The Seminole Tribe launched online sports betting in Florida this week, will pay the state $2.5 billion


  • Adobe

Sports betting came online in Florida this week, but Sunshine State residents might have missed it if they didn’t check their social media feeds.

The Seminole Tribe on Monday quietly launched online sports betting in the state, amid continuing legal challenges to a gambling deal approved by state lawmakers in May.

The tribe’s highly anticipated rollout of sports betting in the state came with no fanfare, and a spokesman declined to comment when asked about the launch.

The terms of the deal with the Seminoles call for the tribe to pay at least $2.5 billion to the state over the first five years of the 30-year agreement. The tribe said last week the state received a first payment of $37 million in October.

DeSantis, who signed the deal in May, issued a statement describing the deal, known as a compact, as “historic.”

The “hub-and-spoke” sports-betting plan in the compact allows gamblers throughout the state to place bets online, with the bets run through computer servers on tribal property.

The compact says bets made anywhere in Florida “using a mobile app or other electronic device, shall be deemed to be exclusively conducted by the tribe.”

The tribe’s digital sportsbook went live just days before a federal judge heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit filed by Florida pari-mutuel owners alleging that the sports-betting provision in the compact violates federal law.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.