Florida sportsbook halts betting after federal court ruling

The Hard Rock sportsbook in Florida suspended wagering Saturday morning, one day after another adverse federal court ruling regarding the state's compact that had allowed the Seminole Tribe to offer sports betting since early November.

In a post on Twitter Saturday morning, the Hard Rock sportsbook said funds are "safe and secure," and the mobile betting app will remain active for withdrawals, but it is suspending new accounts, deposits and bets.

"Account balances for all current players will be refunded as requested," Gary Bitner, spokesman for the Seminole Tribe, said in statement.

Any bets placed on events that started before 11 a.m. ET on Saturday will be settled, but all other wagers on events like Sunday's NFL games or the odds to win the Super Bowl, for example, will be voided. Hard Rock is the only authorized sportsbook in Florida.

The Seminole Tribe is appealing a Nov. 23 court decision that deemed the state's new compact authorizing mobile sports betting violates the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA). The tribe asked for a stay to continue to offer betting while the appeal process takes place. A judge denied the request for a stay Friday night.

"As a result of yesterday's Appeals Court decision denying a temporary stay of the district court's decision on the 2021 Compact, Hard Rock Sportsbook will temporarily suspend operations of its mobile app in Florida," Bitner added in the statement. "Despite the decision, the Seminole Tribe looks forward to working with the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice to aggressively defend the validity of the 2021 Compact before the appeals court, which has yet to rule on the merits of the 2021 Compact. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, the State of Florida and the United States have all taken the position that the 2021 Compact is legal."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe agreed to the 30-year compact in the spring. In August, the U.S. Department of Interior did not act on the compact, allowing it to go into effect. Hard Rock launched its mobile betting app three months later.