Florida Sports Betting Updates and Launch

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Florida sports betting was close to being a reality, until it recently got suspened indefinitely. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sports betting deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This sports betting law aimed to make online betting on events like NFL, NHL and MLB official. However, legal challenges were ahead of being able to expand sports betting in Florida. Here’s the latest Florida gambling news.

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Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?

Unfortunately, as it stands - Florida sports betting is not yet legal

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to allow mobile sports betting through servers located on tribal land. Because of the nature of the agreement, it had to first receive federal approval.

The Hard Rock Casino app went live on Nov. 1, 2021, as the state’s first ever regulated sports betting app. Other operators could have entered the market if they agreed to pay the Seminole Tribe a large cut of revenue.

On Nov. 5, 2021, a federal judge in DC heard arguments in a pair of lawsuits filed that opposed the Florida gaming compact allowing mobile sports betting. All eyes remained on pending cases in DC, as a judge’s ruling was expected any day that could pause Florida online sports betting.

On Nov. 22, 2021, A federal judge ruled the new gaming compact violates federal law, putting online sports betting and all gaming expansion (table games, in-person betting) on tribal lands on hold indefinitely. Her ruling will likely be appealed, but barring a reversal, the only path to online betting would be an amendment.

Because computer servers are situated on Seminole tribal land, any bets made online or via mobile in Florida would also be made on tribal land. That’s one of the bones of contention for those opposing the new tribal compact.

Florida’s Sports Betting Legal Challenges

The biggest challenge so far is the retraction of the Florida Sports Betting app, which apparently violates multiple Federal Laws. Online sports betting and all gaming expansions have been paused indefinitely. We’re hoping for this to be appealed and reversed; however, our best bet looks to be legalizing online betting through an amendment. We don’t yet know when this may be.

Meanwhile, the proposed expansion for gambling in Florida hasn’t gone unnoticed by other operators in the state. Casinos such as the Magic City and Bonita Springs Poker Room are suing Ron DeSantis the US Department of the Interior over the controversial compact.

DraftKings Sportsbook Online and FanDuel have donated $20m in an effort to force a referendum on whether the Florida legislature should open up the industry. The key target for outside gaming giants is in allowing sports bettors in FL to bet outside Seminole lands. The Las Vegas Sands Corp have also pumped in millions of bucks to set up a referendum allowing sports betting in Jacksonville. The Magic City in Miami is also filing a lawsuit to fight the compact.

DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook could still launch legal sports betting in Florida under the compact. However, the DFS giants would have to part with 40% of their gross gaming revenue.

There are also questions over whether the new compact violates the existing Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Retail Seminole casinos may be legal under the IGRA but mobile betting might not.

When is FL Sports Gambling expected to launch?

The latest law to legalize sports betting in Florida allowed the Seminole Tribe to offer wagering on their land. On November 1, 2021, there was just one mobile betting app available - Hard Rock which persisted despite legal challenges. We hoped for more to follow. However, the move to legalize sports betting in Florida once and for all did not make it past the federal court.

One issue was whether the 30-year compact, guaranteeing $2.5 billion in payments to the state over the first five years, violates the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act (IRGA) and Florida law. The former forbids tribes from accepting bets outside of reservation land.

Amendment 3 from 2018, allowed Florida voters, not legislators, to determine the expansion of casino gambling in the state. However, the state and Seminoles countered that Amendment 3 refers to casino gambling, not sports betting.

Meanwhile, the Florida Education Champions group, backed by a few operators like DraftKings and FanDuel, filed a proposed 2022 amendment to the Florida constitution to legalize online and in-person betting at Florida sports venues and pari-mutuel operators.

The proposed 2022 amendment would circumvent the state’s new Seminole compact and open the doors to more Florida sports betting operators - not just one (Hard Rock). As it stands, the suspension is indefinite.

Are there any legal Florida sports to bet on right now?

Not now. If Florida sports betting were to go live, players could bet on the same range of US sports and overseas markets that you’ll find at other legalized sports betting sites. You’d be able to place online bets on basketball, baseball and hockey events. You’ll likely even find a Florida sportsbook offering prices on the biggest events such as the Olympics and soccer World Cup.

The online sports betting Florida wants to have will allow online pre-live and in-play betting on all professional and college sports. However, as with other regulated states, you won’t be able to bet on politics.

