Florida sports betting sure was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?
The Seminole Tribe of Florida was given the go-ahead to operate “legal” sports betting via Hard Rock Sportsbook thanks to a new tribal compact signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and approved after 45 days. But several legal challenges followed, and Hard Rock was forced to suspend operations after just five weeks – and sports betting hasn’t been back to the Sunshine State since.
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Caesars is proving to be one of the most aggressively expanding brands in sports betting. Unfortunately, like all major U.S. sportsbooks, they are quick to limit you if you go on a tear and their odds boost promos offer low maximum bet limits.
BetMGM is one of the top-rated sportsbooks in the U.S. offering some of the best live betting odds in the industry. They’re also the largest iGaming operator across the U.S.
FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North America’s most popular sports, and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting.
DraftKings had a solid reputation as the leading DFS provider in the country, so the shift to legal sports betting felt natural. They offer one of the most voluminous collections of ongoing promos and odds boosts in the industry as they cater to the beginner crowd. However, their reputation has dwindled as outspoken CEO Jason Robins leads the charge of the anti-profitable bettor mentality that runs rampant amongst sportsbooks that are quick to limit winning players.
bet365 is one of the largest and most popular sportsbooks globally. With a well-received mobile app, popular same-game parlays, and a wide variety of sports leagues to bet on it’s no wonder 80 million sports bettors worldwide continue to use bet365.
Online since: 2015
PointsBet’s innovative nature shows that they don’t want to just be another book you place typical bets. Unfortunately, they are quick to limit bettors on a hot streak and limit the number of promos you’re able to take advantage of, making it necessary for you to shop at other books regularly.
With a large variety of ongoing promos and contests featuring Barstool personalities, Barstool Sportsbook is a solid option available for casual bettors.
While this book won’t wow you with its design, you won’t find many apps easier to navigate – or with the sheer volume of sports markets Betway offers. And although you'll find more generous signup offers elsewhere, Betway remains a strong global sports betting brand that deserves to be mentioned among the second-tier sportsbook options in the U.S.
Thanks to the gaming compact the Seminole Tribe signed, that group had first crack at legal online sports betting – and the only sports wagering that has any chance of taking place in Florida before 2025 would come from a ruling in the Seminoles’ favor.
As it stands, Hard Rock would be front and center as the primary provider of online sports wagering if the gaming compact is reinstated. And if Florida ever expands online sports betting to include other operators, the top sportsbooks in the U.S. will be lining up to gain access to the third-most populous state in the country.
|🚀 Launch Date||TBD|
|💰 # of Betting Sites||0|
|📱 Online Sports Betting||❌ No|
|🎰 Retail Sports Betting||❌ No|
|🖥️ Online Casino||❌ No|
|🃏 Retail Casino||✅ Yes|
|🏈 College Sports Betting||❌ No|
|🌎 2022 Population (est.)||21.6 million|
|💸 Tax Rate||TBD|
The addition of mobile sports betting in Florida will mean plenty of bonuses and offers for anyone making wagers within state lines. We encourage everyone to maximize their bonus and offer exposure, since many of these first-time inducements result in real cash landing in sports bettors’ accounts, with little playthrough required (for the most part).
When sports betting is legalized in FL, you can consult our top list for the best sports betting options available to you. Our interactive list will allow you to sort sportsbooks based on a number of criteria, including banking options, bonuses and quality of customer service.
If you’re looking for more information before making your choice, be sure to check out our detailed, unbiased reviews for each of the top sportsbooks in Florida once sports betting is legalized. This is especially important if you want to understand how each book’s bonus offers work.
Registration requirements will vary slightly by sportsbook, but most follow the same protocols. Be sure to have your personal information (name, address, phone number) and credit card details (number, expiry date, CVV) handy.
Once you’re comfortable with how your sportsbook’s new signup bonus works, it will be time to make your initial deposit and claim that sweet bonus. The majority of first-time offers for Florida residents should come in one of two forms:
Congratulations! You’re ready to place a wager. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the app interface before diving in. Most mobile operators make it easy for new sports bettors to navigate, but it’s still a good idea to know where everything is.
From there, you can place any type of wager you like; the most popular bet types are the moneyline, spread or total. You can also dive into team or player props, or even kick things off with a futures bet.
Once you have the desired wager(s) in your betting card, take one last look to ensure you’ve made the selections you want. If everything is good, simply click the “Bet” button – and you’re off!
Welcome to Florida, where the state’s sports betting history has taken the form of a telenovela over the past few years.
At the center of it all is the sports compact agreed upon between the Seminole Tribe and Gov. DeSantis, which kicked off a wild stretch in which legal sports betting was off, then on, then off again – and there’s still a chance the Seminole tribe could be back in business if another gaming compact is created.
Here’s a look at Florida’s caliente sports betting history:
While many states couldn’t wait to get sports betting legislation in place following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, the Seminole Tribe made sure that things wouldn’t happen quickly in Florida.
The tribe supported Amendment 3, which would prohibit Florida lawmakers from passing any gaming bills without the initiation and support of the voters. That amendment was approved by Floridians in a November 2018 vote.
Sports betting was at the center of another wave of drama as the calendar flipped. The state and the Seminoles were nearing the end of their arrangement that saw the tribe pay a whopping $350 million annually to the state, and a new deal was the priority.
Sen. Wilton Simpson worked out a deal with the Seminoles on a new compact, one that would see the yearly stipend increased to $500 million while allowing the tribe to offer sports betting; pari-mutuels would also host sportsbooks while paying a cut to the tribe.
That compact landed on Gov. DeSantis’s desk – and he refused to sign it. That angered the Seminole Tribe, which promptly pulled its annual payment off the table indefinitely.
Measures and countermeasures punctuated an eventful 2020 session in Florida’s legal sports betting story.
Sen. Jeff Brandes presented three bills early in 2020, each of which would put sports betting regulation and legislation in the hands of the Florida Lottery. This would cut the Seminole Tribe out of the process entirely – a tactic that predictably went nowhere given the political power the tribe wields within the state.
In turn, the Seminoles supported a proposal that would ban the lottery from offering sports betting in any form; the bill easily moved past the House Gaming Control Subcommittee but never made it to the House for a vote.
In the end, nothing was in place in time to pass through the state legislature.
Just when things were looking bleak, the state and the Seminole Tribe announced a paradigm-shifting sports compact agreement that included state-wide sports betting.
DeSantis signed off on the compact in May, and the federal government did not object over the course of a 45-day review period, essentially validating the agreement. Multiple lawsuits followed almost immediately following its approval, but the Seminole Tribe moved ahead unfettered and launched its Hard Rock mobile sportsbook Nov. 1.
Three weeks later, Judge Dabney Friedrich threw out the entire sports betting compact.
At the heart of the decision: The contention that the Seminole Tribe was allowing bettors in the state to place a sports wager from anywhere, as long as the servers where the bets were housed were on tribal land. Friedrich pointed out that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was clear: All bets must be placed on tribal lands.
Ironically, the compact also violated Amendment 3, which the Seminoles had been so supportive of en route to its passing in 2018.
Hard Rock Sportsbook remained live for two more weeks following the decision before shelving its service on Dec. 4.
With both sides embedded and the appeals process going on throughout 2022, two other major developments took place.
A joint FanDuel-DraftKings initiative to allow sports betting throughout the state was presented late in 2021, but required nearly 900,000 signatures by Feb. 1, 2022 in order to make it to a vote. The group came up well short, producing fewer than 500,000 verified signatures by the deadline.
In late April, in response to being thwarted in its efforts to get its sports betting compact reinstated, the Seminoles once again opted to withhold revenue-sharing payments. The money was redirected to escrow.
Like most states, Florida has put safeguards in place to ensure that gamblers have a way out of any potential trouble spots.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling offers those with gambling issues access to a variety of resources, including a quiz to help determine whether you need help, and contacts for counseling services.
