Seeking info about online sports betting in Florida? Gambling Spotlight tells you everything you need to know about wagering on sports in the Sunshine State.
Want to place real money online sports bets in the Sunshine State, but unsure about the legal ins and outs? This overview of Florida sports betting has you covered. We take a closer look at gambling in the state, explain the current legal backdrop to online sports betting, and tackle some of the most frequently asked questions. Read on to find out if you can enjoy legal sports betting in Florida.
Are online betting sites legal in Florida?
There are currently no legal betting sites available in Florida, and it’s all down to a rather unusual series of events. Gov. Ron DeSantis purportedly paved the way for legal online sports betting in Florida when he signed a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe in May 2021. This gave the tribe exclusive rights to conduct sports betting in the state. Despite legal challenges from disgruntled rival gambling operators, the Seminole Tribe launched its Hard Rock sportsbook app at the start of November, seemingly heralding a new era of legal, Native American tribal-run sports betting in Florida.
However, later that same month, a federal judge overturned the state’s new gaming compact, on the grounds that it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by permitting gaming off tribal lands. As a result, online sports betting in Florida has been suspended, with the Hard Rock betting app pulled in early December. The Seminole Tribe has vowed to ‘aggressively defend the validity of the 2021 compact before the Appeals Court’, but in the meantime there is no legal online sports betting in Florida.
Are offshore gambling sites legal in Florida?
While there aren’t any specific laws stopping you from seeking out offshore sportsbooks, we don’t recommend it. Offshore sportsbooks, which don’t hold a license to operate in Florida, can look impressive and offer apparently generous welcome bonuses, but there’s no real way of knowing if these sites operate under any sort of regulatory oversight from a trusted gambling authority. You may encounter unexpected problems if you place bets at offshore sites, such as unhelpful customer support, data leaks, and missing payouts. Worse still, if something does go wrong, there are limited ways to hold fraudulent or defunct operators to account, and you could end up losing your hard-earned cash.
Where can I place bets on sporting events in Florida?
There are currently no retail sportsbooks in Florida. This may change in the future, so watch this space!
Which sports can I bet on in Florida?
Until the legalities of sports betting in Florida have been ironed out, you won’t be able to bet on any sports in the Sunshine State. However, if the appeals process plays out favorably and legal sports betting does return, you can expect to enjoy wagering on sports including:
- Football (inc. NFL)
- Basketball (inc. NBA)
- Baseball incl. MLB)
- Hockey (incl. NHL)
- Soccer (incl. MLS)
- Motorsports (incl. NASCAR)
Local sports teams to bet on
Here are some of the local professional sports teams you’ll be able to bet on if legal sports betting returns to Florida.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)
- Miami Dolphins (NFL)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)
- Miami Heat (NBA)
- Orlando Magic (NBA)
- Miami Marlins (MLB)
- Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
- Florida Panthers (NHL)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
- Inter Miami CF (MLS)
- Orlando City SC (MLS)
- Miami Fusion (MLS)
- Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS)
You’ll also be able to back these in-state college teams:
- Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
- FIU Panthers
- Florida Gators
- Florida A&M Rattlers and Lady Rattlers
- Florida Atlantic Owls
- Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
- Florida State Seminoles
- Jacksonville Dolphins
- Miami Hurricanes
- North Florida Ospreys
- South Florida Bulls
- Stetson Hatters
- UCF Knights
History of gambling in Florida
It’s been a very bumpy road for online sports betting in the Sunshine State, with the most pivotal events taking place in 2021. Here are some of the key steps in the journey so far.
May 2018 – The US Supreme Court rules the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) to be unconstitutional. Individual states are permitted to legalize and regulate sports betting industries.
May 2021 – Florida State Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe sign a new gaming compact that gives the go-ahead to legal, online sports betting in the Sunshine State. The compact essentially grants the tribe monopoly control of Florida’s proposed sports betting industry.
August 2021 – By neither approving nor denying Florida’s gaming compact within a 45-day review period, the US Department of the Interior gives the Sunshine State tacit approval to move forward with online gambling plans.
November 2021 – The Seminole Tribe launches its Hard Rock online sportsbook app on the first day of the month. The app is available without restriction across the state, with no requirement for bettors to register in person.
Just weeks later, a federal judge declares Florida’s new gaming compact void. An initial appeal by the Seminole Tribe is rejected.
December 2021 – The Seminole Tribe pulls its Hard Rock online sportsbook app from the market, putting sports wagering in Florida on indefinite hiatus.
Problem gambling support in Florida
Just like all forms of gambling, wagering on sports is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, and some people can develop problematic gambling habits. If you find yourself spending too much money or time on gambling of any kind, perhaps getting into debt or neglecting work commitments and personal relationships, it’s wise to seek support. The organizations listed below offer help and advice to Florida gamblers:
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
121 East 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771
National Council on Problem Gambling
Stay up to date with sports betting in Florida
If you’re looking forward to the (re-)arrival of legal sports betting in Florida, you can count on Gambling Spotlight to keep you up to speed with the current situation. Be sure to swing by again for the latest updates for sports bettors in the Sunshine State.
Is online betting legal in Florida?
No. Legal sports betting was available in Florida for less than five weeks. In November 2021, shortly after the launch of a state-wide betting app, a federal court voided Florida’s new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe, meaning the situation has effectively reverted to how it was before sports betting was legalized.
Will I be taxed for my gambling winnings?
Florida doesn’t charge a state income tax, so you won’t need to worry about state-level taxes on winnings if legal sports betting returns. However, your gambling returns will be subject to federal tax.
What other forms of gambling are allowed in Florida?
Despite the problems around the introduction of sports betting, Florida offers a variety of legal gambling opportunities. You can place bets on horse racing, play in-person casino games and charitable games like bingo, and try your luck with various lottery games.
When will online betting become legal in Florida?
That’s a tricky question. After being live for a little over a month, legal online betting is once again off the menu for Florida bettors. Legal experts suggest that the earliest possible return point is 2023. Be sure to visit Gambling Spotlight to stay up to date with the latest news about the reintroduction of legal betting in Florida.