Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
Unfortunately, not yet. Florida lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on sports betting. The Hard Rock sportsbook website and app were operational for a short time toward the end of 2021 but are now suspended pending an appeal.
Can You Sports Bet in Florida Yet?
Bettors can not sports bet in Florida. Major sports betting operators continue to ask Florida voters to vote in favor of sports betting November 2022 ballot.
When is Sports Betting Florida Expected to Launch?
The Department of Interior and Florida Seminole Tribe hope their respective appeals are heard sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it appears it will be up to Florida voters to vote in favor of legalization. 2023 is the earliest expected to host an official sports betting launch date.
Number of Sports Betting Sites Expected to Launch in Florida
Most major betting sites are expected to carve out space for themselves in the Florida sports betting market as soon as the state is ready to have them. Hard Rock sportsbook already had their site live in Florida so we can expect them and the other usual suspects to be first in line when the opportunity finally comes.
Florida Online Sportsbooks: Top Sites Expected to Launch
Until the legal minefield over the Hard Rock sportsbook is negotiated and sports betting law in the Sunshine State is clarified, it is impossible to say when Florida sportsbooks go live. If voters in the state are in favor of legalization, this could happen as soon as 2024.
The experience of other states suggests that sports betting in Florida would be a highly lucrative market. Those operating it would be likely to issue several licenses - possibly one for each of the seven tribal casinos in the state - to encourage greater competition and a top experience for players.
Hard Rock Sportsbook FL
Hard Rock runs two casinos in conjunction with the Seminole tribe, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. It launched the Hard Rock sportsbook app in November 2021 but suspended its operation under legal pressure a month later.
In its brief time offering sports betting in Florida, it won praise for its welcome bonus, rewards plan, and live betting facility. If the Seminole tribe wins its legal appeal, this will be a compelling destination for players looking to enjoy Florida betting sites.
FanDuel Sportsbook FL
FanDuel has moved swiftly to establish itself as one of the leading online sportsbook brands in the United States. It began life as one of the leading providers of Daily Fantasy Sports games and pivoted rapidly after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 by the US Supreme Court and federal government effectively enabled states to legalize sports betting.
Now part of the global Flutter empire, FanDuel offers superlative online and mobile sports betting services in the states where it is licensed, and is one of the driving forces behind the push to change Florida sports betting law. Along with DraftKings, it is attempting to persuade Florida lawmakers to allow operators to offer mobile sports betting and online services.
DraftKings Sportsbook FL
DraftKings was one of the brands that emerged to dominate the Daily Fantasy Sports scene in North America over the last decade. After PASPA was struck down, it pivoted rapidly to offer sportsbook services and now delivers online sports betting in several states. This will undoubtedly be one of the best Florida betting sites if and when it is licensed to go live.
It complements its extensive markets on sports across North America and beyond with outstanding customer experience. It is working with FanDuel through the Florida Education Champions organization to put the legalization of Florida sportsbooks on the ballot in November 2022.
Florida Legal Sports Betting Legislation Timeline
📅 2022: FanDuel and DraftKings support a move to put the legalization of sports betting to voters in November.
📅 2021: The state signs a new gambling compact with the Seminole tribe that opens the door to legalized sports betting. Several challenges to the new gaming compact are filed. Hard Rock and the Seminole tribe launch the Hard Rock sportsbook and Hard Rock sportsbook app, but it suspends operations a month later.
📅 2018: The Seminole tribe supports an amendment making it impossible for any new form of gambling to be launched without voters' approval.
📅 1988: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is passed, covering the operation of tribal gaming across the USA. This helps to codify the position of the Seminole tribe as providers of gambling services in Florida.
Florida Sports Betting Revenue Projection
All states have seen their budgets significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been estimated by Florida Education Champions, which is in favor of sports betting, that legalization of sports betting could create 30,000 jobs in the state and create tax revenues of $247million.
Florida Legal Online Sports Betting Tax Rate
It is not yet known how much tax each operator would have to pay in the event of Florida sports betting sites being legalized. From a player's perspective, the amount of tax liable on winnings from sports betting will probably be consistent with the rates levied in other states where it is allowed.
Are Florida Sports Betting Sites Regulated?
If Florida sports betting gets the legal go-ahead, it is likely that FL sports betting sites will be regulated by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. The FGCC was set up in 2021 to exercise "all regulatory and executive powers of the state on all forms of gambling authorized by the State Constitution or law".