It will come as no surprise to see a rather extensive list of major professional and amateur sports available to Florida bettors when betting becomes a reality – a list that includes (but is not limited to):
There are three betting markets that likely won’t be part of the sports betting offering in the Sunshine State:
Sports betting will likely remain a pipe dream for Florida residents and visitors for the foreseeable – but when wagering is finally legal, the state’s professional sports venues will be right in the middle of the action.
Early glimpses of potential legislation suggest that Florida stadiums and arenas will be given online sports betting licenses, allowing them to partner with operators for the purpose of creating sportsbook lounges within the venues. And we can think of at least one FL-based team that will have no trouble partnering with a sportsbook.
Here’s a quick look at the nine major professional franchises that play their home games in Florida:
The Dolphins and Hard Rock are the perfect pairing. The sportsbook operator already sponsors the team’s stadium – and while the NFL prohibits physical sportsbook locations in its venues, you can expect plenty of branding and perhaps even a sponsored lounge. Whatever the case, Hard Rock is already embedded.
Here’s a team that won’t have any trouble landing sports betting partnerships if Florida ever opens up completely. In addition to building on several years of sustained success on the field, Tampa Bay is a tourist hotbed (like most of the state), which means plenty of interest from visitors in placing live wagers at Raymond James Stadium.
The Jaguars have been mired in mediocrity in recent years, but that shouldn’t have any impact on their ability to match with sportsbook operators. Jacksonville isn’t quite a tourist destination on the level of a Miami or an Orlando, but with a devoted NFL fan base and a population nearing a million people, there are still ample bettors here.
NBA arenas have been some of the biggest hotspots for sportsbook partnership activity – and when the time comes, FTX Arena is going to have more than its fair share of suitors. A passionate fan base? Check. Tourists 24/7? Check. Named after a crypto exchange? Check. Don’t be surprised to see the Heat align with multiple operators.
Orlando screams “fun” – and most of that screaming comes from Space Mountain or Expedition Everest. But it would be great for the home of Disney World to have a little more action for adults. Enter legal sports betting at Amway Center, which would almost certainly be a hit among season ticket holders and Orlando visitors alike.
Will the Marlins follow the example set by the division-rival Washington Nationals? The Nats are the first Major League Baseball team whose stadium is connected to a retail sports betting venue (BetMGM Sportsbook). LoanDepot Park should at least see plenty of sports betting signage and branding from multiple sportsbook partnerships.
It will be interesting to see how the Rays incorporate sports betting elements into Tropicana Field when the time comes. Most teams have worked in signage and branding deals, with some allowing for sponsored sports bars or lounges. Given Tampa’s population, we should see several sportsbooks vying for a Rays deal.
Florida pro sports teams have an intriguing dynamic where none share an arena or stadium. And with FLA Live Arena based in Sunrise as opposed to Miami proper, it presents a completely separate opportunity for sportsbook partnerships – either for big operators who want even more exposure, or mid-tier options looking to break in.
Which major U.S. sports betting operator wouldn’t want to hitch its wagon to one of the most successful NHL franchises of the past 20 years? Not only have the Lightning been a winning machine, they also have one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, having finished inside the top-10 in attendance every season since 2011-12.
Unfortunately, sports betting is illegal in Florida. And it could be for a while, unless the Seminole Tribe has any success in the courts; if their gaming compact isn’t validated, sports betting might not be a reality in Florida until 2025.
You will be able to create an account, deposit, make bets and withdraw at any retail or mobile sportsbook, even if you don’t reside in Florida.
It’s uncertain whether esports will be part of a Florida sports betting bill. And even if it is, there will likely be regulations in place where events would first need to be approved by a state legislative body before showing up on sportsbook apps.
Florida joining the ranks of legal sports betting states will be a significant development for the industry when you consider that it ranks third in the country with a population of 22.2 million (2022 estimate)
It’s unclear which sportsbooks will enter a legal Florida sports betting market – besides Hard Rock, that is. It’s safe to assume that every major sports betting business will be in the running, and the solid reputations of operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM should earn them early entry into the market.