A grand launch event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood marked the beginning of in-person sports betting and casino gaming in Florida. December 7 will be etched in the state’s gambling history, as three of Seminole Tribe’s casinos, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, and Seminole Classic Casino, started taking bets on a variety of sports, along with other gambling products.
The ceremony commemorating the start of these games at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood was hosted by Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., along with other council members and Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming.
The launch of sports, roulette, and craps, among other intriguing casino games is a historic milestone, putting Florida on par with the world’s greatest gambling locations. As Jim Allen, commented, Florida has great potential to turn into a major gambling destination. Being a retiree hotspot and a popular vacation destination with more than 21 million population, Florida has great prospects for sports betting and casino gaming: “So I think sports betting will do very well. Definitely an extra incentive (to bet on their native teams)”.
He further commented that the new casino games would have a positive economic impact on the state’s entertainment, travel, and tourism industries. New job opportunities would be available not only at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood but also in other businesses in proximity to the grand casino complex.
The opening event was graced by many celebrities, including Jon Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Heather Graham, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and Mike Tyson, among others.
Similar opening ceremonies across the other Seminole casinos in Florida continue through Monday, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa on December 8.
Seminole Tribe Chairman Places the First Ceremonial Bet at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
The Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Marcellus William Osceola Jr., placed the first ceremonial bet, worth $1,000, at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. He commented on the tribe’s accomplishments stating “The Seminole Tribe of Florida is proud to point to a new era in Florida gaming with the unveiling of our new casino games”. He said that the addition of new gambling products such as sports betting, roulette, and craps made the tribe’s gaming suite complete and on par with other leading gambling establishments over the globe.
Back in May 2021, Florida legislators legalized mobile sports betting in Florida, with the Seminole Tribe launching its app for a brief period later the same year. However, some groups challenged the legality of the app, and the tribe was forced to shut it down. Following the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seminole Tribe of Florida announced its plans on November 1 to launch in-person sports betting, along with other casino games across its six land-based gambling establishments in Florida.