Mobile Sports Betting Apps in Florida
The astonishing response to the launch of online and mobile sports betting in New York in January 2022 demonstrates the potential for a market of the size of Florida. Increasing numbers of bettors enjoy the ease and convenience of betting through a mobile device - it is so much more straightforward than being restricted to wagering through your desktop. It is, therefore, certain that leading sportsbooks, if permitted to offer mobile sports wagering services, will launch sophisticated sports betting apps in Florida if and when a sports betting bill is passed by the Florida House and the rest of the legislature.
Retail Sports Betting vs Mobile Sports Betting
Many potential bettors will appreciate the opportunity to place sports bets on retail premises if the law is changed to allow such a facility in the near future. It is conceivable that locations such as the Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood and other casinos operated by the Seminole tribe in Hollywood and Tampa Bay could be used for such a purpose.
The biggest difference that mobile sports betting offers is convenience. The sophistication of modern sports betting apps is such that an enormous amount of information can be conveyed via a small screen.
Given the pace of modern life, many people appreciate the ability to bet quickly and easily while they are on the go. Retail sports betting is a more relaxed and leisurely experience, but mobile sports betting is increasingly favored by bettors for the efficiency and speed with which bets can be placed.
FL Sports To Bet
Whether it's NFL, NBA or college sports, we expect Florida sports betting to include all the major sports as betting markets if/when it does go live.
Football is big business in every corner of the USA, and Florida is no exception. Three teams in the NFL- the richest sports league in the world- call Florida home. They include the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the 2021 Super Bowl. Football is a sport that lends itself brilliantly to a host of betting opportunities - and the Super Bowl is the biggest annual betting event in the world.
Of all the Big Four sports, basketball was always the one most keen to embrace the potential of sports betting. The NBA is enormously popular, with the sheer volume of events on the calendar enhancing its status as a favorite medium for investment by regular bettors. The presence in Florida of two NBA teams - including the Miami Heat, winners of the NBA finals as recently as 2013 - ensures a high level of betting interest in hoops.
The World Series has not been won by a Florida team since the Marlins - then known as the Florida Marlins - prevailed in the Fall Classic of 2003. Nevertheless, baseball remains America's Game, and sports bettors old and new enjoy the numerous wagering opportunities that a game and season present. This is a sport that, with its numerous breaks and non-stop stats, is a perfect in-play betting medium.
Hockey's status as a genuinely national sport has been enhanced by the exploits of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stanley Cup finals winners in both 2020 and 2021. The NHL attracts a high level of wagering interest in states where sports betting is permitted. And the more adventurous sportsbooks find that markets on the big European leagues keep hockey bettors entertained too.
College Sports Betting
Wagering on college sports teams is a gray area. In some states, no bets can be taken on any NCAA action, in others you are prevented only from betting on in-state college teams' games. Elsewhere, however, betting on college football and other sports is permitted. It remains to be seen whether Florida sports betting sites are allowed on college sports - with a wealth of top-flight teams in the state, this is a question many bettors will want answered.
Florida Teams to Bet
With multiple NFL teams in Florida alongside multiple NBA teams and NHL teams as well as major college athletic programs littered throughout the state, there is a plethora of Florida teams so bet on when the state goes live with betting apps.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Twice since the turn of the century, the Bucs have brought the Vince Lombardi home to display to their adoring fans at the Raymond James Stadium. It's a real turnaround for a team known as perennial losers in the first two decades after their foundation in 1976. Still inspired by the legendary Tom Brady, they recorded a 13-4 season in 2021. If FL sports bets are allowed soon, fans will love the chance to wager on their team.
The Dolphins' two Super Bowl wins were as long ago as 1972 and 1973, and they have not made it to the big game since 1985. They remain, however, seriously popular in Miami. If the Florida legislature decides to legalize sports betting, there will inevitably be a huge level of interest in the Dolphins' fortunes among their fans.
Never at any time since their first season in 1995 have the Jags threatened to become a force in the NFL. They are one of only four franchises never to make it to a Super Bowl. Despite their popularity in the local area, there are perennial suggestions that the franchise might be moved to London. The chance to enjoy online sports betting on the Jags action would, nonetheless, be seized upon by fans locally and across Florida.
The Heat's status as the No.1 basketball team in Florida was cemented by three NBA finals wins since the turn of the century. NBA action is always popular with sports bettors, and basketball is a sport whose structure lends itself well to sports betting. Expect plenty of action around the Heat if Florida sports betting is legalized soon.
