Sports betting is back in Florida — but not for everyone. Here’s who can use the app

Without fanfare, the Seminole Tribe’s mobile sports betting app is back online in Florida. But not everyone can use the app.

The mobile app, relaunched Tuesday with no announcement, will test the “Hard Rock Bet” platform before an official launch, which has also not been announced.

How it works

This “early access” phase by the Seminole Tribe is open only to people who used the platform in 2021 to bet on sports, or were an existing member of Unity by Hard Rock, a loyalty reward system, before Nov. 6.

“The Seminole Tribe is offering limited access to existing Florida customers to test its Hard Rock Bet platform,” Gary Bitner, a spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe, said in a statement.

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A guitar-shaped hotel tower anchors the remade and expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood.
A guitar-shaped hotel tower anchors the remade and expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood.

What the sports betting app does

The platform offers access to thousands of betting markets on sporting events in the U.S. and internationally, including football basketball, hockey and auto racing. Users also have access to bet on American and International leagues, as well as niche sports.

For those wanting to bet in the future, the Hard Rock Bet website opened a waiting list for early access through the company’s loyalty program.

Bitner said this roll-out was similar to how the platform first launched.

“When the Seminole tribe launched the app in 2021, it did the same thing,” he told the Miami Herald. “There was no announcement, the app went up and it was all very smooth.”

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The Tribe has exclusive rights to sports betting in Florida and has faced legal challenges since the online platform went live. Lawsuits and court battles in December 2021 shut down the service until its Tuesday soft launch.

On Oct. 25, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt to block the tribe’s proposed betting platforms through earlier court rulings that questioned the legality of the tribe’s monopoly on sports betting in Florida.

About a week later, the Tribe announced it would move forward with plans to celebrate “A New Era in Florida Gaming” in December, which would include sports betting, craps and roulette at all of the Seminole Casinos, including in South Florida and Tampa.

“This is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league with the world’s great gaming destinations,” Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement.