Florida Sports Betting & The Best Sports Betting Sites in FL 2020

It’s true to say that Florida has quite the exceptional range of sports teams, and it also plays host to some of the world’s greatest sporting events, too. However, what about sports betting in the state? Is this something that residents can partake in? Well, it’s a little bit of a rollercoaster area, because certain sectors are legal, and others aren’t. So, while you may be able to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) from Florida, sectors such as commercial casinos and sports betting in general aren’t yet considered legal from within.

So, how do Floridians go about participating in sports betting? Well, fortunately there are various offshore platforms that you can access on a legal basis. And we’re going to provide some insight. Not only into the best of these sports betting sites, but into Florida’s gambling laws around multiple forms of such. So, let’s take a look at sports betting in Florida.

Top 4 Sports Betting Sites For Players From Florida in 2020

Sports wagering in Florida may be a bit of a touch and go area, but that doesn’t mean options aren’t available. There are multiple offshore sportsbooks that will cater to you as a resident of Florida. Yet, these are accessible from across the United States, so you don’t frequently need to be within The Sunshine State to be able to place bets at them. However, we want to inform you on the very best of these, so that you know you’re accessing a safe and secure online sportsbook. Therefore, check out the best sportsbook providers in Florida below.

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Is Florida Sports Betting Legal? NO!

Florida Sports Betting

So, is sports betting legal in Florida? The simple answer to this question is that sports betting is considered illegal for the most part. The only two exceptions to this are pari-mutuel jai alai betting and sports betting that occurs on cruise ships sailing into international waters. Apart from this, Floridians don’t have the option of accessing sports betting from within. And that’s why it’s so helpful for the offshore platforms to be available and accessible.

That being said, steps are being made towards a legal scenario for residents of Florida. State Senator Jeff Brandes has already introduced three different bills that would allow legal sports betting to be set up within. These bills are:

  • S968 – authorizing sports betting under the authority of the state lottery
  • S970 – setting the license fees for operators looking to provide sports betting
  • S972 – setting the taxes that should be paid by all sports betting operators in Florida

It is currently the hope that Florida lawmakers will see the bills passed before the end of 2020, in which case, legal sports betting could be brought to residents by 2021 or 2022. And it’s both the retail and online sectors that are looking to this eventuality. Unfortunately, there are huge hurdles standing in the way of those bills being passed through, which have stopped them from speeding through the Senate.

Florida state is currently in a huge dispute with the Seminole Indian Tribe, which has placed a firm foot down and stated that it owns the rights to all casino gambling within The Sunshine State. Generally speaking, sports betting would need to be linked up with a land-based casino to be set up in Florida, like in most other states with legal sportsbooks. Last November, Florida’s voters moved forward with approving the constitutional Amendment 3. Within that amendment, Florida voters were given the exclusive right to decide upon whether commercial casino gambling should be authorized.

Of course, that focuses heavily on casinos being set up in Florida, so little can be said about sports betting there from that. However, if voters choose to elect for commercial casinos to become legal and authorized, there’s nothing to stop Florida introducing sports betting options into such. Of course, the federally recognized tribes will still have a lot to say about it.

Sports Betting Legalization

Florida unfortunately hasn’t been quick off the mark with moving towards sports betting legalization. While other states like New Jersey and so on too full advantage of the overturning of the PASPA law by the Supreme Court, Florida spent much of 2019 renegotiating with the Seminole Tribe. At that point, State Senator Wilton Simpson was in charge of the negotiations. He managed to come up with a deal that would have guaranteed Florida an income of $500 million a year in tax revenues from gambling. Unfortunately, Gov. Ron DeSantis outrightly rejected the deal. This left the Seminole Tribe with the decision to suspend all payments to the state until issues were resolved.

That embargo on the inflow of cash pretty much pushed politicians in Florida to do something swiftly. And even though Brandes is fully aware that the Seminole Tribe is completely against his three submitted bills, he went forth with submitting them anyway.

While Florida’s state law gives casino operating rights to the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes, other games considered to be gambling – such as the state lottery – are actually under the control of the government. Unfortunately, sports betting is something that exists right in the middle of these areas. The bill from Brandes would essentially give the government the right to contract with third parties for sports betting purposes. This is where the tribe is disputing things, and many legislators actually support their claim, making it difficult for the bills to pass through.

Of course, Amendment 3 poses another problem, because sports betting has not yet been defined specifically as a gambling casino game in Florida. If it was, then it would require the approval of voters before it could be introduced officially.

Sports betting does have quite a heavy backing in the state though, from various areas. Even Florida residents may wish to get involved in the action, considering teams like the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Marlins, Jacksonville Jaguars and so on are all heavily followed. Why wouldn’t they want to bet on their favored teams?

Floridians may just have to wait a little bit longer for a proper deal to be worked out. While DFS is something that can be engaged in legally at sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, this is pretty much the only online link with any sort of sports for bettors. At the moment, offshore platforms are still available for standard sports betting, though.