Like the Heat, the Magic were an expansion team that joined the NBA in the late Eighties as the league strove to become truly national. The teams have had a strong rivalry ever since, but the Magic have only two losing NBA finals to show for all their efforts. They attract a loyal crowd to matches at the Amway Center and that devotion would undoubtedly be shown in betting action on their games too.
Starting life as the Florida Marlins in 1993, the team stunned the baseball world by winning the World Series just four years later as a wild card. They followed up with another Fall Classic triumph in 2003. However, they have never won a conference title and recent seasons have been underwhelming. Baseball remains perennially popular with American sports fans and you can expect a good level of interest in the Marlins if a new sports betting law is passed.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have come close twice to bringing World Series glory to their St Petersburg home. Most recently, they won the American League pennant in 2020 before succumbing to the LA Dodgers. That has helped to spread the baseball gospel to this corner of Florida, and the Rays have a substantial following in the local area. Baseball is a sport that lends itself to wagering, and those fans would love the opportunity to bet on the Rays.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Sunshine State is not an obvious location for hockey - but the Bolts have done their best to show the sports has a home here. They have won the Stanley Cup three times since the turn of the century, including back-to-back triumphs in 2020 and 2021, to send fans at the Amalie Arena into raptures. The NHL commands a steady level of interest with sports bettors and the Lightning would be no exception.
The success of the Lightning has highlighted the difficulties faced by their Miami-based state rivals, the Panthers. Since their sole Stanley Cup finals appearance in 1996, just three years after the Florida Panthers first took to the ice, they have struggled to compete at the top level. Hockey remains a great sport to wager on, so interest on their matches among bettors will inevitably be high.
Orlando City SC
Orlando City blazed the trail for a new era of Major League Soccer in Florida when they took to the field for the 2015 season. They made the play-offs in 2020 and attendance figures have been consistently high in recent seasons. Again, the club will benefit from the global prominence enjoyed by soccer, and familiarity with wagering on the world's No.1 game will no doubt keep betting interest in them high.
Inter Miami CF
Co-owned by English soccer legend David Beckham, Inter Miami made their bow in Major League Soccer as recently as 2020. Given the global popularity of soccer, it will be intriguing to see how much attention and loyalty the side will capture among the cosmopolitan citizens of Miami. Soccer is also the biggest sports betting activity driver in the world, so expect plenty of action at Florida sportsbooks around their matches as the franchise's popularity grows.
The flagship university of the Sunshine State, University of Florida athletics represent one of the largest fanbases in the country. A member of the heralded SEC conference, the Florida Gator football and basketball teams will be some of the most wagered on teams in the state should betting on collegiate sports be permitted under future laws.
Florida State Seminoles
Named after the local Seminole tribe, the Seminoles represent Florida State in NCAA action and command enormous support among students and the local population in Tallahassee. Their eternal rivalry with the Florida Gators in all sports adds extra spice to matches - especially when the two face off in college football. The legality of wagering on college football and other NCAA sports in Florida has yet to be decided.
The University of Miami Hurricanes were the cream of the crop in college football back in the 90's and 2000's but have yet to regain that form after joining Florida State in the ACC. Although the fanbase is mostly segmented to South Florida, the fact that the Hurricanes play in Hard Rock Stadium means you should expect sportsbooks to market around the team if possible under law.
Self-proclaimed "2017 National Champions", the University of Central Florida, better known as UCF, has been the most prominent non-Power 5 school over the last few years thanks to an undefeated season and some consistent success following losing every game of the 2015 season. With the Golden Knights now set to joint the Big12, expect UCF to be a popular betting option if Florida legalizes betting.
Promotions & Offers at Florida Online Sportsbooks
The sports betting industry is ultra-competitive. Every online sportsbook is looking to secure and retain customers, and one of the best ways to deliver extra value is through promotions and offers - especially for new customers. You should definitely take advantage of any sign-up bonus available when you open an account because it will give your balance a welcome boost.
One of the most popular promotions for new customers comes in the form of a risk-free bet. If your first wager is successful, you collect your winnings. If not, you receive your stake back in the form of cash, bet credits or free bets. Having a no-lose bet is always a pleasant experience. However, check the terms and conditions - some operators have stringent playthrough restrictions that mean your deposit amount has to be wagered several times before any bonus returns can be withdrawn. This promotion tends to be offered only to new customers rather than those already on board.
