Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Florida?

Presently online and offline sports gambling is not legal in the state of Florida, but won’t be the case for long. Florida is in a exceptional position when it comes to legalizing online sports betting. Following the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in May of 2018 to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), several states jumped headfirst to this multi-billion dollar industry and immediately legalized sports betting.
Florida, unfortunately, was not one of these.
There are numerous reasons this is the case but the biggest one has to do with the nation’s longtime streamlined with the Seminole Tribe, which we’ll tell you more about below. The uncertainty around the long-term future of the agreement has been the biggest factor in the Sunshine State’s wait-and-see strategy to legalization.
Nonetheless, there are solutions for residents of Florida while they await the state’s legislators to behave. Daily fantasy sports websites for example DraftKings and FanDuel accept players from Florida.
Horse racing websites like TwinSpires also operate in the state.
The lack of urgency and movement on this matter is surely frustrating for gamblers, but it may not stay this way indefinitely.
The sport gambling landscape is changing across the nation and while it’s taking some state’s a long time (some longer than others), it’s widely believed that it is merely a matter of time until Florida gets in on the action.
This page is your complete guide to what you need to learn about the past, present, and future of online sports gambling in Florida. We’ll clarify the US Supreme Court decision on PASPA in more detail and describe how it figures to how sports betting regulation will take shape in Florida in years to come.
We’ll also keep this page update with significant developments that can help or hurt Florida’s odds of introducing legal sports gambling in the near future.
For more information on other states, read our country by state guides to US sports betting laws.
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The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Florida
When the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018 it opened the door for every state to make their own decisions with regards to legalizing sports gambling in their jurisdiction. Each state can choose whether to do it all and if so, how the regulations will work.
Since every state has its own history and political/economic climate, we are very likely to see change happen at a different pace depending on which portion of the nation you are discussing.
Sometimes the switch to legal sports gambling was in the works and occurred immediately. In other regions the change looks inevitable and is only waiting for laws or other red tape to be taken care of. In different areas, legalization of sport gambling may not happen at all.
Florida falls somewhere in the midst of these classes. The country is receptive to betting in general but there is legal work that has to be done before full-scale sports betting will be made available.
The present state of legal online sports gambling in Florida is a bit complicated, to say the least.
Though Florida now has the ability to legalize sports betting, there are a few things standing in the way. The largest obstacle is that the pact that the country has with the Seminole Tribe.
Essentially, the agreement gives the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on most of casino card games (blackjack, pai gow, casino poker variants, etc). On the other hand, the arrangement has gotten somewhat tenuous and the new possibility of sports gambling has made the negotiations even more complex.
As it stands right now, nothing is currently occurring on the legalization front and also the very first chance for anything to change will be March 2019, when the Florida Legislature meets next.
Florida definitely doesn’t fall to the“Never going to happen“ category in regards to legal sports betting but it’s also not likely to be leading the charge towards law. Like most nations, though, Florida is going to have difficulty dismissing the possible earnings when they visit other nearby states start to reap the benefits.
The History of Online Sports Betting at Florida
Florida is one of the states where sports gambling laws have not changed much over the past 50 years or so.
Over the decades America has been through a range of reforms when it comes to the laws regulating sports betting. From the early 60s, in an attempt to combat organized crime and mob related racketeering, the US government made inter-state sports betting illegal together with the Federal Wire act.
The issue with this course of action, not as what occurred with the prohibition of alcohol, is that it only drove the company and flow of cash further underground.
Three decades later, in 1992, the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was introduced in a bid to defend the integrity of American sports by making gambling on games illegal anywhere outside of Nevada. Americans may not have been in a position to gamble on sports domestically but it was not long then the net made it possible for offshore sportsbooks to offer their solutions to US players online.
Since then, the US has missed out on a massive revenue opportunity in the form of regulated sports gambling. There is clearly a huge market for this as Americans spend billions each year wagering online in Las Vegas and through unregulated off-shore casinos and sportsbooks.
As of the writing, sports betting hasn’t been legal in Florida, intriguing because the state has a relatively large gaming culture.
Racetracks and casinos are common place across the state, yet neither provides legalized sports betting. The closest thing folks in Florida can gamble on is dog and horse-racing and the game of jai alai which has been popular and legal to bet on at the state since the 1960s.
The only real option sports gamblers have to place wagers on games would be to utilize one of many offshore options, which are illegal.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Florida?