It’s not clear whether it will be illegal to bet on FL college sports teams playing at home, as it is with states like CT. For example, CT state bettors are only allowed to bet on Connecticut college sports teams if they’re playing in an intercollegiate tournament.

However, college sports betting in Louisiana is fine from within Louisiana, Florida’s neighbouring state, no matter whether the teams play from home or not.

Will DFS Betting be legal in Florida?

The expanded seminole compact signed in 2021 does open up the possibility of legal fantasy contests. Under the terms of the Tribe deal, daily fantasy sports would be classed as “games of skill”. As it stands, DFS still isn’t regulated by the state, we hope this may be revisited in 2023. For now, gamblers are free to join DFS contests at DraftKings and FanDuel.

Is Horse Race Betting Legal in Florida?

There is a long history of pari-mutuel betting on horse races in the state of Florida. Betting is overseen by the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Track betting is permitted, as is OTB (Off-Track Betting) and simulcast wagering.

Interestingly, in October 2021 the FL Seminole Tribe made deals with five pari-mutuel operators under the terms of the expanded gambling compact. Pari-mutuel operators will have to pay the Seminole Tribe a 40% cut of all gross gaming revenue. However, the deal is being challenged in the courts.

Once the deal is live (who knows when), sports betting will be allowed at the following retail sportsbooks:

Online Florida Sportsbooks Expected to Launch

FL sports betting sites and Florida online casinos may be in their infancy but there’s no doubt the industry in the Golden State is about to heat up. Hard Rock was already live, and once legal betting in the sunshine state is back on track, it would likely be reinstated. But which other giants of Florida sports gambling could join them?

Hard Rock Sportsbook App

The Hard Rock sportsbook app was quietly launched by the FL Seminole Tribe at the beginning of November 2021.

Despite the latest legal challenge to stop providing online sports betting, the Seminoles carried on based on their compact with the state. You can make deposits via mobile phone and place bets on football, baseball and other major sports. It’s like placing bets at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino without leaving home!

BetMGM

BetMGM already enjoys a healthy presence in the US gambling market through its GVC-powered app. It also has the best online casinos in states where they are legal. BetMGM now runs its online and mobile app in many states including Michigan betting, Pennsylvania betting and Nevada. You’ll be able to enjoy BetMGM’s fast withdrawals and join the M life Rewards program to earn credits every time you bet on sports.

Caesars

The rebranded William Hill app has been upgraded since being taken over by Caesars Entertainment. You’ll be able to join the Caesars Rewards program while betting on a range of big US sports and claiming bonus bets.

FanDuel

FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the big winners in the new regulated sports betting market. The daily fantasy provider now operates internet sportsbooks across the United States. If the state of Florida does expand gambling, you can bet FanDuel will be poised and ready. Be sure to read our FanDuel Sportsbook Review to get the latest updates on the brand.

DraftKings

Along with FanDuel, DraftKings represents the big Fantasy providers in the US. DraftKings also runs several successful sportsbooks online in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. DraftKings sportsbook will be one of the operators watching the federal court with interest in the coming months.

Florida Sports Betting Bonuses and Promotions

Sportsbooks in Florida want to offer a range of bonuses for gamblers. We recommend opening an account with as many legal FL sports betting sites as possible so you can take advantage.

Sign-Up Bonuses

A sign-up bonus is usually reserved for new customers only for most betting sites and apps. This will most likely be true for Florida bettors too. Open your account online or download the app and earn bonus bets or a deposit match bonus to use on sports of your choice.

First, you’ll need to set up an account online or download the mobile app. Just supply some personal details and enter a promo code on the registration form if applicable. You may also have to make a deposit or verify your ID before receiving your welcome bonus.

Bonus Bets and Bonus Bets

Florida sports betting apps under Seminole Tribe control may offer bonus bets as new FL customer bonuses. You would open your account and receive bonus bets to use on sports of your choice. You’ll have to place bets at minimum required odds and there may be a wagering requirement involved. Make your first wager and if it loses, the sportsbook will refund you with a bonus bet token.

Pre-Launch Offers

Sports betting in Florida is still pending but potential operators could be gearing up for launch with some pre-registration offers. This is when bettors are offered to sign up before the sportsbook has opened to get in on the action the second it goes live. You’ll even earn a bonus bet or welcome bonus for your trust and initiative.