A deposit bonus is a great way to boost the amount of money available to you to wager. This is offered by many an online sportsbook keen to get you into the habit of sports betting. Sometimes, the deposit bonus is a 100 per cent match of the amount you place in your account; at other times, it can be a lesser percentage. Check the terms and conditions carefully. But, however generous the deposit bonus is, it represents a pleasant start to your relationship with an online sportsbook. A deposit bonus is also sometimes on offer to existing customers, in the form of a reload bonus.
This is a clever way of encouraging you to spread the joy of online betting - and to encourage others to join you as a customer of a particular sportsbook. If you refer a friend to the operator in question, and they sign up and place a bet, you could both qualify for a bonus in the form of a site deposit or free bets. This can sometimes be as much as $100. As long as your buddy enjoys their mobile betting experience, there is very little downside to this offer.
Odds boosts are offered to all customers, including existing clients. They are a way by which Florida online sportsbooks deliver extra value on a particular bet - and the best operators create odds boosts on a daily basis. If you are keen to back the Miami Heat to win a game and their price is boosted from +150 to +175, for instance, you get a bigger return on your wager than expected, which is always a positive experience!
Parlay bets are a great way to aim for a big return on a small stake. The odds on a multiple bet are multiplied as each of your selections wins. The only drawback is that all your choices have to win for you to see a return. However, check to see if your chosen sportsbook offers parlay insurance. In such cases, if just one of your selections lets you down, you could get your stake back in the form of a site credit or free bet.
Online Casino Bonuses
Many Florida online sportsbooks also run a serious casino operation. Indeed, some of the biggest names in sports betting began life as a casino site that saw the value in bolting on a sportsbook capability. Some sportsbooks now offer free spins on certain casino games. Indeed, some sign-up bonuses include both a sportsbook element and a way of enjoying your first experience of casino games. The main benefit of casino bonuses is that you can enjoy a broader gaming experience; the only drawback is that you may be here purely for the sports betting and have little interest in online casinos.
Choosing The Best Florida Online Sportsbook?
Selecting an online sportsbook that is right for you is, by definition, a purely personal choice. However, there are certain attributes you should look for to give you comfort that you will have an enjoyable sports betting experience.
To start with, the best sportsbooks are licensed and regulated by the relevant gaming authority and have a reputation for treating their customers honorably and fairly. You may also want a broad choice of sports to wager on and of ways to bet, or maybe your prime concern is the generosity of pricing on offer. Let's look at some of these considerations in more detail.
It is worth spending some time researching the opinions of those who have signed up for particular sportsbooks in other states. Focus on how they are treated by the operator in question so that you can be sure of fair treatment. You should also find out more detail on issues such as the quality of the sportsbook app and the generosity of its pricing. We will be carrying reviews on every legal sportsbook coming to Florida to give you an in-depth look at their performance and reputation elsewhere.
We believe it is essential that the top FL sports betting sites should offer an extensive range of options when it comes to wagering on sport. The reason is that bettors have many different preferred ways of investing their money. Some may want a simple moneyline bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars to win. Others might want to combine the Jags in a parlay with the Florida Gators, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Still more might favor player or team prop bets. Leading operators should facilitate all these wagers and more.
Great Pricing On Betting Lines and Odds
Sports betting should be exciting, but it should also be profitable if you are making the right selections. As your sports betting awareness becomes more sophisticated, you will know how to compare the generosity of lines offered by different operators. You will be able to calculate the margin being taken by the sportsbook. The ability to compare lines and odds is one reason why you might benefit from having accounts with several sportsbooks.
Frequent Sports Betting Bonuses
Every good sportsbook offers a steady stream of bonuses, as well as a generous and compelling sign-up offer for new customers. Odds boosts are a great way of giving extra value to existing customers, as are parlay insurance and refer-a-friend bonuses. All Florida online sportsbooks we review and recommend will have some form of bonus for new and existing customers.
Excellence in User Interface
Of course, you can have all the great bonuses in the world - but if the process of accessing them is slow and glitchy, you will take your customer elsewhere. The best Florida online sportsbooks invest heavily to ensure their desktop sites, and especially their mobile apps, are as user-friendly as possible. This means it is easy to find your way to the markets you are interested in, and quick and simple to bet on them once you are there.
