Presently online and offline sports gambling is not legal in the state of Florida, but hopefully that won’t be the case for long. Florida is in a unique position when it comes to legalizing online sports gambling. Following the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in May of 2018 to overturn the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), several states jumped headfirst into this multi-billion dollar industry and instantly legalized sports betting.
Florida, sadly, wasn’t one of these.
There are numerous reasons this is true but the largest one has to do with the state’s longtime compact with the Seminole Tribe, which we will tell you more about below. The uncertainty about the long term future of this arrangement has become the biggest variable in the Sunshine State’s wait-and-see strategy to legalization.
Nonetheless, there are solutions for taxpayers of Florida while they wait for the state’s legislators to behave. Daily fantasy sports websites for example DraftKings and FanDuel accept players from Florida.
Horse racing sites like TwinSpires also operate in the state.
The lack of urgency and movement on this issue is certainly frustrating for gamblers, however it may not stay this way indefinitely.
The sports betting landscape is changing across the nation and while it is taking some state’s a very long time (some longer than others), it is widely believed that it is only a matter of time until Florida gets in on the action.
This page is the complete guide to everything you want to know more about the past, present, and future of internet sports betting in Florida. We’ll clarify the US Supreme Court decision on PASPA in more detail and explain how it figures into how sports betting law will take shape in Florida in years ahead.
We will also keep this page update with important developments that may help or harm Florida’s chances of introducing legal sports betting in the not too distant future.
To learn more on other nations, read our state by state guides to US sports gambling laws.
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The Recent Online Sports Betting Situation in Florida
When the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018 it opened the door for each state to create their own conclusions with regards to legalizing sports betting in their jurisdiction. Each state can decide whether to perform it at all and if so, how the regulations will work.
Since each state has its own history and political/economic climate, we are likely to see change happen at a different pace depending on which portion of the nation you’re talking about.
Sometimes the switch to legal sports betting was in the works and occurred instantaneously. In other areas the switch looks inevitable and is waiting for legislation or other red tape to be taken care of. In different places, legalization of sport betting may not happen in any way.
Florida falls somewhere in the middle of these groups. The state is receptive to betting in general but there’s legal work that has to be done before full-scale sports gambling will be made available.
The current state of legal online sports gambling in Florida is somewhat complicated, to say the least.
Though Florida now has the authority to legalize sports betting, there are a few things standing in the way. The largest barrier is that the pact that the state has the Seminole Tribe.
Basically, the agreement gives the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on most of casino card games (blackjack, pai gow, casino gambling variants, etc). On the other hand, the agreement has become somewhat tenuous and the new possibility of sports gambling has made the negotiations even more complicated.
As it stands right now, nothing is currently happening about the legalization front and also the very first chance for anything to alter will be March 2019, if the Florida Legislature meets next.
Florida definitely doesn’t fall into the”Never going to happen” class when it comes to legal sports gambling but it’s not going to be leading the charge towards regulation. Like most states, though, Florida is going to have a hard time dismissing the possible revenue when they visit other neighboring states start to reap the benefits.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Florida
Florida is among those countries where sports betting laws have not changed much over the last 50 decades or so.
Over time America has been through a range of reforms when it comes to the laws governing sports betting. From the early 60s, in an attempt to fight organized crime and mob related racketeering, the US authorities made inter-state sports betting illegal with the Federal Wire act.
The issue with that plan of action, not as what happened with the prohibition of alcohol, is that it only drove the business and flow of cash further underground.
Three years later, in 1992, the skilled and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was introduced in a bid to protect the integrity of American sport by making betting on games prohibited anywhere outside Nevada. Americans may not have been in a position to bet on sports but it wasn’t long then the net made it possible for overseas sportsbooks to provide their solutions to US players online.
Ever since that time, the US has missed out on a massive revenue opportunity in the kind of controlled sports gambling. There’s clearly a massive market for it as Americans spend billions each year wagering online in vegas and through unregulated off-shore casinos and sportsbooks.
As of the writing, sports gambling has never been legal in Florida, intriguing because the state has a comparatively large gambling civilization.
Racetracks and casinos have become common place throughout the country, yet neither provides legalized sports gambling. The nearest thing people in Florida can gamble on is puppy and horse-racing and the sport of jai alai that has been legal and popular to bet on in the country since the 1960s.