Our Recommended Florida Sports Betting Site in 2020

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The Top 4 Out-Of-State Sports Betting Sites Overview

There are various offshore sportsbooks that accept players based in Florida. However, not all of them can be considered the best for such gamblers. Therefore, it’s important to involve yourself with a safe and secure online site. Otherwise, you stand to be taken advantage of, and that’s not something we want for you. It is due to this that we have put together a collection of what we believe are the top online sportsbooks for Florida bettors to access. So, let’s find out more about these.

1. Bovada – The Best for Bringing Experience to the Table and an Inviting Platform (Welcome Bonus: 75% Up to $750)

Bovada has been around as a platform since 2011, and it has grown to become one of the most premium offshore sportsbooks aimed at US players. Prior to the 2011 start, Bovada went by the name of Bodog, which it existed as since 1994. However, with 96% payouts on US sports events, 24/7 customer support on hand and future bets able to be placed on the NBA, NHL, NFL and so on, what more could you want from a sports betting site? Plus, it allows you to experience a welcome offer of up to $750, too.

The sportsbook at Bovada and some of its football markets

What we like:

  • Long-running brand
  • Exceptional welcome bonus of up to $750
  • 96% payout on US sporting events
  • Over 30 different sports to place bets on

What we don´t like:

  • Only one free withdrawal allowed per month

1. Intertops Sportsbook – The Best for Longevity and Consistently Quick Withdrawals ($20 Free Bet)

Intertops is pretty much unmatched in its longevity where sports betting is concerned. That’s the main draw for accessing and joining this platform. It’s also the case that the site has proceeded with providing speedy payouts on a consistent basis to its players. And if that wasn’t enough, it supports payments through Bitcoin, has a range of year-round promotions to benefit from and is frequently labelled as a popular option with bettors. When you also consider that it provides an exciting and welcoming website alongside, everything about Intertops is very compelling.

NFL markets on hand at Intertops Sportsbook

What we like:

  • Unmatched longevity in the sports betting world
  • Quick and easy withdrawal process
  • Nice welcome bonus and ongoing rewards
  • Supports multiple payment methods

What we don’t like:

  • Could incorporate more competitive odds

2. BetNow Sportsbook – The Best for Its Betting Software and Large Deposit Bonus (Welcome Bonus: 100% Sign Up Bonus)

While it’s true that the BetNow sportsbook was only established in 2015, it has managed to build up quite a following of bettors already. This could be for many reasons, although undoubtedly one of those reasons is that it offers a great welcome bonus with low wagering attached. Furthermore, the betting software that players get to utilize there is second-to-none. Granted, the selection of sports for betting on at BetNow is smaller than what can be found at various other platforms. However, this doesn’t take anything away from it, because you’re still able to bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and various other American sports.

NFL betting options at the BetNow site

What we like:

  • High-quality sports betting software
  • Great welcome bonus to claim
  • Low wagering requirements on bonuses
  • Supports cryptocurrency transactions

What we don´t like:

  • Smaller range of sports for betting on
  • Site design isn’t quite as nice as other platforms

3. MyBookie.ag Sportsbook – The Best for Its Large Sign-Up Bonus and Year-Round Promotions (Welcome Bonus: 50% first deposit bonus up to $1000)

If you choose to join the MyBookie.ag sportsbook, then you’ll certainly be in for a treat. It provides speedy pay-outs and has a 4.9 average rating with people who choose to bet there. Credit card and debit card transactions are always free of charge, while newcomers get to benefit from a nice sign-up bonus. This consists of 50% up to $1,000 on your first deposit. The desktop version of the site is compelling, as is the mobile variation. And when you also consider that cryptocurrency transactions can occur there, MyBookie.ag really does cater to avid sports bettors.

The homepage of the MyBookie sportsbook

What we like:

  • Excellent sports betting software
  • Wonderful welcome bonus of up to $1,000
  • Free credit and debit card transactions
  • Welcoming and helpful support team

What we don´t like:

  • High rollover for bonus offers
  • Still relatively new to the offshore betting scene

How We Rate the Best Florida Sports Betting Sites

When you seek out an online betting platform, it’s important that you consider certain things. Of course, you need to know if it is safe to play at offshore online bookies, but there are various other features that you should look out for to confirm this. So, what are the things to consider for this?

  • Great range of sports and betting markets
  • High-quality security measures
  • VIP scheme and/or loyalty program
  • Exciting promotions for newcomers and regular players
  • An effective and easy-to-navigate online site
  • Mobile compatibility for Android and iOS handsets
  • Friendly and helpful customer support agents
  • An official gambling license or high level of repute
  • Various supported payment methods for depositing and withdrawing

What to consider when choosing a Sports Betting Sites

It’s important to us that we’re offering you the information on the very best Florida bookmakers. And that’s why we have a team of experts who review the various offshore sites. They then rank them based on various inclusive features, and that’s how we put together our top four of the best. So, what features does our team look out for when reviewing and rating these online sites? Let’s take a look:

Licensed and Regulated

While it’s always helpful if an online sportsbook features its own official license, sometimes platforms will be self-regulating instead. In this case, it’s necessary for a site to have a stellar reputation with regard to their players. Of course, where licenses are concerned, these need to be from reputable organizations.

