Offshore Sportsbook Betting

Sports Gambling in Florida (and the Latest Laws)

Sports Gambling in Florida

Is sports gambling finally getting ready to launch in Florida? The current signs are certainly encouraging, with Governor Ron DeSantis having signed off on sports betting in the Sunshine State. However, as we discuss below, there are a few steps yet to be taken.

The expectation is that it could take the rest of 2021, if not a bit beyond, to get all the details worked out, and for the big sportsbooks to be up in running in time for the FL residents to be able to bet online by 2022.

Here’s what you need to know about sports gambling in Florida and the latest laws. First, let’s look at the market.

What Will You be Able to Bet on in Florida?

It is expected that online bettors will be able to wager on all major sports – including NBA and WNBA basketball, NFL, Hockey, Major League Baseball, Soccer and NCAA games.

Florida fans have access to nine sports teams across the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL:

  • Miami Dolphins
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (current Super Bowl Champions)
  • Miami Marlins
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Miami Heat
  • Orlando Magic
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Florida Panthers

Additionally, there are four MLS teams in Florida:

  • Inter Miami FC
  • Orlando City SC
  • Tampa Bay Mutiny
  • Miami Fusion

Florida is one of the biggest spring training sites – with 15 major league teams holding camps there.

Florida is a great state for NCAA as well, with the Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes among others.

There are close to a dozen auto racetracks (Daytona being one of them), golf, tennis … the list goes on and on.

There is simply no shortage of sports betting opportunities in the Sunshine State. With over 21 million residents, it represents a mecca for online gambling.

Sports betting in Florida – The Best Sites

All the top sportsbooks in the country are striking deals (see more below) to provide extensive options for sports betting in Florida.

We recommend MyBookie and Bovada as two sites you should definitely check out. They consistently place in industry rankings as among the top three online betting sites.

Each of these sites offer great professional content, multitudes of sports betting lines, great offers, good customer service and user-friendly interfaces.

Bovada Sports Review
Bovada sportsbook is equipped with the experience and skill to quickly become the industry's powerhouse brand and the most relied on, most fun location to wager on sports.
18+. Terms & conditions apply
18 +. Terms & conditions apply
BetNow Sports Betting
BetNow.eu established in 2016 this new sportsbook provides 24/7 online betting with customer service to match. Use promo code BN25 OR BN100 when you make your deposit to get a 25% OR 100% Bonus up to $500.
18+. Terms & conditions apply
18+. Full Terms and Conditions apply to the bonuses.
MyBookie.ag Sportsbook Review
Enjoy a VIP online betting experience when you choose the MyBookie sportsbook for your bets. A 24/7 customer support, fast withdrawals, Bitcoin and up to $1,000 first deposit Bonus awaits all new players.
18+. Terms & conditions apply
$1,000 First Deposit Bonus is credited as a 50% Sportsbook Bonus.
We match 1/2 of what you deposit as a bonus.
Enter promo code MYB50 in the cashier.
Bonus is instantly credited to your Free Play balance.
Maximum bonus is $1,000.
10x rollover requirement
Promotion only available on first deposit.
MyBookie reserves the right to alter or amend the terms and conditions of this promotion at any time without notice.
General House Rules Apply.
BetOnline Sportsbook Review
BetOnline sportsbook Review - BetOnline.ag offers the latest betting technology with exciting promotions like their Lifetime 25% Bonus Guarantee with up to $250 in freeplays on EVERY deposit you make - 24/7/365!
18+. Terms & conditions apply
18+. T&C's apply.
Sportsbetting eSports betting site
Get yourself a tasty 50% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 when you make a first deposit and enter promo code “SB1000” in the cashier. Get your free play instantly and boost your bankroll by up to $1,000 on top of your first deposit.
18+. Terms & conditions apply
18+. Full Terms and Conditions apply to the welcome bonuses.
Xbet Casino Bonus
New exciting sportsbook with Up to $500 First Deposit Bonus with Xbet promocode: XB100. Plus you get a 25% Reload Bonus Up to $250 every time you fund your account - use the promocode XB25 to get your instant bonus for all deposits of $100 or more.
18+. Terms & conditions apply
Sign-up Bonus will be credited in a form of Free Play.
We match 100% of your first deposit as a bonus.
The maximum Bonus to be awarded is $500.
This bonus requires a minimum deposit of $45.
There’s a 7x Rollover attached to this promotion.
Promotion is valid on your first deposit only.
Redeem the promo code XB100 in the cashier in order to get this bonus.
You must have a successful deposit in order to get the bonus credited to your free play balance.
Xbet reserves the right to alter or amend the terms and conditions of this promotion at any time without notice.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?

Florida residents have been placing bets online for three years, ever since the Supreme Court decision of 2018 that opened the door to sports betting. While not strictly legal, no one has been prosecuted ever for betting online.

