Sports betting in Florida: what to know before gambling

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Online Cricket Betting ID gambling has exploded onto the US market over the last few years. Sweeping across states, gathering support as it goes, more Americans than ever before have the luxury of being able to legally bet on their favourite sports, including horse racing, American Football, soccer, basketball and baseball. What’s more, they can wager from the comfort of their own home using a desktop computer or when on the move by downloading a betting app to their Android or iOS smartphone.

The betting market in the United States is a compelling one, but it’s far from straightforward or easy to understand. Even the question is online gambling legal in the US doesn’t have an easy answer. Unlike the blanket ban on betting that was in place for generations, there isn’t one law that supports or opposes betting. Since officials at government level in the White House chose to rip up the betting ban, they placed the decision in the hands of senators of each state. 

Some, like New Jersey, were quick to legalise betting, while others remain dead against the idea. Then there are those states stuck in the middle, happy to monitor developments in neighbouring states before making their decision. The law regarding Florida betting is a fine example of just how muddy the waters are at this time, and in this article, we aim to help make things a little clearer.

We explain the current status of betting in Florida, how you can gamble on your favourite sports using a smartphone and any changes to the law we expect to see this year. We aim to ensure readers have all the information to make a well-informed decision on betting as a resident or visitor to the Sunshine State.

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Is sports betting legal in Florida?

Online sports betting isn’t legal in Florida when going to publish in April 2022, but that is expected to change later this year. The current rules out-law wagering on any professional sports using your smartphone or home computer. That means you shouldn’t attempt to gamble or look for a loophole that allows you to bet. There isn’t one. The laws regarding gambling aren’t as modern as they could be, which has led to some gamblers believing they can bend the rules by wagering with an overseas bookie using their app. This would be a mistake. No attempt should be made to place a bet while you are within Florida state lines. That goes for a sporting contest in a state where betting is legal.

The signs were encouraging for a while when Hard Rock launched a sportsbook app, and the Seminole Tribe were driving forward with plans to offer online gambling to all in Florida. No sooner had the app gone live than it had to be taken back down following a series of court rulings that decided it contradicted Florida betting laws. Having been given a glimmer of hope, we now appear to be back to the beginning. Climbing a large ladder only to roll the dice and land on a huge snake.

But it isn’t as bleak as it seems, and it’s not true that Florida betting is back to where it was 12 months ago. There has been massive progress behind the scenes, and the Hard Rock betting app may have lost the battle, but the war is ongoing, and that app will be remembered for helping drive sports betting forward in Florida.

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Time for change

Many residents and officials living in Florida believe the writing is on the wall, and gambling will become legal in the state this year, possibly before the new NFL season in September. If the bill to legalise online gambling isn’t legalised before then, it shouldn’t be too long after. That’s according to many industry insiders.

FanDuel and DraftKings – two of the biggest names in US sports betting – are currently working on a ballot initiative that would tear up the state’s anti-gambling rules and allow widespread betting on horse racing and sports. The plan is to have this included on the ballot on or before November 2022. If it goes through sooner, it will be down to the hard work of the organisers, but if it was to be pushed through as planned in November, sports betting could be legal in Florida as early as January 2023. Plenty of time before the next Super Bowl.

Why are supporters of online gambling in Florida so confident they will get their wish? Florida has a lot to gain from legalising online gambling. The biggest and most obvious advantage comes from taxing the major names in betting, first to set up and then operate in the area. Taxing big bookies has led to an influx of cash for other states that have already made the move, and Florida doesn’t want to be left behind.