Welcome to the ultimate guide for Florida sports betting, your go-to resource for how to wager on all your favorite sports and leagues in the Sunshine State. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Florida sports betting, including the legal landscape, top sportsbooks, latest news, and much more. By the time we’re finished, you’ll be ready to dive into the thrilling world of Florida sports betting and start placing your bets with confidence. Now, let’s get started!
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to be unconstitutional in Murphy v. NCAA, overturning a 25-year federal ban on sporting betting and giving each state full autonomy to legalize and regulate the practice within its borders.
Today, more than 30 U.S. states offer online or retail sportsbooks (or both), giving their residents a way to legally bet on all their favorite sports and leagues. Unfortunately, Florida is not one of these states, and sports betting is currently prohibited in the Sunshine State.
Florida had previously launched online sports wagering in November 2021 after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a renegotiated gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in April of the same year. Hard Rock Sportsbook accepted mobile wagers from sports bettors all over the state for a little over one month.
However, the platform suspended operations in Florida in December 2021 after a federal judge ruled that the new tribal gaming compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which required all tribal gambling to take place on tribal lands. Since then, all forms of sports wagering have been unavailable in the state of Florida.
When Will Sports Betting Launch in Florida?
The gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida, which legalized statewide mobile wagering on sporting events in 2021, remains tied up in the U.S. Court of Appeals to this day. If the Seminole Tribe is successful in their attempt to appeal the court decision that vacated the tribal gaming compact, mobile wagering would be allowed to resume via the Hard Rock Sportsbook app.
On the other hand, if the compact is not reinstated, a new agreement would need to be reached between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida, and it would be expected that sports betting would only be permitted to take place at the tribe’s Florida casinos and resorts (listed below).
- Seminole Casino Brighton
- Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
- Seminole Casino Immokalee
- Seminole Classic Casino
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
As of now, the future of sports betting legalization in Florida remains uncertain, pending the resolution of the court proceedings and potential negotiations between the Seminole Tribe and the state. It is eagerly awaited by both sports bettors and industry stakeholders to see how the legal landscape unfolds and what opportunities may arise for legalized sports betting in Florida in the coming months or years.
What Are the Best Florida Sportsbooks & Betting Sites?
There are no sportsbooks currently available in the state of Florida. However, many of the industry leaders would certainly be interested in going live in the Sunshine State should an opportunity present itself. Here are a few of the likely candidates:
- Available States: AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Frequent Promotions & Bonuses
- Full Review: FanDuel Sportsbook Review
FanDuel is a popular sportsbook known for its user-friendly interface and extensive range of betting options. With a sleek and intuitive platform, it offers a seamless betting experience for both beginners and experienced bettors. FanDuel provides competitive odds, enticing promotions, and a wide variety of sports markets, making it an attractive choice for sports enthusiasts looking for a comprehensive betting platform.
- Available States: AZ, CO, IN, IA, IL, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, & WV.
- Best Feature: Speedy Payouts
- Full Review: BetRivers Sportsbook Review
BetRivers stands out for its commitment to providing a seamless and secure betting experience. It offers a straightforward interface, making it easy to navigate and place bets efficiently. BetRivers also emphasizes its fast payout system, ensuring that winnings are promptly and reliably credited to bettors’ accounts. With a diverse selection of sports and betting options, BetRivers caters to a wide range of preferences.
- Available States: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Fantastic Live Betting Experience
- Full Review: DraftKings Sportsbook Review
DraftKings is a leading sportsbook that offers a unique blend of traditional sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Along with a wide array of betting markets, it provides a dynamic and engaging platform that allows users to participate in various contests and challenges. DraftKings offers a top-tier live betting experience and a user-friendly mobile app, making it a top choice for sports fans seeking an immersive and interactive betting experience.
- Available States: AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.
- Best Feature: Excellent Customer Rewards Program
- Full Review: Caesars Sportsbook Review
Caesars is a well-established sportsbook renowned for its long-standing reputation and comprehensive offerings. It provides a vast selection of sports markets, including niche options, along with competitive odds and enticing promotions. In addition, Caesars’ integration with its broader Caesars Rewards program allows users to earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for a variety of exciting prizes and special benefits.
Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Available States: AZ, IA, IN, NJ, OH
- Best Feature: Abundant Sports Betting Options
- Full Review: Hard Rock Sportsbook Review
As one of the pioneers in the online sports betting industry, Hard Rock sets the bar high with its exceptional offerings, enticing promotions, and extensive range of sports and betting options. Hard Rock Sportsbook Florida boasts an impressive lineup of sports and betting options. From the popular leagues like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL to more niche sports such as golf, motorsports, tennis, soccer, and MMA, you’ll find a comprehensive selection of events to wager on. Whether you’re a seasoned sports aficionado or a casual bettor, Hard Rock has you covered with its diverse range of choices.