Residents of Florida have to travel to neighboring states like Mississippi to be at a live sports betting venue or maybe take a cruise out to the open seas. Till now, there was no legal sports betting venue in Florida.

All of that is in the process of changing, though. Let’s review the current status.

Governor DeSantis announces Sports Betting Deal

On April 23 this year, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a deal between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, which would cover:

  • Expansion of Seminole Tribal Casinos, including the introduction of craps and roulette.
  • Online sports betting and retail sports betting.
  • Setting up mobile apps for sports betting was part of the discussion, with servers potentially located on Seminole land.

In essence, the compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe means that sports betting will be run through the Seminoles, who would get a hefty cut of the profits.

Legislative Process Completed

On May 17, the Florida legislature came together in a special session to approve an expanded compact between the State and the Seminole Tribe. The Florida Senate passed it the next day and the House gave its stamp of approval on May 19.

As part of the approved gaming expansion under the compact, the legislature approved sports betting in Florida.

Governor Signs Off on New Compact

On May 25, Governor DeSantis signed off on the new compact approved by the State of Florida Legislature, thus completing all the required procedures at the state level.

As part of the compact, the Seminole Tribe essentially controls the gaming and online sports betting – all other parties will need to work with the Hard Rock brand (the Seminoles’ brand) to establish a legal presence in the Florida. For mobile apps, the current thinking is that all the servers will be placed on Seminole land.

What Happens Next?

The signed compact between Florida and the Seminoles now heads off to the Department of the Interior, which oversees Native American tribal affairs, for approval. They can approve, reject or propose amendments.

Is It Guaranteed that Sports Betting Will Become Legal in Florida?

Nothing is guaranteed one hundred percent. Even if the compact is legislated into law, there may be court challenges. There are various key stakeholders who have already expressed reservations about whether the compact is giving too much control and revenues to the Seminoles. Some recent examples follow.

Miami Beach’s Mayor Files Objection with Department of the Interior

On June 7, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gilber filed an objection with the Department of the Interior, asking them to reject the compact on the grounds that it violates the Florida Constitution and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Mayor Gilber’s objection is expected to be one among a series.

DraftKings and FanDuel File a Referendum

On June 24, DraftKings and FanDuel orchestrated a move (through a PAC) towards a statewide ballot initiative – which requires some administrative steps and 891,589 signatures (which would represent 7% of the population – that asks for the matter of commercial mobile betting to be put up for a voter referendum in the 2022 election cycle.

The referendum would require a supermajority (60%) voter approval for the alternative measures proposed by the PAC to be approved.

What’s important to note is that part of the objection has to do with established sportsbooks not wanting to go through Hard Rock (aka the Seminole Tribe) for everything and also give up 40% of their gaming revenues.

This factor alone will keep rearing its head.

When Can You Expect a Resolution?

If the ballot initiative mentioned last succeeds, or something similar takes place, approval could be delayed till after the 2022 elections.

If, however, the Department of the Interior does approve the current compact, there will likely be additional steps – and perhaps challenges – for the rest of 2021, leaving early 2022 as the earliest where legal sports betting would be allowed in Florida.

Our Recommended Sportsbooks for Sports Betting in Florida

All of the above discussion has mainly to do with brick-and-mortar sports betting sites in Florida. Online sports betting has been going on for a few years now.

Two of the best online sports books are mentioned below. They each have mobile apps, great interfaces, offer easy banking, casino options, live chat support and fast service.

MyBookie

MyBookie.ag Sportsbook Review

Up to $1,000 Bonus with Promo Code: MYB50

Enjoy a VIP online betting experience when you choose the MyBookie sportsbook for your bets. A 24/7 customer support, fast...

Play nowPlay now
18+. Terms & conditions apply
$1,000 First Deposit Bonus is credited as a 50% Sportsbook Bonus.
We match 1/2 of what you deposit as a bonus.
Enter promo code MYB50 in the cashier.
Bonus is instantly credited to your Free Play balance.
Maximum bonus is $1,000.
10x rollover requirement
Promotion only available on first deposit.
MyBookie reserves the right to alter or amend the terms and conditions of this promotion at any time without notice.
General House Rules Apply.

One of the best known sportsbooks, MyBookie offers great promotions, including a welcome bonus up to $1000 and a 10x bonus rollover. They offer in-game betting action. One additional support they provide is live phone support, which Bovada does not.

Bovada

Bovada Sports Review

$250 Sports Deposit Bonus/$750 Bitcoin Bonus

Bovada sportsbook is equipped with the experience and skill to quickly become the industry's powerhouse brand and the most...

Play nowPlay now
18+. Terms & conditions apply
18 +. Terms & conditions apply

Bovada also offers a welcome bonus up to $750 and a 5x bonus rollover. Like MyBookie, they offer live betting options and plenty of exciting games and other great promos.