As you can imagine, there aren’t any“legal“ online sports betting sites in Florida. However, several offshore options exist for internet sports bettors, but nothing which would constitute as valid.
While not technically illegal, offshore sportsbooks are risky to use because they’re located in far-off nations rather than subject to authentic regulations or oversight. If something goes wrong with the organization or your accounts, it is extremely difficult to resolve the circumstance.
Our advice would be to await legal and fully controlled options to arrive in the USA.
In the coming months, and after March of 2019 specifically, we highly suggest returning to this a page for an update as we plan to continue to keep readers updated on all things concerning the legalization of sport betting across America.
What Sports Could You Bet on Online at Florida?
As of now, there are no sports you can bet on legally online or away. But if sports gambling does become legalized in the state of Florida, it is going to bring with it a whole slate of professional and amateuer sports to wager on.
Florida has a huge sports culture and tons of expert teams for taxpayers to cause. Below are a few of the nation’s teams which will bring in a lot of gambling action.
Football Florida is home to three NFL franchises at the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars which means Floridians will have plenty of local NFL choices to bet on when it will become lawful.
The state also has a ton of NCAA teams with the largest being the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. Additionally drawing relatively massive audiences for college ball would be the Miami Hurricanes, the South Florida Bulls and the UCF Knights.
Basketball is enormous in Florida and the state is represented by not one but two NBA teams: The Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. When sports gambling becomes lawful in Florida that you can expect a good deal of actions to center around both of these franchises.
When it comes to NCAA basketball Florida’s largest teams would be the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles.
Two Major League Baseball teams call Florida home: The Miami Marlins along with the Tampa Bay Rays, both of which have been set up in the 1990s. Florida is also home to MLB Spring Training each year which may also be possible to bet on later on.
When you listen to ice hockey you might not think of Florida however, the sport is relatively popular with two NHL franchises located in the state. The Tampa Bay Lighting along with the Florida Panthers which play home games in the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Sunrise is a town just west of Ft. Lauderdale and just north of Miami.
Wagering On Different Sports
Once legalization takes effect, people in Florida is going to be able to to wager on all manner of pro sports, not just teams located in the state. Gator and Seminole lovers will also be excited to know that college sports should be available to bet on also, giving residents an opportunity to bet on dozens of college sports matches each weekend.
When the time does come we view legalized sports gambling in the state of Florida, it would probably start with land based sportsbooks within a physical casino. Land-based betting is generally followed by online sportsbooks offering the same betting options as live places.
Is There No-Deposit Sports Betting in Florida?
Given that online sports betting is still prohibited, the matter of no deposit betting is now moot. However, in the event that online sports gambling becomes legal, citizens of Florida can anticipate a similar strategy to what other states are currently offering.
In states like New York and Mississippi, bettors are often required to make a deposit upon enrollment so as to make real money bets. That said, no-deposit promotions are somewhat very popular and should you find one, consider it. Bear in mind, though, that any kind of advertising regarding no-deposit wagering usually comes with a few strings attached.
Depositing rules vary from each online sportsbook you decide to utilize, so be certain to pay close attention to playthrough requirements, withdrawal limitations and some additional fine print that includes the offer.
What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting at Florida?
The most instant key date will probably come sometime in March, since that is the next time the Florida Legislature will fulfill. Until then, there is quite a bit of work that should be done in order to figure out the consequences of legalized sports gambling on the existing compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe.
However, with more and more states opting for legalization, it’s probably a matter of when not if sports gambling will become legal in Florida. While the Sunshine State might be moving at a slower pace than its neighbours, we predict it’s simply a matter of time before legislation is passed on to push legalization forward.
There’s also belief that a key portion of Florida’s wait-and-see approach includes analyzing how other nations have employed legalized sports betting and using that information to determine the best path forward for themselves.
What This Means For Sports Gamblers in Florida
Have patience.
Simply put, there is far too much cash up for grabs for Florida to dismiss legalized sports betting forever, particularly as more and more countries move in that direction. When there are unique complications confronting Florida, nothing inspires politicians more than prospective earnings.
Add to the fact that folks in Florida enjoy sports and already love to gamble and you’ve got the recipe for a thriving sports gambling market.
Until then, patience is expected from sports gamblers all over the state. If you’re looking for updates on the situation, check back frequently as we will update this article as new info comes in.
We advocate circling March, 2019, on your calendars as it marks a meeting of the state legislature where discussions on how Florida plans to proceed on this matter are on the schedule.

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