Event Promotions

You’ll be able to take advantage of some great sporting promotions during the season. You can get enhanced odds on the Super Bowl winner or a bonus bet to use on the Stanley Cup. You’ll also be able to claim money back on losing bets on major finals.

Loyalty Program

A couple of sportsbooks have a loyalty scheme where one can earn bonus bets or perks such as faster withdrawals and bet boosts. Many sportsbook VIP schemes will be tied to those found at land-based casinos in Florida. For instance, you may be able to earn player points on your Seminole Wild Card every time you gamble online or via mobile.

Pre-Registration at Florida Sportsbook Operators?

Pre-registration could be offered at Florida online sports betting sites. This due to the large amount of competition likely to ensue sports betting legalization in the state. You’ll need to fill in a registration form with some personal details, weeks or months before the sportsbook goes live.

What’s in it for you?

How Pre-Registration Works

To pre-register for a sports betting account in Florida, you’ll need to open an account. Signing up only takes a few minutes and you’ll be primed to receive credit or bonus bets the second the site goes live.

What Do I Need to Pre-Register?

You’ll need some personal details to add when you pre-register at sites that offer sports betting online. You will also need to verify that you’re 21 or over in order.

  1. Download the mobile app from the Google Play Store or App Store
  2. Create a username and password
  3. Select your state (Florida) when prompted
  4. Enter a promo code if available
  5. Provide your email address
  6. Enter your home address and phone number
  7. Enter your date of birth
  8. Provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
Pros
  • Receive bonus credits or a bonus bet
  • Enjoy a welcome bonus on top of your credits
  • Get ahead of the pack with placing bets
Cons
  • Sportsbooks may not have firm launch dates
  • Welcome bonus may improve by the time the app goes live

Florida Retail Sportsbooks Locations

Florida casinos boasts a wide selection of tribal casinos, commercial casinos and racinos. Racinos offer a mix of slots and pari-mutuel facilities. Tribal operators are dominated by the Seminole Tribe of Indians who run the biggest operations.

Commercial Casinos

Racinos

Florida Online Sportsbooks and Partnerships

The Hard Rock Sportsbook had a soft launch under the control of the Seminole Tribe of Indians before it was revoked by the federal court.

The current legal landscape in Florida gives the Seminole Tribe a monopoly over online gambling in Florida state. Gamblers could see further apps branded with the Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood or Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. There is no word on independent casinos such as Magic City Casino getting its own sports betting app.

Florida Sports Events and Teams to Bet On

Online oddsmakers will cover markets on a range of games and matches across the U.S. and the rest of the world. You’ll also be able to bet on teams competing in Florida. College football (NCAAF) and college basketball (NCAAB) is also legal under the gaming industry reforms.

NFL

NBA

MLB

NHL

Soccer (MLS)

College Football (NCAAF)

College Basketball (NCAAB)

Likely Payment Options for Florida Sportsbooks

It’s likely you will be able to deposit at sportsbooks in FL using debit and credit cards, e-Wallets and prepaid cards. You may also be able to deposit in person at participating FL casinos.

How Florida Sports Betting Compares to Other Legal States

The sports betting options in Florida will look a little different from other states. The Seminole Tribe controls casino gambling in the state so the lack of competition could be a problem for gamblers. The Seminole Tribe will have to overcome this by partnering with a diverse range of mobile sports betting operators.

Responsible Gambling

From the Magic City Casino to Seminole Tribe properties, every establishment practices good responsible gambling. The new FL sportsbooks will also help gamblers stay in control of their betting.

You’ll have access to a range of tools that let you set your deposit and betting limits. You can also request a time-out or period of self-exclusion. Good Florida sports betting apps will list resources such as Gamblers Anonymous and the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

Stay Updated with Florida News at Gambling.com

At Gambling.com, we bring you the very latest on the fledgling sports wagering industry in Florida. Follow our up-to-date news to find out who’s launching and when.

FAQ

Is betting legal in Florida?

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Is DraftKings sportsbook legal in Florida?

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What are the advantages of pre-registration?

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Will I need to be a Florida resident to bet online?

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Can I place a bet after pre-registering?

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