5/14 FOREVER: Florida Online Sports Betting in Limbo After Court Rulings

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling overturned PASPA, paving the way for legalized sports betting across the country, Florida remains far behind the trend due to multiple court challenges.

Following the fourth anniversary of that U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling overturning PASPA, Sports betting in the Sunshine State is currently in limbo following the discontinuation of the Hard Rock sportsbook app in December.  

The sportsbook only went live in Florida in November but was taken offline just over a month later following a number of controversial court rulings that decided against the legality of online sports betting within the Sunshine State.  

Hard Rock also owns a casino in Seminole County but online wagering now appears to be in greater jeopardy than ever before after the District Court vacated the compact between the Florida Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida, with the key argument centering around the right for voters to decide on an expansion of gambling in an appellate court setting.  

This, no doubt, comes as good news to anti-gambling campaigners who warned against legalization and, despite The Seminole Tribe of Florida promising to appeal the ruling, it will at the very least severely delay plans to roll-out online betting throughout the state with no online wagering currently permitted anywhere within state borders. Irrespective of the success of any future appeals process, legal online betting is set to be at least a few years down the line in the Sunshine State following these latest setbacks.  

The complex legal nature of the case has seen some observers suggest that it could be set for the Supreme Court, although any hearing is due to be some way off yet. Efforts to gain legalization through a voter referendum failed in late January after the political committee working with online sportsbook giants DraftKings and FanDuel were unsuccessful in their efforts to collect enough signatures for verification to get on the 2022 ballot. 

The operators have not said whether they will go again for the 2024 ballot but all of this adds up to a substantial blow towards the progress of legalizing sports betting within the state, with some industry experts such as Krejcik Gaming predicting Florida may not see legalization before as far out as 2026.

The 30-year, $500-million per year compact was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 after it was passed during a special session of the Florida Legislature and was seen as a huge step forward for online betting within the state prior to being nullified by a series of court rulings by U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich.  

The compact now faces an uncertain future and is awaiting a second chance in the U.S. Court Of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, leaving sports betting fans in Florida in limbo until further notice 

MORE: Celebrate 5/14 Forever by scoring 5 x $100 risk-free bets from PointsBet Sportsbook


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Massachusetts passes sports betting bill, but hurdles remain

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