When it comes to sports betting, Florida is finally catching up with the rest of the United States. Thanks to new legislation, Florida residents no longer have to travel out-of-state to place wagers on their favorite pastimes. However, sports wagering in the state of Florida is still heavily regulated, which means you can’t get your gambling fix just anywhere.
If you’re an avid sport better traveling into or out of Florida, this guide will take you through everything you need to know about sports betting laws, online platforms, and popular casinos in the state.
Is Sports Betting Legal In Florida?
In April of 2021, the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe, under governor Ron DeSantis, agreed to a new gaming compact to enable local sports betting and online casino activity. The Seminole Tribe, which oversees the Florida gaming industry, hopes to introduce online sportsbooks and retail sports betting at tribal casinos as early as the upcoming 2021 NFL season.
Gambling enthusiasts can look forward to betting opportunities at professional sports venues, such as the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Amway Stadium in Orlando, and BB&T Center, home to the Florida Panthers. Because the renowned PGA tour makes several stops in the state of Florida, fans can also potentially enjoy live sports betting on the likes of Dustin Johnson and John Rahm.
However, some groups still believe the step towards more expansive gaming in Florida violates the terms of Amendment 3, which gives voters the exclusive right to decide for or against casino authorizations. Still, many are hopeful that the compact will be approved by all parties.
Here is what you can currently expect when it comes to popular sports betting activities in Florida.
Local Sports Teams
The majority of your team sports betting will still have to occur offshore where Florida residents have no restrictions. Fortunately, Florida borders Alabama and Georgia, where you can bet on college and professional Florida teams through sites like DraftKings and MyBookie.
Gambling laws allow off-track and inter-track betting on thoroughbred racing, harness racing, and quarter horse racing, so long as you place your bet on-site.
Greyhound racing became illegal statewide on January 1, 2021, after Florida approved a 2018 referendum.
A hotbed for traditional gambling, Florida is home to more than 40 casinos where Floridians can place their bets on its many slot machines and poker games. Famous sites include the Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park, Seminole Hard Rock, and other Native American casinos.
Unlike casinos, cardrooms are licensed state facilities where attendees can play poker. Tribal casinos and racetracks host many cardrooms where Floridians and tourists alike can enjoy other games like Panguingue and Pai Gow.
Florida natives can bet on bingo games so long as they are facilitated by charitable, non-profit, or veteran-related entities. These organizations – including churches, academic institutions, and community groups – must be functional for at least three years.
Casinos To Visit In Florida
Thanks to increasingly relaxed gambling laws, Florida is becoming a viable alternative to Las Vegas’s famous hotspots. Whether you’re a Florida native or a tourist in pursuit of the state’s lucrative gambling scene, below are a few casinos you might want to include in your itinerary.
Seminole Hard Rock Casino
Since Hard Rock’s initial launch in the early 1970s, it has become a hotel-casino must-see for millions of international travelers. When in Tampa, you have to book a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, where you can enjoy hours of Texas Hold Em, Mississippi Stud, Blackjack, and more.
Wagers who prefer Asian-style games can opt for the Jubao Palace, where you can enjoy Pai Gow in between bowls of delicious noodles.
Magic City Casino
Once part of the bustling dog sports betting industry, Magic City Casino is now a hotspot for the elusive jai-alai. The four-person, weaponized handball activity is a spectacular event available to attend from Wednesdays to Sundays.
On other days, Magic City guests can enjoy over 40 electronic sports betting options and even become a member of the Players Club Magic City also houses more than 800 state-of-the-art slot machines and an impressive 18-table poker room. Rewards members can score poker bonuses through daily promotions and exchange their winnings for a delectable dish at the Big Mouth Buffet.
Lucky for many jai-alai fans, the mostly obsolete sports betting market is alive and thriving in South Florida’s Dania Jai-Alai. Here, visitors can attend numerous jai-alai sporting events and place simulcast bets on other activities such as thoroughbred racing.
The Dania recently introduced traditional casino favorites and now houses over 900 slot machines. Guests can also enjoy lively poker tables, casino games, Craps, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud, among others.
Victory Casino Cruise
If you want to enjoy Florida sports betting action outside of a typical casino, you’ll love the Victory Casino Cruise. Because the floating casino docks 12 miles out into the sea, guests aren’t bound by restrictive Florida sports betting state laws.
These massive, four-deck ships have over 700 slot machines and 27 table games. Sea-goers can also make fantasy sports bets on anything from golf to football to MMA with the state’s only on-site sportsbook.
Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club
Thanks to its rich NASCAR heritage, Daytona Beach is already a Florida sports betting hotspot, attracting travelers from all over the United States. Its 53,000-square-foot Beach Racing and Card Club welcomes thousands of gamblers each day, eager to join tournaments like the Heartland Poker Tour.
Daytona Beach’s poker rooms have to be the most impressive thing about the venue, accommodating more than 55 tables and wall-to-wall flat-screen televisions. Here, enthusiastic bettors can place bets from 10 am to 4 pm and watch as their fantasy sports predictions unfold.
