Sports betting, craps and roulette begin at Seminole casinos. From DJ Khaled to Bon Jovi, here’s what’s in store for the launch.

On Thursday, for the first time ever, South Floridians will be able to walk into a Seminole Tribe casino and gamble on sports, roulette or craps.

An all-day celebration of the “new era” at the Hollywood and Coconut Creek casinos will roll out multiple red carpets and draw celebrities such as Jon Bon Jovi, DJ Khaled, Mike Tyson and Dwyane Wayde. Guests will participate in ceremonial spins of the roulette wheel and rolls of the dice before heading to a VIP pool party DJ’d by Diplo.

Both casinos will be open to the gambling public in the meantime.

The tribe is pulling out all the stops after what appears to be a pause in two years of legal battles. Two lawsuits before the U.S Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court seek to challenge the 2021 gaming compact between the tribe and the state that authorizes sports betting as well as craps and roulette. Both courts have recently ruled against suspending the compact while the lawsuits continue.

“We certainly recognize that anyone could file additional lawsuits,” Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday. “But you know, the compact of 2021 is in place. It is legal, and we move forward.”

Hollywood: Spin of the wheel

The festivities will begin around 9:30 a.m. at the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood with a celebrity red carpet, followed by a first spin of the roulette wheel and roll of the craps dice about 10 a.m.

Celebrity participants for the morning event include Adamari López, Willy Chirino, Adam Beach, Mannie Fresh, Jon Jay, Edgerrin James, Enrique Santos and Los Pichy Boys. They will join tribe and company leaders including Allen, Seminole Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. and members of the Tribal Council.

The public will be allowed to gamble, roam the casino and sneak glimpses of celebrities during the events of the day. Once the inaugural ceremony is complete, they will also be able to play craps and roulette at the Hollywood casino.

“I’m sure a lot of people would have fun watching all the events that are going on,” a Seminole Tribe spokesperson said Wednesday, but “how close they’ll be depends on how many people are there.”

New tables, kiosks and real people

Both the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood and Coconut Creek casinos will look different with dozens of new tables and kiosks, as well as dealers and employees, a “massive undertaking,” Allen said.

More than 1,000 new employees have begun working throughout the state’s six Hard Rock casinos and at the gaming headquarters, Allen said.

The Hollywood casino will have 20 roulette tables, 10 craps tables and 38 sports betting kiosks, as well as 10 new sports betting agents so “people can actually place bets with a human being,” the tribe spokesperson said.

Some South Florida gamblers may think they have already played roulette and craps, but the casinos have only offered virtual alternatives that give the appearance of those games; they are technically slot machines using random number generators.

Those games will remain in addition to the new tables with real employees rolling the dice and spinning the wheels.

Coconut Creek: Roll of the dice

A similar schedule of events will take place at the Hard Rock Casino in Coconut Creek about 1 p.m. with a first spin of the roulette wheel and roll of the dice, which will mark the beginning of the games at that location.

Celebrities attending the Coconut Creek launch will include Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Rob Riggle and Jacky Bracamontes. They will join Allen, Osceola Jr. and members of the Tribal Council.

Hollywood: Grand finale

The celebration will return for the grand finale at the Hollywood casino 4:30 p.m. for the launch of sports betting and the arrival of A-list celebrities.

The list of celebrities currently includes Wade, Bon Jovi, Tyson, DJ Khaled, Tiësto, Heather Graham, Fat Joe, Sarah Hyland, Willy Chirino, Max Weinberg, Bobbi Althoff, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Brooks Nader and other “surprise special guests.”

The first in-person sports bet will take place sometime that evening, which will kick off sports betting throughout the casino. Attendees can also bet throughout the day on the mobile app.

Following the ceremony, Diplo will DJ a pool party for invited guests only. Bruno Mars will perform a sold-out show later in the night.

Elsewhere in Florida

The celebrations will move to the giant Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa on Friday, though South Florida got them first because the guitar building “is our most iconic,” Allen said.

Beginning about 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, the Tampa location will have its own ceremony with Allen, Osceola Jr., other tribal leaders and celebrities including Thomas Rhett, Michael Carbonaro, Lele Pons, Marcus Allen and Joe Theismann.

On Monday, the games will begin at the Seminole casinos in Immokalee and Brighton.

‘The same league’

Over the years, much attention — good and bad — has been paid to the return of mobile sports betting rather than in-person betting, craps and roulette. But Allen believes that the arrival of the in-person games will also excite people and serve as an “inducement to tourism,” especially from Latin America.

“I know that our guests have been looking forward to them for many, many years,” he said of the games, adding that roulette is “extremely popular” in areas of Central and South America, where many tourists come from.

Though the new additions likely will not transform Florida into the new Vegas, the news release said that the launch “immediately puts Florida in the same league as the world’s great gaming destinations.”

The tribe is continuing to advance its virtual business as well. The Hard Rock Bet app became accessible to all Floridians Tuesday, and on Thursday, local pari-mutuels will begin to offer their own sports betting apps as part of a “hub and spoke” system where a chunk of the revenues go to the tribe. Allen estimated about 16 companies seemed interested.

The legal battles, meanwhile, continue.

The lawsuit before the U.S Supreme Court will likely extend into spring, possibly longer if the court decides to review the case. Last week, the court granted a request for an extension to file a writ of certiorari, pushing it from Dec. 11 to Feb. 8, three days before the Super Bowl.

Also last week, attorneys for Gov. DeSantis filed a response motion asking the Florida Supreme Court to dismiss the second case. That case could conclude as soon as Christmas, only a few weeks after the launch of in-person betting and the expansion of the app.

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