Florida sports betting misses the original planned start date

Back in May, folks were fired up with the news that Florida sports betting was about to be made legal. Heck, people were probably even throwing parties about the green light being given. Even more exciting, a launch date of Oct. 15 was set for everyone to make their way to local casinos to place some bets on their favorite teams. Well, Florida sports betting misses the originally planned start date and folks are bummed.

Indeed, things were all set to get going on Oct. 15, but things have been delayed because of a federal court hearing that’s all set to go down on Nov. 5. There are countless folks trying to prevent sports betting from becoming legal in Florida, which is why so many different hoops need to be jumped through in order for fans to be able to finally place their wagers at sportsbooks in person.

The Seminole Tribe and the state reached their massive 30-year deal in the spring, giving them the rights to take the lead on sports betting in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis was thrilled when the pact was signed, sealed, and delivered. From that moment, people were counting down the days for Oct. 15 to arrive so they could get the ball rolling in person and through approved mobile apps.

Instead, multiple separate lawsuits have been filed in Federal Court to prevent things from going down. The first was brought up from Washington D.C. by West Flagler Associates on behalf of Florida pari-mutuels. It was brought in to determine the ‘legality’ of sports betting in Florida. That hearing is on Nov. 5. Then, West Flagler Associates filed another suit against betting soon after to block another launch.

When will legal sports betting in Florida be permitted?

With so much in the air, so many people out there want to know when will legal sports betting in Florida be permitted? To be quite frank, no one knows the answer to that question right now. Matter of fact, we might not even have our answer to that for months. This is surely devastating to even think about, but sports betting expert Daniel Wallach told WINK news it could be a long road.

“It could be late 2022 before the issue is resolved before a federal appeals court, and then at that point, the losing side will petition the United States Supreme Court to get involved in if that happens,” Wallach told WINK News in an exclusive interview that the issues from a court and legal standpoint have only just begun for the state and its sports betting fight.

While Florida is hoping to at least move forward with online sports betting in the next 60 days no matter what, that could end up being delayed too. With that said, everything could change on Nov. 5 at that first Federal Court hearing. If the judge decides to throw out the lawsuit, then Florida could very well end up pushing forward with things on Nov. 15 for sports fans. This is still in the heart of the NFL season.

While the preference was Oct. 15, it’s feeling nearly impossible for that to happen. One of the key locations for in-person sports betting on that Oct. 15 date figured to be the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Davie, Fla. However, a representative told Saturday Down South earlier this week that the location had no plans to ring in sports betting by then. This news is a major blow for so many.

Folks will wait to see if Nov. 15 is a historic day for Florida sports betting

Moving forward, folks will wait to see if Nov. 15 is a historic day for Florida sports betting. Again, this will all depend on the results from the Federal Court hearing on Nov. 5. Everyone in favor of sports betting being made legal will be hoping that the judge will rule in favor of Florida and The Seminole Tribe so that the two sides can finally move forward with their plans. The delays here have certainly been frustrating.

When this agreement was announced in the spring, DeSantis and The Seminole Tribe couldn’t have been happier. Remember, this is massive for the state, as they’re projected to receive a head-turning $20 billion over the next 30 years. That’s no small amount of change and that money is expected to be distributed for so many different needed resources across the place. It will truly be beneficial for all the citizens.

In early August, things were taken to a new level when President Joe Biden’s administration signed off on the 30-year agreement between the two parties. This basically locked things in and had people ready for a major party to be celebrated across the state on Oct. 15. However, just because Biden and Co. said things were a go, these new lawsuits have proven to be quite damaging for that venture to go down.

DeSantis has consistently said that the agreement is going to be beneficial for everyone. However, casino owners across the U.S. are concerned about so much power being given to The Seminole Tribe. This is a big reason as why lawsuits have been filed. Right now, all we can do is wait and see which steps will be taken next. Come Nov. 5, though, we may finally get our answer as to when sports betting will be allowed.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is an avid sports fan and currently works within the sports industry. He has previously written for outlets covering the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, Mountain West Conference football and basketball and has been a writer for over 10 years. Chris is very involved within his local community and spends his free time working with community organizations, sitting on boards, and spending time with friends and family.