How Can I Bet on Sports in Florida?
Florida sports betting enthusiasts currently have a very limited number of ways to get in on the action. However, they’re not completely out of luck. A few opportunities worth considering are discussed below.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) platforms are a great option for Florida residents, as they offer a unique and exciting way to engage with sports. DFS sites allow users to create fantasy teams and compete against others based on the performance of real-life athletes, providing a thrilling and immersive experience.
With various sports to choose from and the opportunity to win huge cash prizes, daily fantasy sports may be exactly what you’re looking for. Florida does not currently regulate daily fantasy sports within its borders, but the state permits DFS to exist in a legal gray area and allows DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog Fantasy, and plenty of other popular sites to operate in the state.
Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is completely legal in Florida and is another great option to consider. The state is home to many different racetracks (including Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Calder Race Course) where visitors can watch live races and place bets on-site.
Additionally, Florida has numerous simulcast facilities that allow bettors to watch and wager on races happening at other tracks across the country. For those seeking the convenience of online betting, there are plenty of reputable websites and platforms that offer access to horse racing wagers (e.g., TwinSpires and FanDuel Racing), allowing bettors to place their wagers from the comfort of their own homes.
Lastly, offshore sportsbooks are an option for Florida sports bettors, but it is important to approach them with extreme caution. These platforms operate outside of US jurisdiction, which means they may not be subject to the same regulations and consumer protections as domestic sportsbooks.
Bettors should be aware that there are certain risks involved, such as the security of personal and financial information, potential legal implications, and limited avenues for recourse in case of disputes.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Florida?
There is currently no way to legally bet on sports in Florida. However, sports bettors in the Sunshine State will always have the option to visit other U.S. states that launched online or retail sportsbooks within their borders. A few nearby states with legal betting options are listed and explained below.
Mississippi launched retail sports betting in August 2018 and currently allows in-person wagering at over two dozen casinos across the state. Online and mobile wagering on sporting events is also available, but it is only allowed to take place on the premises of a licensed land-based casino. Over the years, Mississippi has become a popular destination for Florida sports bettors who are eager to get in on the action.
Retail sports betting has also been available at North Carolina tribal casinos since March 2021. Florida residents can visit Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy, or Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain to place bets on all their favorite sports and leagues. In addition, North Carolina officially legalized online sports betting in June 2023, and the first mobile sportsbook is expected to launch in early 2024.
Lastly, Tennessee legalized sports betting in May 2019 and currently offers over a dozen different mobile betting platforms, including popular options like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Florida bettors may be interested in taking a weekend trip to Nashville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge to explore the scenic beauty of the region while also enjoying the convenience of using these mobile platforms to place their sports bets.
How To Sign Up & Start Betting on Sports in Florida
Time needed: 3 minutes
While sports betting is not yet available in Florida, here are the steps you can take to sign up and start placing wagers in other U.S. states:
- Choose Your Sportsbook
Research and select a reputable sportsbook that operates in the state where you want to place your bets (e.g., Mississippi, North Carolina, or Tennessee). Look for sportsbooks that are licensed and regulated, offer competitive odds, have a user-friendly interface, and provide a wide range of sports and betting options.
- Register for an Account
Visit the chosen sportsbook’s website or download their mobile app and navigate to the registration page. Fill out the required information (including your name, address, and date of birth) and create a secure password. Some sportsbooks may also ask for your social security number for identity verification purposes.
- Verify Your Information
After registering, the sportsbook may require you to verify your information. This process is usually done by uploading a copy of your identification document, such as a driver’s license or passport. This step ensures that you meet the legal age requirement and comply with the state’s regulations.
- Make Your First Deposit
Once your account is verified, you need to fund it with money to place bets. Choose a suitable payment method provided by the sportsbook (such as credit/debit cards, bank transfers, or e-wallets). Follow the instructions to make your first deposit, ensuring you understand any minimum deposit requirements or potential fees.
- Claim Your Welcome Offer
Many sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses or promotions to new users. Check for any available offers and review the terms and conditions associated with them. These offers may include deposit matches, free bets, or risk-free bets. To claim the welcome offer, follow the instructions provided by the sportsbook.
- Start Placing Bets
With your account funded and the welcome offer claimed, you are ready to start placing bets. Navigate to the sportsbook’s betting section and choose the sport and event you wish to bet on. Select the type of bet you want to place (e.g., moneyline, spread, over/under), enter your stake amount, and confirm your bet.
