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The Feeling Is Mutuel: Seminoles Agree To Five OTB Sportsbook Venues

ron desantis and chief osceola laughing

The Sunshine State is now several steps closer to unveiling its domestic sports betting services.

On Thursday, October 28th, the Seminole Tribe of Florida announced that it had reached Hard Rock Sportsbook hosting agreements with five of the state’s existing pari-mutuel facilities.

The updated Seminole gaming compact delegated the privilege of sportsbook operations exclusively to the tribe. However, the document also included provisions for pari-mutuels (cardrooms, Jai Alai frontons, horse racing betting facilities, etc.) to participate in and extract revenues from the deal.

Under the new 2021 Seminole compact, all sports betting must occur on the tribe’s land or online via servers located on Seminole grounds. However, select pari-mutuel facilities can operate sportsbook services (or “skins”) that are hosted on Seminole servers.

And from those sportsbook options, pari-mutuel facilities can claim 60% of all profits.

Right now, five Florida pari-mutuels are poised to offer mobile betting services. The Seminole Tribe reached agreements with the following groups:

  • Hialeah Park Casino
  • Ocala Gainesville Poker and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.
  • Tampa Bay Downs
  • The Palm Beach Kennel Club
  • TGT Poker & Racebook in Tampa

These partnerships stand to reinvigorate the domestic gambling industry in Florida on all fronts. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has repeatedly lauded the unique collaboration clause:

“Not only will this compact bring a guaranteed $2.5 billion in revenue [to the state] over the next five years, but it also brings together Florida pari-mutuel businesses from across the state in a creative partnership with the Seminole Tribe providing increased access to safe and transparent sports betting in Florida…”

Florida sportsbooks were officially authorized to launch on October 15th. However, the Seminole Tribe was not quite ready to move forward, so the rollout has been delayed.

It is still unclear when Florida sports betting will go live. In the meantime, two pari-mutuels in south Florida recently filed a suit against state officials bemoaning Seminole betting exclusivity. Despite having been thrown out, Bonita Springs Poker Room and Magic City Casino have another case pending in Washington D.C.

Another lawsuit has been filed by a group called “No Casinos,” arguing that all gambling expansions in the state must be ratified via voter referendum.

The lawsuits aren’t likely to hinder the launch of state-based betting in Florida, but they certainly pose a risk for the tribe.

Nonetheless, the recent agreements reached with the state’s pari-mutuel facilities indicate steps in the right direction.

Regardless of the specific launch date, it’s a safe bet that Floridians will have access to state-licensed betting sometime before the Super Bowl (and likely before the start of the NFL Playoffs).

That said, to get in on NFL regular season action, Florida bettors can legally access offshore online sportsbooks, which will remain true even after the Seminole sportsbook goes live.

Not only can you place legal bets online at these venues, but you can withdraw those legal wins in cryptocurrency! Offshore online sportsbooks are safe, secure, and able to pay out on even the craziest big-money wins.

To find out which sportsbook is best for you, check out our selection of legal USA sportsbook reviews.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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