Easy Deposits & Withdrawals
All Florida betting sites will have a variety of methods for depositing money to play with. The really good ones have a broad range of withdrawal options too. Make sure that the banking methods on offer suit you and the way you like to manage your money. The most common banking options include credit and debit cards, bank transfers, pre-paid cards and e-wallets. You may want to use a combination of these to ensure the quickest withdrawal time. Flexibility and speed of payment are a key consideration when ranking mobile betting options.
Variety Of Customer Support
Nobody enjoys it when something goes wrong with your online betting experience. All you can hope is that the sportsbook in question has ways of tackling and correcting that problem as quickly as possible. In our reviews we look at the availability of live chat and email, as opposed to automated systems. Ideally, you should be able to speak to a representative on a toll-free number. Also, good sportsbook websites carry detailed FAQs that might be helpful to you.
Why Sign Up For Multiple Florida Sportsbooks
It is possible, if and when the Florida house and the rest of the Florida legislature decide to allow FL sports betting, that you simply are unable to choose one sportsbook to play with. In such circumstances, it makes sense to open more than one account. Indeed, given that it is free to sign up with a sportsbook and you should qualify for a welcome bonus at each one, it makes sense to try various operators - especially if this market is new to you. Some of the reasons for opening more than one account include:
Get The Best Line
Not all sportsbooks offer the same lines and odds on particular bets. Some will have better lines at different times. By signing up for several sportsbooks and shopping around, you will soon find out which one offers you the best value.
Intro Betting Betting Bonuses
If sports betting in Florida is fully legalized, and statewide mobile wagering is permitted, it is certain that sportsbooks in the state will offer a range of attractive offers to lure customers in this big new marketplace. There is nothing to stop you signing up with several sportsbooks to take advantage of all the betting bonuses available.
Some betting sites use the same back-end systems as their competitors - and that includes their pricing. This means you may see the same odds on futures betting and props, and exactly the same range of sports offered. By opening multiple accounts, you increase the chance that you will have more options and will be able to compare sportsbooks to find the best value for you.
Feel the Sportsbook
When you are considering signing up for a sportsbook, it is worth taking some time to explore the website or sportsbook app. How does it feel for you? Does it suit the way you want to bet? People want different things from sportsbooks, and it is worth test-driving the various options under consideration before going ahead with the process of opening accounts.
There are differences when it comes to sportsbooks' rules on wagering and payouts. For instance, DraftKings refunds NFL first touchdown scorer props if no one scores a touchdown, but bet365 does not because it already carries an option to bet on no one scoring. BetMGM pays out on golf props if two players tie - not all sportsbooks do. As you become more experienced in your betting, you will see increasing numbers of differences that can influence your choice of wager.
Available Sports Wagers At Legal Florida Online Sportsbooks
Below you'll find a breakdown of the most popular types of bets the top sportsbooks offer.
One of the easiest ways of enjoying sports betting. Which of the two sides in a game do you think will win? The favorite's odds will appear with a minus sign, such as -150 - this is how much you would need to stake to win $100. The outsider's will appear with a plus, like +150. This is how much you win if you stake $100.
If you think you have spotted the winners of more than one game, you can combine them in a parlay. But all your selections have to win for you to pick up a generous return. Increasing numbers of sportsbooks now offer same-game parlays, so that you can construct a bet from a series of props in a single event.
Also known as over-unders. The sportsbook nominates a certain number of times it thinks a particular outcome will happen - for instance, Jacksonville Jaguars to score 30 points in a match. If you think they will get more, you go with the "over" price - if fewer, then "under" is the option for you.
This is a way of backing favorites at better odds than the moneyline. But they will have to win by a certain amount, as decided by the sportsbook. The operator gives one side a start of a number of points. If you back the favorite to win by more than that amount and they do, you have "covered the spread" and get a return.
As well as being able to wager on games about to happen, you can also place long-term wagers on events that may not be settled for weeks, months or years. If you believe you know in May who will win the World Series in October, you will be able to place a wager on your choice.
Proposition bets relate to particular outcomes within a game. It could be the total number of points by a team or player, the scorer of the first touchdown or goal, or the result of the first period. This increases hugely the number of ways in which you can bet on a sports match.
Advances in digital technology have made it possible for sportsbooks to update their odds instantly. This also means they can continue accepting wagers when the action is under way. Live betting is incredibly popular, especially among those who enjoy betting on their mobile devices.
There are some types of bets that no legal and licensed sportsbook will offer. For instance, it is strictly forbidden for operators in the United States to carry odds on local, national or even international elections. In some stages, betting on college sports is restricted.
Other Florida Betting Options
With sports betting unavailable in Florida, we turn our attention to other forms of wagering.