What Teams Can I Bet on in Florida?
Florida’s sports culture is vibrant and deeply ingrained in the state’s identity. With a year-round warm climate and a passionate fan base, Floridians embrace a wide range of sports, from football and basketball to baseball and golf, creating a rich tapestry of athletic enthusiasm and community spirit. A few of the state’s most popular teams are discussed below.
The NBA’s Miami Heat has captured the hearts of Florida sports fans with their high-octane style of play and competitive spirit. Led by star players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the past, the Heat have won three NBA championships and reached the NBA Finals on seven occasions, cementing their status as a powerhouse franchise. The team’s success and vibrant fan base have made them an integral part of Florida’s sports culture.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have witnessed a surge in popularity among Florida sports fans in recent years. Following their historic Super Bowl win in 2021, led by the legendary quarterback Tom Brady, the Buccaneers have become a symbol of resilience and triumph. With their formidable roster and passionate fan base, the Bucs have revitalized the state’s football fandom.
The Miami Dolphins, Florida’s oldest professional football team, have a rich and storied tradition that resonates with passionate sports fans. Known for their historic undefeated season in 1972, the Dolphins continue to captivate supporters with their iconic teal and orange colors and the electric atmosphere of their home games in Miami. The team’s legacy and enduring popularity make them a cherished symbol of Florida’s sports culture.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays, a Major League Baseball team, have carved out a dedicated following across the state. Despite being a smaller-market team, the Rays have consistently showcased their competitive prowess, reaching the World Series in 2008 and 2020. Their success on the field, coupled with their resourcefulness, has earned them a devoted fan base that appreciates their resilience and the thrill of the game.
The Florida Gators, representing the University of Florida in collegiate sports, have a proud tradition and a passionate fan base. Known for their dominance in football and basketball, the Gators have produced numerous successful teams and star athletes. The electric atmosphere during Gators games, fueled by loyal supporters, underscores their significance in Florida’s sports culture and their enduring legacy in college athletics.
Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles, representing Florida State University, have a passionate fan base, particularly in football. Known for their intense rivalry with the Florida Gators, Seminoles fans are dedicated and vocal, creating a lively atmosphere during home games. The team has a rich history and has achieved success on the national stage, including three national championships since 1993.
Strategies & Tips for Florida Sports Bettors
Although sports betting is not yet available in Florida, it’s never too early to start learning the best strategies to implement and guidelines to follow to increase your chances of success. Here are some useful tips for Florida sports bettors:
- Set a Budget & Stick to It: One of the golden rules of sports betting is to establish a budget and avoid exceeding it. Determine the amount of money you can comfortably afford to lose and only wager within that limit. This will help you avoid chasing losses and making impulsive decisions.
- Follow Line Movement: Pay attention to line movements and how odds change leading up to a game. Line movements can provide insights into where the public is placing their bets or if there is any significant news affecting the game. Understanding line movements can help you make more informed decisions.
- Look for Value Bets: Instead of solely focusing on popular teams or high-profile matchups, search for value bets where the odds seem to be in your favor. Look for instances where the public perception may be skewed, offering opportunities to capitalize on undervalued teams.
- Trust Your Gut: While it’s crucial to be analytical and rely on research, sometimes your instincts can offer valuable insights. If you have a strong feeling about a particular bet, even if it goes against popular opinion, trust your gut. Just remember to balance intuition with solid analysis for the best possible results.
- Enjoy the Process: Remember that sports betting should be enjoyable. While winning is the ultimate goal, the process of analyzing games, making predictions, and experiencing the thrill of the games is what makes sports betting exciting. Embrace the journey and appreciate the knowledge and skills you develop along the way.
Florida Sports Betting FAQ
No, online sports betting is not permitted in the state of Florida.
Since sports betting is not yet legal in Florida, no sportsbooks are currently authorized to operate in the state. That said, DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel, and Caesars are a few of the top U.S. sportsbooks that are likely to enter the Florida market should an opportunity ever present itself.
Yes! Betting on horse racing is legal in the state of Florida. You can place wagers in person at Florida horse racing tracks or off-track betting facilities as well as online using horse racing betting sites like TwinSpires or FanDuel Racing.
Like many other U.S. states, Florida allows daily fantasy sports (DFS) to exist in a legal gray area, as there are no laws explicitly allowing or prohibiting these types of platforms. As a result, DraftKings, FanDuel, and many other popular DFS sites are available in the state of Florida.
Yes, you can potentially use a virtual private network (VPN) to spoof your location and place wagers from a state where sports betting is illegal. However, we strongly discourage you from doing so. The sportsbook will typically ban your account and make your forfeit all winnings once they find out.