• Sports betting in Florida was legalized through gaming compact renegotiations by Governor Ron DeSantis on April 23 and enacted on May 25, 2020.
  • This compact was then thrown out by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich during lawsuit hearings surrounding the compact’s exclusivity.
  • Online FL sportsbooks launched in early October but was shut down when the lawsuit hearing caused the entire gambling compact to be void.

Legal Florida Sports Betting

October 2021 saw the short-lived launch of a regulated sports betting market in Florida. The Seminole Tribe and state legislators came to an agreement and signed into effect a new gambling compact that allowed the tribal casinos to offer betting odds. However, this compact was then thrown out by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich following a lawsuit, effectively undoing its effects. State-sponsored sports betting is now unable to be offered until either a new compact is signed, or residents vote via a “citizens initiative.” In the meantime, online sports betting is still legal and there are many licensed online sportsbooks that take Florida residents and tourists. These will likely remain the only way to bet on college player prop bets once Florida does regulate sportsbooks.


Bovada Sportsbook

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Florida’s many bettors don’t have state-sanctioned sportsbooks available to them, but luckily Bovada is here to fulfill their legal sports betting needs. Bovada’s website is well designed and easily accessible to bettors in Florida, and provides all sorts of intriguing odds and lines on events both upcoming and far away. You can wager on March Madness or the Masked Singer – whatever you want to put money on, Bovada has odds on it. In addition, they have a mobile-friendly website that also offers live betting, which can be very useful to those who wish to wager on the go. Make sure to check them out when you’re looking for a place to legally wager in Florida.

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Florida Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

The sports betting gaming compact in Florida was voted on and approved by both the Florida Senate and House and then by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The bill FL SB 2-A was then sent to the Department of the Interior where it received final federal approval. A few months following this approval however, the compact was thrown out by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich during a lawsuit against it.

Most of the state’s gambling laws can be found within the Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 849. This Statute covers aspects such as, which kind of gambling devices are permitted and who can use them, rules concerning the lottery, cardrooms, and more. If you’re curious about the laws regarding pari-mutual wagering and horse racing, those can be found in Title XXXIII Chapter 55. This statute even extends to include rules regarding the sport Jai Alai. However, it still does not include specific provisions for gambling in traditional sports.

Current State Of Sports Betting In Florida

November 22, 2021 – The gaming compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe is thrown out by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich during the West Flagler Associates vs. Haaland trial.

November 1, 2021 – The Seminoles Hard Rock Sportsbook begins taking bets in Florida.

October 19, 2021 – Florida District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed the lawsuit brought on by West Flagler Associates.

October 15, 2021 – Florida sports betting officially became regulated under Florida law. No sportsbook launched on this day, likely due to the multiple pending lawsuits.

September 28, 2021 – Local Florida business owners and No Casinos group formed a coalition to challenge to Florida compact that allows online sports betting with West Flagler Associates. This is the second lawsuit the compact has faced.

August 17, 2021 – West Flagler Associates, sued the Department of Interior for passing the Florida gaming compact that allows online sports betting.

August 6, 2021 – The Department of Interior publishes the Florida sports betting compact in the Federal Register.

May 25, 2021 – The updated gaming compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe was signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. This gives sole authority to sports betting in Florida to the Seminoles.

May 19, 2021 – The Florida House of Representatives approved sports betting under the proposed updated gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe.

May 17, 2021 – Legislators in Florida discuss an expansion of the gambling compact in Florida to allow for sports betting. The new language would alter the existing compact with the Seminole Tribe.

December 29, 2020 – State Sen. Jeff Brandes filed a proposed bill that would launch sports betting in Florida.

Places In Florida To Bet On Sports

When sports betting launches in October there will be odds and betting lines available at the Seminole Casinos in Florida per the sports betting laws. There are casino operations in Broward County, Collier County, Hillsborough County, Miami-Date County, and Okeechobee County. Bettors near or around these areas will be within driving distance of a retail sportsbook when they eventually launch. With legal sports betting sites, everywhere in the Sunshine State is a place you can bet on sports as these operators work statewide. There are odds available right now so bettors do not need to wait for Florida to officially go live to get in on the action.

