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FAU Expert: Online Sports Betting Could Change Florida Sports Industry

The arrival of online sports betting in Florida is likely to have far-reaching effects on the sports industry and tourism in the state, according to a sports expert at Florida Atlantic University.

A crowd cheering at a stadium.

The arrival of online sports betting in Florida is likely to have far-reaching effects on the sports industry and tourism in the state, according to a sports expert at Florida Atlantic University.


The arrival of online sports betting in Florida is likely to have far-reaching effects on the sports industry and tourism in the state, according to a sports expert at Florida Atlantic University.

The Hard Rock Bet app could lead to a bigger boost in fan interest and engagement in sports games, and bring in more revenue to the state, said Dan Cornely, assistant director of the MBA in Sport Management program at FAU’s College of Business.

“It’s going to have a vast impact on the sports world in Florida,” Cornely said. “Fans are going to want to try out betting, leading them to being more engaged in live sports events and boosting ticket sales for Florida teams.”

After a drawn-out legal battle, sports gambling opened to all Floridians in December 2023 through the Hard Rock Bet app, owned by the Seminole Tribe, in a three-decade deal that should bring in about $20 billion to the state of Florida. The app allows anyone within the state of Florida to place bets on major league and college sports games.

The gambling app could also draw in people who previously may not have paid much attention to sports.

“People may want to bet on a team they have never heard of or a sport they were not familiar with. It will allow for people to learn more about sports they haven’t followed,” Cornely said. “They could get into the details of betting spreads and how tactics within a game influence the outcome of games.”  

It’s also likely to attract more tourists as it offers visitors another gambling attraction to add to the casinos. Gambling is another activity that will increase among tourists coming to Florida moving forward, potentially building more revenue for these teams through live attendance.  

I think we are only seeing the beginning of what this could mean for sports in Florida,” Cornely said.

-FAU-