How to Find a Good Sportsbook

Finding a good sportsbook really hinges on a few things. The two main ones are:

  • What kind of features does the online betting site present its users?
  • What kind of bonuses, promos and games are they offering?

The last part has something to do with the fact that in sports betting, the house usually wins in the long term. Unless you are one of the lucky or talented few that consistently win 55-60% of your wagers, you are going to lose more often than you win.

So, our recommendation is that you focus more on enjoyment with minimum aggravation while sports gambling in Florida. Also, limit your losses by not putting up huge stakes, betting small (5% or less of your total stake on individual bets) and look for free promos to boot.

Let’s look at some specifics.

Look for Features and Convenience for when Choosing Florida Sportsbooks

You are probably aware of some of the points below if you, like many other Floridians, are well aware of how to bet online in Florida. However, there will be changes as gambling in Florida becomes legal and mobile betting apps are released within specific guidelines.

Many sportsbooks may have to invest in technology to make sure they can put their branded products out in the market with Hard Rock in tow, if the present trend continues. So, it makes sense to regurgitate some of the research that should go into choosing sportsbooks.

Legitimacy

When a state opens up and even beyond, there can be sites that rip off their customers. Good sportsbooks, on the other hand, try to flaunt their superior qualities. Do some research:

  • Make sure that the sportsbook has all the required licenses to operate in Florida.
  • Read online industry and customer reviews. Make a mental note about how the good and bad parts line up with what you need.
  • Make sure there are no glaring red flags – such as a book being blacklisted or with substantial legal claims against it.

Win, lose or draw, you can focus betting and enjoying yourself, rather than worry about the reputation and conduct of the site itself.

Site Design, Speed and User Interface

Any good sportsbook will have a clean site design that allows you to navigate and place bets easily, fast UI/UX and also multiplatform capability – so you can be equally comfortable betting from your desktop, tablet or mobile.

The best sportsbooks will always offer a mobile app that works on both iOS and Android.

Speed and lack of clutter are essential features, especially during live betting.

You can go on Florida sports betting sites and plumb their depths, before you deposit a single cent. They will allow you all access except for actually placing bets. Take advantage of this and make sure you are familiar with the online betting site.

Ease and Convenience of Banking

The best sites will allow for money deposits and withdrawals fast. They also allow for multiple modes of electronic transactions, such as:

  • Direct Bank (ACH) Transfers
  • Credit card (Visa and Mastercard) transfers
  • Wire Transfers
  • Bitcoin
  • PayPal (in some cases)

The speed and ease of electronic transfers can make a huge difference.

Customer Service

Customer service is the final frontier. Regardless of anything else, there will always be questions and/or the need for dispute resolution. The best sites have the best customer service. Check them out. If you have questions when you are doing your background research, call up a customer service rep and have them walk you through the site.

Look for the Types of Games, Betting Lines and Promotions/Bonuses

When choosing a sportsbook for mobile sports betting in Florida, make sure you focus on the principle of finding out who offers the specific bets you want to place and who provides bonuses and promos that allow you to play with house money.

Sign Up Offers and Lots of Games

Great sportsbooks will offer many types of bets, from moneyline to points spreads to props bets, that make it fun for regular sports betting fans. They will also offer a bunch of sign-up offers and promos, along with promos for special events.

Look for Deposit Matching Bonus Offers

Many sites will offer to match your initial deposit up to an amount. Having the matching deposit bonus allows you to place additional wagers.

Are Free Bets Being Offered?

Many sportsbooks will offer free bets, which means you can bet up to a certain amount without any risk to yourself. Check for conditions, including whether or not you get to collect all your money or only the winnings if you happen to win a free bet.

What About Risk Free Bets?

A risk-free bet is a hugely popular offer among good sportsbooks. Essentially, they offer a refund (up to a certain amount and subject to certain conditions) for your first real-money bet.

Make sure to check not only the amount and the conditions (e.g. minimum bets), but also learn how you would get the money back – would it be cash, free bets or other means?

Special Offers

Without getting into details, good sportsbooks always run specials during events. That could include free or risk-free bets or other means. Sometimes it may just be fun prop bets.

Live Betting

Top sportsbooks like the ones we recommend will offer live betting.

Live bets make everything more fun. In short, you get updated odds that allow you to bet beyond the point when a game starts, there are other fun, in-game bets like who wins a period and by how much and an array of prop bets that could create an adrenalin rush with fun side games that allow you to recoup money even if you lose your main bet.

User friendly interfaces (including mobile apps) and fast banking is essential, though.

The Final Word

Sports book betting in Florida is going through the paces. The momentum is building towards everyone coming together with some sort of compromise – Florida will be the largest sports betting market with over 21 million residents.

Cast your ballot in favor of various amendments and propositions as they come up if you want to expedite making sports betting legal in Florida.

Relevant news

Leave a Reply