Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
Presently online and offline sports betting is not legal in the state of Florida, but 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), many nations jumped headfirst to this multi-billion dollar business and immediately legalized sports gambling.
Florida, sadly, wasn’t one of them.
There are numerous reasons this is the case but the largest one has to do with the nation’s longtime compact with the Seminole Tribe, which we’ll tell you more about below. The uncertainty around the long term future of the arrangement has become the biggest variable in the Sunshine State’s wait-and-see strategy to legalization.
Nevertheless, there are alternatives for taxpayers of Florida while they wait for the state’s legislators to behave. Daily fantasy sports websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel accept players from Florida.
Horse racing websites like TwinSpires also operate from the state.
The lack of urgency and movement on this matter is surely frustrating for gamblers, however it may not remain this way forever.
The sport betting landscape is shifting across the country and while it is taking some state’s a long time (some longer than others), it is widely believed that it is merely a matter of time until Florida gets in on the action.
This page is your complete guide to everything you need to know more about the past, present, and future of internet sports betting in Florida. We are going to clarify the US Supreme Court decision on PASPA in more detail and explain how it figures into how sports betting regulation 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 odds of presenting legal sports gambling in the near future.
To learn more 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
As soon as the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018 it opened up the door for each state to make their own conclusions with regards to legalizing sports gambling in their jurisdiction. Each state can choose whether to do it at all and if so, how the regulations will work.
Since every state has its own history and political/economic climate, we’re very likely to see change happen at a different pace depending on which portion of the nation you’re talking about.
Sometimes the change to legal sports gambling was in the works and also happened immediately. In other regions the change looks inevitable and is only waiting for legislation or other red tape to be dealt with. In other areas, legalization of sports gambling might not happen at all.
Florida falls somewhere in the midst of those classes. The state is receptive to betting in general but there’s legal work that has to be done before full-scale sports betting will be made available.
The current condition of legal online sports gambling in Florida is somewhat complex, to say the least.
Though Florida now has the authority to legalize sports betting, there are a couple of things standing in the way. The biggest barrier 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 variations, etc). On the other hand, the arrangement has gotten somewhat tenuous and the new possibility of sports betting has made the negotiations even more complex.
As it stands right now, nothing is currently occurring on the legalization front and also the first chance for anything to alter is March 2019, if the Florida Legislature meets next.
Florida certainly does not fall into the”Never going to happen” class in regards to legal sports betting but it’s also not going to be leading the charge towards regulation. Like most states, however, Florida is going to have a hard time dismissing the possible earnings when they see other nearby states start to reap the rewards.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Florida
Florida is one of the countries where sports gambling laws have not changed much over the last 50 decades or so.
Over time America has been through a range of reforms as soon as it comes to the laws regulating sports gambling. From the early 60s, in an effort to fight organized crime and mob related racketeering, the US authorities made inter-state sports gambling illegal together with the Federal Wire act.
The problem with this plan of action, not as what occurred with the prohibition of alcohol, is that it only drove the company and flow of cash farther underground.
Three decades later, in 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was introduced in a bid to protect the integrity of American sport by making gambling on games illegal anywhere outside Nevada. Americans might not have been able to bet on sports domestically but it was not long then the internet made it possible for overseas sportsbooks to offer their services to US players online.
Since that time, the US has missed out on a huge revenue opportunity in the kind of controlled sports betting. There’s clearly a massive market for this as Americans spend billions each year wagering online in vegas and through unregulated off-shore casinos and sportsbooks.
As of the writing, sports betting has never been legal in Florida, interesting because the country has a comparatively large gaming civilization.
Racetracks and casinos are common place throughout the state, yet neither offers legalized sports betting. The closest thing folks in Florida can bet on is puppy and horse-racing along with the sport 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 is to use one of several 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 websites in Florida. However, several offshore choices exist for online sports bettors, but nothing which could constitute as legal.