Florida Sportsbook Locations – Seminole Casinos

  • Brighton
  • Coconut Creek
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Hollywood
  • Immokalee
  • Tampa

States Nearby With Local Sportsbooks

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee

Florida Mobile Sports Betting Apps

Mobile sports betting in Florida will continue to be dominated by licensed sportsbooks that are headquartered outside of the US. Florida approved regulated mobile sports betting, but this is tied up in courts as parties challenge the legality of it. Because of this, Florida sports betting fans may not see the regulated mobile market launch for some time after retail sportsbooks. Luckily, these internet sportsbooks are accessible on most smartphones and tablets so mobile betting will still be an option in Florida.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Florida is one of the few states in the country with the luxury of having the amount of professional and collegiate teams that they do. From Miami all the way to Tallahassee, championships won on all levels are recognized not only in the state but throughout the country. Online offshore sportsbooks let those diehard fans bet for real money​ on all these teams and more. Many people who live in Florida aren’t originally from there and still cheer for their original home team, but sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, and BetOnline allow users to bet on them while still enjoying the Florida weather. But, even they can admit that placing wagers on Florida sports franchises can be just as lucrative which is why we’ve provided the most popular sports organizations FL residents choose to cash in on.

Popular Florida Teams

Miami Dolphins (NFL) Tampa Bay Bucs (NFL) Orlando Magic (NBA)
Miami Heat (NBA) Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) Miami Marlins (MLB)
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) Florida State Seminoles (NCAA) Florida Gators (NCAA)
Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)

Horse Racing Betting In Florida

Horse race betting is past time loved by many in the state. While the coastal cities usually have more traditional sports fans, those in the more rural area of the state know just how profitable horse racing can be. Places like Ocala, FL, are known in the industry for providing some of the greatest amounts of thoroughbred horses in America. Although, to see the best ones in action you’ll either have to travel to Miami, Hallandale, or Oldsmar.

Residents will also be happy to know that pari-mutuel wagering is allowed for harness racing, quarter horse racing, and of course thoroughbred racing. People that want to place their wagers can do so both at the track and online. Websites like Bovada, SportsBetting, and BetOnline come fully equipped with top-notch racebooks and even provide sports betting bonuses for first-time users.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Florida

State lawmakers have been trying to regulate Daily Fantasy sports for years now with no luck. The last bill that was filed to do so was FL S 374 which ultimately died on calendar and was indefinitely postponed from consideration. The biggest reason why is because Native American Casino owners claim that it would violate their pact, and because they provide so much tax revenue, state officials don’t want to jeopardize that relationship.

Even so, the top two DFS operators in the country have chosen to accept FL residents and operate unregulated. Draftkings and Fanduel provide folks in the Sunshine State the ability to engage in DFS and have proven in recent years to be a fun, safe, and alternate method to reach legal Florida sports betting.

Legal Florida Sports Betting FAQ’s

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Florida?

Yes, real money sports betting in Florida can be done with sports wagering websites like BetOnline, Bovada, MyBookie, SportsBetting, and XBet.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Florida?

Yes, online sports betting is safe in Florida when using a licensed and regulated operator. Websites like Bovada and others go above and beyond to provide a secure environment for Florida sports bettors to gamble on sporting events.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Florida?

No, there will be no arrests for betting on sports in Florida if using the proper legal channels to do so. International online sportsbooks are legal and therefore users cannot be arrested.

What Is The Sports Betting Age In Florida?

The legal sports betting age in Florida is 21.

Where Are The Best Places To Bet On Sports In Florida?

Any of the Seminole-run casino operations will be offering full-service sportsbooks that have some of the best odds on the market. Online sportsbooks also offer some of the best odds and allow for anywhere in Florida to be a place to bet on sports.

Is It Legal To Bet On Sports With My Friends In Florida?

Yes, there are no laws that state friends cannot bet with one another on sports. This is the definition of what is known as the ”friendly wager” which is legal in Florida.

Will Florida Sports Betting Be Strictly Tribal?

This has been a big question for lawmakers and the state because the Seminole Tribe of Florida wants exclusivity should sports betting become a regulated market for the Sunshine State. However, at the same time, legislation continues to be drawn up for an even split of commercial and tribal operations. In the end, it may be strictly tribal though.

Should I Wager On Sports With A Neighborhood Bookie In Florida?

No, neighborhood bookies are not licensed to take bets on sports in Florida. Legal online websites are the best and only choice for Florida sports bettors in 2021 to wager on sporting events.