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.
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