While not technically illegal, offshore sportsbooks are insecure to use because they’re located in far-off nations and not subject to authentic oversight or regulations. If something goes wrong with the company or your account, it is extremely hard to resolve the situation.
Our advice would be to await legal and fully controlled options to arrive from the USA.
In the forthcoming months, and after March of 2019 in particular, we highly suggest returning for this webpage for an update as we plan to continue to keep readers updated on all matters concerning the legalization of sports gambling across America.
What Sports Could You Bet on Online in Florida?
As of this moment, there are not any sports you can bet on lawfully online or off. However, if sports gambling does become legalized in the state of Florida, it is going to bring with it a whole record of specialist and amateuer sports to bet on.
Florida has a huge sports culture and lots of pro teams for residents to root for. Below are some of the nation’s teams that will attract a good deal of gambling action.
Soccer Florida is home to 3 NFL franchises at the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars so Floridians will have lots of local NFL options to bet on if it becomes legal.
The state also includes a ton of NCAA teams with the largest being the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. Also drawing relatively large audiences for college ball are the Miami Hurricanes, the South Florida Bulls along with the UCF Knights.
Basketball is huge 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 that you can expect a lot of action to center around these two franchises.
When it comes to NCAA basketball Florida’s biggest teams are 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 were founded 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 hear ice hockey you might not think of Florida but the sport is relatively popular with just two NHL franchises based in the state. The Tampa Bay Lighting and also the Florida Panthers that play home games in the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Sunrise is a city just west of Ft. Lauderdale and just north of Miami.
Wagering On Different Sports
Once legalization occurs effect, individuals in Florida will have the ability to to wager on all manner of pro sports, not only teams based in the nation. Gator and Seminole fans are also excited to know that college sports should be available to wager on too, giving residents a chance to bet on heaps of college sports matches every weekend.
When the time does come we view legalized sports gambling in the state of Florida, it’d most likely start with property established sportsbooks within a brick and mortar casino. Land-based betting is generally accompanied by online sportsbooks offering the exact same betting choices as live places.
Can There Be No-Deposit Sports Betting at Florida?
Given that online sports betting is still illegal, the issue of no deposit gambling is now moot. However, in case that online sports gambling becomes lawful, residents of Florida can expect a similar strategy to what other nations are offering.
In countries like New York and Mississippi, bettors are often required to make a deposit upon enrollment in order to make real money stakes. That said, no-deposit promotions are somewhat very popular and when you find one, take it. Bear in mind, though, that any kind of promotion regarding no-deposit wagering generally comes with a few strings attached.
Depositing rules vary from every online sportsbook you choose to use, so be sure to pay close attention to playthrough requirements, withdrawal restrictions and any other fine print that comes with the offer.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Florida?
The most instant key date will probably come sometime in March, since that’s the next time the Florida Legislature will fulfill. Until then, there’s quite a bit of work that should be carried out in order to figure out the implications of legalized sports betting on the existing compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe.
However, with an increasing number of countries opting for legalization, it is likely a matter of when not if sports betting gambling will become legal in Florida. Though the Sunshine State may be moving at a slower rate than its neighbours, we predict it is only a matter of time before legislation is 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 employed legalized sports betting and utilizing that information to ascertain the best route ahead.
What This Means For Sports Gamblers at Florida
In other words, there’s far too much money up for grabs for Florida to dismiss legalized sports betting forever, particularly as more and more countries move in that direction. While there are unique complications facing Florida, nothing motivates politicians more than prospective earnings.
Add to that the fact that people in Florida love sports and already love to gamble and you’ve got the recipe for a thriving sports betting market.
Until then, patience is required from sports gamblers throughout the state. If you’re looking for updates about the circumstance, check back regularly as we will update this article as new information comes in.
We recommend circling March, 2019, on your calendars since it marks a meeting of the state legislature where discussions on how Florida intends to move on this matter are on the agenda.
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