Banking methods

Depositing funds and withdrawing them is something that needs to be possible through various methods. This includes bank transfers, card transactions, e-wallets, cryptocurrencies and more. Furthermore, the withdrawal speed should be as quick as possible, and there should be as few fees attached to transactions as possible.

Safety and Security

When you register for an account at an online sportsbook, it’s important that you know you’re safe and secure. Therefore, the best platforms should include high-quality security measures. In this respect, it’s necessary for them to incorporate a secure server and data encryption technology. These keep your personal details safe and out of third-party hands.

Bonus and rewards

We’re always interested in finding an online sportsbook that contains its own range of special offers. That’s why our team has discovered Florida’s best online sportsbooks with such offers on hand. These should be available for newcomers and ongoing players, and should provide perks like bonuses, free spins and cashback rewards, amongst other things.

Customer support

If the time should ever come when you’re in need of some assistance, a helpful support team is something that is needed. Advisors should be accessible through live chat, email and telephone, as well as potentially through social media operations. Furthermore, this should be available on a 24/7 basis.

Range of Betting Markets

There’s little point in joining an online sportsbook if there are only one or two sports to bet on. That’s why our team has found the best Florida sportsbooks with the largest range of available sports and associated markets on hand. These include American football, college football, hockey, basketball, baseball and so on.

The Future of Florida Sports Betting & Online Gambling

So, when is sports betting likely to launch in the state of Florida? Well, in a realistic world, it’s more than likely going to be 2022. And that’s the earliest date, so it could be longer. Not only are necessary pieces of legislature needed to be created and pass through a legislative session, but there’s also the potential for another vote to be put to the people of Florida, too. Following on from that, legislators will need to create the regulatory rules and issue licenses to applicants of such. Casinos will need to be remodeled to accommodate sports gambling options, and online/mobile technology needs to be set up for such as well. Therefore, it could be 2023 before anything comes into effect.

If mobile sports betting becomes a possibility, then there’s also the potential that this will need to take place from within a tribal or commercial casino. Of course, this depends upon if a deal can be reached for such with the tribes and so on. Therefore, online gambling of this nature may end up being postponed time after time. That would be quite the shame with so many professional sports teams being active in Florida. Yet, it’s likely that a couple of Super Bowl events would be missed out on, so bettors would need to access the best offshore platforms as normal.

Of course, the Seminole Tribe still possess casinos like the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, and various other Seminole Casino establishments like the Big Cypress in Clewiston and the site in Immokalee. Whether or not these casinos will be given access rights to the sports betting sector is another question.

Where Else is Online Gambling Legal in the US?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Best Online Casinos in Florida

If you’re more interested in playing casino games, then you needn’t worry. We’ve got some recommendations on the best online casino sites for residents of Florida to access and join. They feature some of the best games, exciting promotions and inviting platforms.

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The Bottom Line

Florida still has some way to go before it gets to a legal sports betting sector. Fortunately, the offshore sites will provide you with great locations to visit and engage in such activities. While it would be nice for Floridians to be able to access this pastime from within the state, this doesn’t make the offshore sites any less inviting.

Florida Sports Betting FAQs

What Regulations for Gambling Exist in Florida Right Now?

As of the moment, the Department of Business and Professional Regulations Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is what regulates the state’s horse racing, harness horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai games and poker rooms at specific cardrooms. At the same time, Broward and Miami-Dade counties authorize slot machine gaming at pari-mutuel racetracks. Tribal casinos and gaming are regulated separately from the state.

What Sports Teams from Florida Can Be Wagered on at Offshore Sportsbooks?

Generally speaking, all offshore sportsbooks provide wagering on Florida’s sports teams. These include the Miami Hurricanes, Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, the Marlins, the Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Gators, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and so on.

Will Bettors Be Able to Access Florida Sports Betting from Outside the State Lines?

The likelihood is that if Florida regulates online sports betting, it will only be possible within state borders. This will be ensured by the use of geolocation technology.

Which DFS Sites Can Be Accessed in Florida?

FanDuel and DraftKings are both accessible to residents of Florida at the moment.

Is It Difficult to Deposit and Withdraw Money at Offshore Sportsbooks?

The recommended sites here all support various payment methods. This means that you should be able to take your pick from credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, check, bank transfers, cryptocurrencies and more.

What Will the Minimum Age for Sports Betting Be in Florida?

In Florida, you need to be aged 18 to participate in pari-mutuel betting and poker games, while gaming machines require you to be 21. Sports betting bills are likely to move closer to the latter of these ages as the minimum.

Jack Schiffko

About Jack Schiffko

Jack S. is a seasoned gambler and writer with over 10 years experience within the iGaming industry. He has written for several online casinos, bookmakers and iGaming news outlets. His favorite subjects are slots and live casino games. Find out what kind of games he recommends and prefers.