The long awaited launch of Florida sports betting is upon us, but there is no need for celebration. As the state is mired in lawsuits challenging its agreement with the Seminoles, claiming it violates federal law by authorizing sports wagering not on Tribal lands.
Officially, the state has authorized the legal wagering on sporting events to start today, October 15th. However, no casino in the state is accepting bets, and they haven’t announced if or when they will do so. Florida sports wagering legislation was originally passed in May of this year.
Local media reports that there may be some legal clarity next month, as a hearing will take place on November 5th for one of the three lawsuits facing the state on this issue. If the judge in that case were to throw the case out, some believe Florida sports betting could begin in as little as two months.
Even if that were to happen, though, the fear is that appeals from anti-gambling groups and the like could further delay the process. These cases could end up in a federal appeals court. And it is not beyond the scope of possibility that they wind themselves all the way to the US Supreme Court.
In any event, the debut of mobile and in-person sports betting in Florida looks to be delayed for the remained of this year, and [possibly a good portion of 2022.