Seminole Tribe Locks in Deals with Pari-Mutuels Ahead of Sports Betting Launch

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida is getting ready for the launch of its mobile sportsbook in the state, despite continued resistance from some existing gaming facilities and gambling opponents. While the tribe and Florida face their legal battles, the tribe isn’t willing to sit back and wait for the outcome to have all the pieces of its sports betting operations in place. It announced yesterday through a press release that it has signed on five pari-mutuel gaming properties as marketing partners to push the upcoming mobile sportsbook.

Seminole Tribe Prepares for Sports Betting

As soon as the ink was dry on the gaming compacts between Florida and the Seminole Tribe this past May, opposition to the new arrangement surfaced. The updated agreement was viewed by some as offering more latitude to the tribe than what it was legally allowed to manage, and several lawsuits have surfaced to try to get the compact voided. One of those already failed and the tribe has been trying to get the others thrown out.

The victory from the first lawsuit gave the Seminole Tribe enough optimism to expect their upcoming sports betting market to survive scrutiny and it has now entered into marketing agreements with five pari-mutuel properties that will do most of the legwork in promoting the sportsbook across the state. According to the tribe’s announcement, the agreements are with the Palm Beach Kennel Club, West Palm Beach; Hialeah Park Casino, Hialeah; Ocala Gainesville Poker and Ocala Breeder’s Sales Company, Ocala; Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa and TGT Poker & Racebook, Tampa.

Other Deals Expected

The agreements with the pari-mutuels could prove to be very lucrative for the properties. The pari-mutuels will receive 60% of the profits generated through their marketing activity. With Florida looking at a sports betting market expected to easily surpass the $1-billion mark soon after launch, that could mean significant income for the properties. Other pari-mutuels are expected to join in the efforts over the coming months, but Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County and Bonita Springs Poker Room likely won’t be among them. They are involved in the lawsuits trying to stop the tribe’s gaming compact with Florida.

Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen, who also serves as the CEO of Seminole Gaming, said of the new marketing agreements, “Today’s announcement follows through on the Tribe’s commitment to include pari-mutuel marketing partners in Florida sports betting. They are an important component for the coming launch of sports betting throughout the state of Florida. We have already exceeded the Compact’s requirement for a minimum of three pari-mutuel agreements and we look forward to developing more relationships with pari-mutuels around Florida.”

The Hard Rock Sportsbook, in addition to being available on mobile devices, will also have a physical presence in the state. It will be found at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties in Hollywood and Tampa, as well as four other Seminole properties in Immokalee, Brighton and Coconut Creek, and a second property in Hollywood.

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