Daily Fantasy Sports
DFS operates in a legally gray area in Florida. It has never been declared legal in Florida - but it has never been specifically outlawed either. Players select a side from various teams and score depending on their performances.
Betting on horse racing at racetracks is fully legal in Florida. Many horse racing tracks are also home to "racinos", such as the Magic City Casino in Miami and the Bonita Springs Poker Room. Such horse racing sites could become venues for retail betting if sports betting in Florida is legalized.
Across the United States, it is strictly forbidden to wager on the outcome of all local, national and international elections. Even if legislators make sports betting legal in Florida, it is inconceivable that any licensed operator will offer odds on elections.
Pop Culture Ceremonies
Wagering on events such as the Academy Awards is legal in some states, but not others. It is not yet known if you will be able to bet on the Oscars in Florida.
Placing bets on eSports is permitted in some states, while others outlaw it due to the relative youth of many participants and audience. It remains to be seen if Florida sports betting sites would include eSports wagers.
Florida Sports Team Partners
In many states where sports betting has been legalized, sportsbooks have agreed substantial deals with teams, venues, leagues, and even individual athletes. This opens new income streams for the organizations concerned, while in return the sportsbooks enjoy a significant boost to their profile.
With Florida sports betting still not fully legalized, there have been no such deals created in the Sunshine State. It is, however, inevitable that once sports betting begins here there will be several such arrangements made.
Deposit and Withdraw from FL Sports Betting Sites
Sportsbooks will always be eager to enable you to deposit money with them, so there are a host of banking options available. These include cash, credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards, checks and e-wallets. At most sportsbooks, the minimum deposit is $10 - although at DraftKings it is $5. Choose the option that suits your circumstances best. Similarly, there are various options when it comes to withdrawing your winnings. The quickest is cash, the slowest is check - but it is worth checking how swift your chosen sportsbook is at paying out.
- 💰 VISA
- 💰 MasterCard
- 💰 American Express
- 💰 Venmo
- 💰 PayPal
- 💰 Bank Transfer
How Florida Sports Betting Compares to the Other Legal States
It will be fascinating to see, if the legal appeal by the Seminole tribe is successful or the voters of the state decide in favor of legalization, what shape regulated sports betting might take in Florida. A glance across the map of the United States shows a variety of ways in which sports betting has been adopted in different territories.
Given the size of the commercial opportunity in Florida, it will be surprising if the state does not opt for a fully licensed model in which major sportsbooks are allowed to offer a complete range of online and mobile betting options, as well as a retail capability through partnerships with casinos, racinos and other physical premises.
Where To Bet in Florida Now
As things stand, there are no locations within Florida where you can legally bet on sports . If the Seminole tribe wins its legal battle and resumes operation of the Hard Rock sportsbook, it may pave the way for retail sports betting services at locations such as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa and its sister hotel and casino Hollywood.
The presence of racinos and other locations in the state where people can bet on horse racing and watch other action means that the experience of enjoying live sport and wagering on it is a familiar one to many. That suggests there would be a healthy take-up of sports betting facilities in such places.
The main event, however, is online sports betting in Florida, and it will be fascinating to see whether a legal solution can be brokered that leads to the launch of an open and licensed market in the state in the very near future.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
As things stand, there are no legal Florida betting sites. The prospects of this changing depend upon the outcome of a legal appeal by the Seminole tribe against the rulings that forced it to close the Hard Rock sportsbook a month after it opened in November 2021.
Under the terms of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act as it applies to Florida, and the Florida sports betting compact agreed in 2010, any new gaming activity in the state has to be carried out by the Seminole tribe. A new tribal gaming compact signed by state governor Ric DeSantis in 2021 appeared to clear the road for the Seminole tribe to offer online sports betting.
However, this gaming compact has been subject to repeated legal challenges, some from a group called West Flagler Associates, after the Seminole tribe pushed ahead with its short-lived launch of the Hard Rock sportsbook app. The result of the Seminole tribe's appeal against that ruling will determine whether or not Florida sports betting takes place any time soon.
Another route to legalization is the effort by FanDuel and DraftKings to ensure that a public vote on the issue is held in November 2022. However, for this to happen, nearly 900,000 votes in support need to be registered by February 1 - and in early January, the total was standing at fewer than 300,000. 2022 could be a turning point in the efforts to launch FL sports betting sites - or it could be another year of frustration for supporters of those efforts.