all-in on its battle to win its appeal and get things re-launched for the state. This new casino would surely be a popular destination if sports betting is also allowed down the road.

What’s great to see here from the Seminole Tribe is that even with things up in the air for sports betting, that hasn’t stopped them from moving forward with big plans, even if the betting isn’t directly related. The opening for this new casino and hotel is set for late in the year in 2024. So, if it’s November/December, then it’d be the heart of the football season, meaning people could check the NFL betting odds and make wagers. That’s a win-win, if it’s allowed that is.

Appeals Court still hasn’t made a decision on Florida sports betting

While all this excitement has arrived for the Seminole Tribe, it’s important to remember that the Appeals Court still hasn’t made a decision on Florida sports betting. When the U.S. District Judge shut down sports betting in the fall of 2021, it was a big blow for people all across the state. At that time, it felt like it was back to square one for everyone involved, but things changed with the appeals court hearing the opening statements in December.

Now, everyone is waiting for a decision to come in, but it’s unknown when that will happen. The appeals court has said that they’re not going to rush a decision and that they’re going to take a look at everything before they ultimately reach their decision. This might be frustrating for people, but it actually could be a good thing. If anything, this means that the appeals court is taking both sides seriously, which could be great for the tribe and DeSantis.

The hope is that by some point in the spring, a final decision can be made. When this 30-year pact between Florida and the tribe was signed, it was expected to bring in billions of dollars for the state early on. We don’t have to tell you that the sports betting potential in Florida couldn’t be higher. Everyone loves all kinds of sports in the area, especially football. The NFL and college football are huge.

Don’t forget about the Miami Heat, as the NBA betting odds are always getting checked out. Once baseball season arrives too, the Marlins and Rays are always going to be teams that have a lot of focus on them. With all of that said, all the excitement has been halted by the lawsuit put in place by the owners of the Magic City Casino. It will be on the court to try and reverse things, but it feels like a 50-50 shot that ends up happening.

DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe want to see betting as soon as possible

While the waiting game continues, DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe want to see betting as soon as possible. When DeSantis was re-elected as Florida governor, if anything it only added to his motivation to try and get his original project back in the spotlight. DeSantis has made it quite clear that he wants to be the next president of the United States, as he’ll likely go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump for the republican spot.

Before he ends up moving forward with things, he wants to make sure he leaves Florida in the best spot possible, if he does end up leaving for Washington D.C. With the Seminole Tribe, they know the importance of sports betting for the state, which is why they’re not going to slow down in their efforts to make it happen.

This announcement for the new, developed hotel and casino is one thing, but the tribe will be ready to celebrate in style if they’re able to win their battle for sports betting. Remember that online betting will fire back up too if the original decision to block sports betting is reversed. The tribe, DeSantis and millions of people in Florida will be jacked up if some good news arrives. It’s something we’re all waiting on.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is a renowned sports journalist with a lifelong passion for the industry. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he is a key business development figure in college athletics, with over a decade of experience with the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, and Mountain West Conference. Boline holds an MBA from the University of Nevada. He has received MVP and "Best of" honors from the NBA/Sacramento Kings, Nevada Press Association, and more. His work has been showcased statewide and nationally. Boline has established himself as an expert in MLB and legal sports betting developments. When he's not immersed in the world of sports, Chris finds joy in exploring nature's wonders.