The only option sports gamblers have to place wagers on games is to utilize one of several offshore choices, which are currently illegal.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Florida?
As you can imagine, there are no”legal” online sports betting websites in Florida. However, several offshore options exist for internet sports gamblers, but nothing that would constitute as valid.
While not technically illegal, offshore sportsbooks are insecure to use since they’re located in far-off countries rather than subject to authentic oversight or regulations. If something goes wrong with the company or your account, it’s extremely difficult to resolve the situation.
Our advice would be to await legal and fully controlled options to arrive from the United States.
In the coming months, and after March of 2019 in particular, we highly recommend returning for this page for an update as we plan to keep readers updated on all things concerning the legalization of sport gambling across America.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Florida?
As of this moment, there are no sports you can wager on legally online or away. However, if sports gambling does become legalized in the state of Florida, it’ll bring with it a whole slate of specialist and amateuer sports to bet on.
Florida has a huge sports culture and tons of pro teams for taxpayers to root for. Below are a few of the nation’s teams that will attract a good deal of gambling action.
Football Florida is home to three NFL franchises in the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars which means Floridians will have lots of local NFL choices to bet on if it becomes lawful.
The state also has a slew of NCAA teams with the largest being the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. Also drawing relatively massive audiences for college ball are the Miami Hurricanes, the South Florida Bulls along with the UCF Knights.
Basketball is enormous in Florida and the country is represented by not one but two NBA teams: The Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. When sports gambling becomes lawful in Florida you can expect a good deal of action to centre 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 and the Tampa Bay Rays, both of which have been set up in the 1990s. Florida is also home to MLB Spring Training annually that might also be potential to bet on in the future.
If you listen to ice hockey you may not think of Florida however, the game is relatively popular with two NHL franchises located in the state. The Tampa Bay Lighting and also the Florida Panthers which play home games at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Sunrise is a city just west of Ft. Lauderdale and just north of Miami.
Wagering on Other Sports
Once legalization occurs effect, people in Florida is going to be able to wager on all manner of pro sports, not only teams based in the nation. Gator and Seminole lovers are also excited to know that college sports should be accessible to bet on also, giving residents a chance 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 accompanied by online sportsbooks offering the same betting options as live places.
Is There No-Deposit Sports Betting in Florida?
Given that online sports gambling is still prohibited, the issue of no deposit betting is now moot. However, in the event that online sports gambling becomes lawful, citizens of Florida can expect a similar strategy to what other nations are currently offering.
In states like New York and Mississippi, bettors are usually required to make a deposit upon registration in order to create real money bets. That said, no-deposit promotions are somewhat very popular and when you find one, consider it. Always remember, however, that any type of promotion regarding no-deposit wagering usually includes a few strings attached.
Depositing rules vary from every online sportsbook you decide to use, so make sure that you pay careful attention to playthrough requirements, withdrawal restrictions and some other fine print that comes with the deal.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Florida?
The most immediate key date will probably come in March, since that’s the next time the Florida Legislature will fulfill. Until then, there is quite a bit of work that needs to be done in order to figure out the implications of legalized sports betting on the present compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe.
But with more and more states opting for legalization, it is likely a matter of when not if sports betting gambling is becoming legal in Florida. While the Sunshine State might be moving at a slower rate than its neighbors, we predict it’s simply a matter of time until legislation has been passed to push legalization forward.
There’s also belief that a key part of Florida’s wait-and-see approach involves analyzing how other nations have implemented legalized sports betting and using that information to determine the best path ahead.
What This Means For Sports Gamblers at Florida
Simply put, there’s far too much cash up for grabs for Florida to ignore legalized sports betting forever, particularly as more and more countries move in that way. When there are unique complications confronting Florida, nothing inspires politicians more than prospective revenue.
Add to that the fact that folks in Florida enjoy sports and already love to gamble and you have the recipe for a booming sports gambling market.
Until then, patience is expected from sports gamblers all over the state. If you’re looking for updates on the circumstance, check back frequently as we’ll update this article as new info comes in.
We recommend circling March, 2019, in your calendars since it marks a meeting of the state legislature where talks on how Florida plans to proceed on this issue are on the agenda.
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