Hard Rock Partners With PokerStars Execs; Preparing For Online Sports Betting

Hard Rock International has put their chips forward, going all-in on the sports betting and digital gaming market. A joint venture with Seminole Gaming will help launch Hard Rock Digital in 2021. Hard Rock Digital intends to join online betting markets and bring innovative technology to the industry. Seminole Gaming owns six luxury casinos within the Sunshine State. The online gaming operations will be controlled by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The new launch will also include several former Stars Group (PokerStars’ parent company) executives. Former CEO of the Stars Group Rafi Ashkenazi will serve as the Executive Managing Director. Marlon Goldstein, former Stars Group Chief Legal Officer, will be performing the role of CEO and Executive Managing Director. Lastly, Matthew Primeaux, former FOX Bet President, will assume the role of President and Executive Managing Director.

Hard Rock International expects to leverage its vast database of loyal customers to offer newly branded Hard Rock online gaming and sports betting products. Furthermore, the newly appointed Hard Rock Digital CEO Marlon Goldstein expressed excitement in bringing the brand to a new industry. Goldstein said,

“Hard Rock International is consistently at the forefront of innovation and vision in the gaming industry and the ‘Hard Rock’ gaming, hospitality and entertainment venues are iconic worldwide.  We look forward to providing an authentic, digital experience for Hard Rock’s global fan base within a comprehensive, omni-channel offering.”

Nevertheless, Hard Rock Digital will move forward with the development of their online betting apps in the near term. Once that is complete, Hard Rock Digital will seek to launch their products late in 2021 or 2022.

Does Hard Rock Have The Inside Track On Florida Sports Betting?

Hard Rock has an immediate opportunity to launch online gaming and sports betting in four states. These states include Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, and Iowa. All four of these states have legal online sports betting currently in their legislation.

When ready, Hard Rock will look to launch its product quickly, especially in New Jersey. They are already offering some online casino games through Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Interestingly, Seminole Gaming owning six major casinos in Florida brings plenty of speculative thoughts about Florida online sports betting. Currently, Florida does not allow sports wagering and is not particularly close to legalization. However, this could be expected to change in the future considering New Jersey saw record highs again in November.

Furthermore, Hard Rock Digitial is preparing to launch their new business venture within Hollywood, Florida. This would uniquely position Hard Rock Digital for an immediate Florida sports betting launch. ESPN’s David Purdum said Florida is not close to allowing sports wagering per his Twitter account.

However, when Florida does announce legal online sports wagering, the market capitalization could be huge. As always, the first company to get to the market is going to grab the largest market share. Hard Rock Digital discussed some lofty projections for where online gambling could be in the future.

“Hard Rock Digital also intends to pursue strategic branding and distribution opportunities both within the U.S. and globally. In the U.S. alone, the potential future market size is estimated at $7 billion for sports betting and $14 billion for online gaming.”

This projection would surely be on the higher side should Florida become a state that legalizes sports betting. Undoubtedly, when Florida does look to legalize sports betting, Hard Rock Digital will surely be among the first to know about it.

About the Author

Erich Richter

A New York based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. Written on numerous platforms with SEO certifications and a diehard Mets, Giants and Knicks fan (it’s been tough). Interests include keeping up to date on the newest features and technologies from sportsbooks since beta testing several of the legal gaming companies upon their inception.