Hallandale Beach visitors who prefer to be closer to Miami can try out the Gulfstream Park for the same perks.
Types Of Legal Sports Betting In Florida
While legal sports betting is new to Florida, there have been many exceptions in the past few decades. Florida residents and visitors can bet on sports through the following:
Offshore Sites For All Sports Teams & Players
While the Florida State Seminoles continue to work towards legalizing online sports betting, residents and tourists can enjoy offshore sports gambling in bordering states like Alabama and Georgia. Many sportsbooks bets go towards:
- NFL Futures
- NFL Basketball
- Horse racing
- NCAA Sports
- Sports Sims
- Collegiate and professional sports
Florida has more than 13,000 lottery retailers where customers can bet on local games or multi-state openings. You can even try your luck with a scratch-off ticket or terminal game. However, lottery gamblers have to be at least 18 years old to purchase a ticket.
Through pari-mutuel sports gambling, participants place their bets together in a pool while the “house” – the facility – takes a cut. As soon as payoff odds are calculated and all bets are closed, pari-mutuel bettors receive the final payout.
Cruise Ship Gaming
Fortunately for Florida sports bettors, it’s easy to escape the state law on casino boats. On a “cruise to nowhere”, passengers don’t have to adhere to state legislature – feel free to enjoy Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, and Craps without worry!
Limited Social Gambling
Technically, state law stipulates that Florida homeowners can bet on two to six-player games like poker or Monopoly within their residence. However, players are limited to betting $10 per hand.
Online sportsbooks refer to virtual companies that allow users to bet on sports in Florida. Gamblers can use an online sportsbook to bet money on any type of competition – even reality shows!
Florida Sportsbook Betting Options
Online sportsbooks accept all kinds of payment methods and bet types. Below are the most popular methods for sportsbook betting:
- Moneyline: A moneyline bet is simple – just put all your money towards who you think will win the game.
- Spreads: When you make a spread, the sportsbook “handicaps” the game, giving or taking away points. For instance, if a team is 5 points away from outplaying its opponent, the bet will win if they score 6.
- Props: You can wager on how a team or individual performs with a propositional bet. Props involve predicting plays such as rebounds, passes, rallies, and more.
- Totals: Also known as over/under online sports betting, totals consider how many points a team scores in the game. For example, to win an “over” bet for a game set at 55.5 points, you will need to have wagered 56 or more points.
- Futures: Futures are pretty self-explanatory – you bet on a future result, whether it be who wins the Super Bowl or comes out victorious during a tennis match.
International Sportsbooks That Legally Accept Florida Residents
While online sports betting in Florida isn’t yet fully legal, Florida natives can play via international sportsbooks like:
Bovada operates legally in many states under the parent sports betting company Bodog. Fortunately, there are no FL sports betting laws prohibiting the company from accepting betting action from Sunshine State natives.
Bovada provides a sign-up bonus of up to $250 with a 5x rollover.
Offshore sportsbooks such as BetOnline allow Florida residents to bet on domestic games and competitions. BetOnline’s 50% sign-up bonus is ideal for players who want to deposit more than $1,000.
XBet is a licensed sportsbook that has credentials for operating legally within the Florida gambling industry. Residents from the state of Florida will love this platform’s quality game graphics and live dealer matches.
Owned by the same parent company as XBet, MyBookie is an all-time favorite sportsbook that provides international betting services. MyBookie also has a sign-on bonus of 50%, up to $1,000.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Sports Betting
When will sports betting become legal in Florida?
The compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe aims to approve the agreement officially in July of 2021. If the process goes as planned, sports betting in Florida may become fully legal in October of 2021.
What is the legal betting age in Florida?
To legally bet in casinos in the state of Florida, players must be at least 21 years old. Offshore bettors must be 18 years old.
Can you get arrested for illegally betting?
No. While sports betting in Florida isn’t yet fully legal, you cannot get arrested for betting at offshore sites. However, you may face charges if you place a bet with an illegal bookie operating within the state of Florida.
What sports teams can you bet on in Florida?
Limited FL sports betting options allow players to bet on virtually any local team, whether collegiate or professional.
How can you pay for your bet?
There are many payment options for betting on sports in Florida. These include:
- Online banking services
- Cash at a casino gambling site
- Credit and debit cards
- ACH and e-checks
What new sportsbooks will be available in the Florida sports betting industry?
As gambling becomes increasingly widespread in Florida, you can expect to see popular companies like DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesar’s Sports, and TwinSpires become available soon. Many of these sites offer a lucrative sign-up bonus to entice new users.
The Bottom Line
Thanks to the new agreement by the Seminole Tribe, casino-goers can finally enjoy legal sports betting. While the sports betting bill itself has yet to undergo reviews and approvals, betters can continue to enjoy West Palm Beach hotspots, among others.
If you’re itching to know more about the best online sports betting sites hitting Florida shores in late 2021, OutCoast publishes everything you need to know! Explore our page for more on what Florida has to offer.