Florida Sports Betting Laws
Many sports bettors may be surprised to learn that Florida has not written any state-level laws that pertain to sports betting. The prohibitions that affect betting on sports in Florida come from the federal level. Rather than taking the time to enact their own laws, the state government took an approach similar to the majority of the United States- rely on the federal umbrella to govern sports betting. The lack of sports betting laws makes it easier for residents to use legal Florida sports betting sites to bet on the Seminoles and other popular teams. The only laws that could apply to sports betting in the state are those that relate to general gambling.
Fla. Stat. 849.14 makes it illegal to bet money on any contest of skill, speed, or endurance of a human in return for money or other thing of value.
Fla. Stat. 849.25 states that bookmaking is illegal and that any person convicted is guilty of a second-degree felony.
These statutes and those featured throughout Chapter 849 make it abundantly clear that bookmaking, facilitating, and/or operating a gambling scheme is illegal within the state. There are no laws that mention using the internet or offshore betting sites for sports wagering. As long as you do not try to operate a sportsbook within the state, you are in the clear.
Federal Laws That Impact Florida Sports Betting
All of Florida’s legal sports betting woes come from prohibitions at the federal level. A legal-trifecta that consists of the Wire Act, PASPA, and UIGEA stands to effectively outlaw sports betting in the US.
The first of these laws (chronologically) is the Wire Act , which passed in 1961 and pertains to wire communications. Essentially, this law made it illegal for betting businesses to use wire communications for sending and receiving betting information across state lines. Targeting illegal sportsbooks, this law was primarily designed to fight organized crime, but nevertheless, set a precedent for sports betting prohibition.
The second and third laws that relate to sports betting are PASPA and UIGEA. PASPA is the big-dog that mandated a blanket ban against sports betting, but we will discuss it further in its own section. UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, is another major law that passed in 2006. UIGEA targets the financial side of sports betting, essentially stating that betting businesses cannot accept payment for sports betting over the internet. Similar to the Wire Act, UIGEA uses an indirect method to take aim at sports betting.
What Is PASPA?
PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, is perhaps the most influential law on the books in regard to legal sports betting in the US. Passed back in 1992, the bill effectively outlaws the act of sports betting nationwide. Exemptions were given to four states: Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and most notably, Nevada. These states already had regulations in place regarding legal sports betting, while all other states were banned from doing anything similar in the future.
Currently, PASPA is being challenged in the Supreme Court. Many find the law to be unconstitutional, as it provides imbalanced power to the states. Namely, the four exempt states are free to regulate and gain immense profits from sports betting while the vast majority of the country is shutout from the practice. This obviously sounds unfair, which is why the Supreme Court has agreed to officially review the case.
What Is The Game Act?
The Game Act, or Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, can be thought of as an anti-PASPA. While PASPA effectively outlawed legal sports betting across the board, the Game Act is designed to undue any such prohibitions, also providing a regulatory framework for legal sports betting. Legal Florida sports betting sites would be able to be regulated on a state level rather than offshore, and each state government would have the final say over all types of gambling.
Among other things, the GAME act would regulate legal sports betting by giving authority to the Federal Trade Commission and outlining consumer protections. Champions of the bill say modernization is the name of game, slamming the outdated and convoluted laws currently on the books. With an estimated $400 billion in gaming action going unregulated today, the GAME act might finally help the US harness the undeniably huge industry that is legal sports betting.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Florida?
Online sports betting is legal within the state of Florida, given that there are no laws on the books that disallow it. Federal laws like PASPA and the UIGEA do come into play, however the use of offshore sports betting sites will help you avoid any trouble with those prohibitions. All of the legal Florida sports betting sites that we suggest using are licensed and regulated in countries like Antigua and the United Kingdom. Though based offshore, the sites have been accepting Floridians and players from all over the US for decades. Sites like Bovada, BetOnline, and 5Dimes are just a few of the online sportsbooks that offer safe and legal online sports betting to Florida residents.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps for Florida Bettors
Since sports betting in the US is technically illegal under PASPA, you won’t find any local sports betting apps. However, all of the major online sportsbooks offer mobile platforms to accompany their desktop experiences. You will still be able to bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars, Orlando Magic, and other popular teams from the mobile sports betting site. The same wager types will be available from your mobile, including moneyline, point spread, total, and parlay bets. As always, our top picks are Bovada, BetOnline, and 5Dimes, all of which offer mobile apps. With all the same betting options you’d expect to find on their full sites, these online sportsbooks truly place unlimited legal sports betting at your fingertips.
What Is the Legal Age to Gamble In Florida?
The legal age for gambling in Florida is 21 years old. While some activities like poker are open to 18 year olds, any sports betting carries a minimum age of 21.
Legal Florida sports betting sites will ask you to verify your age upon sign-up. If you are found in violation of their minimum age requirements, you will be subject to penalties that can include a lifetime ban and the forfeiture of all your winnings.
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Florida Sports Betting FAQ's
Are Online Sportsbooks Safe To Use If You Live In Florida?
Legal Florida sports betting sites are safe for residents to use. Offshore sites like Bovada, BetOnline, and 5Dimes are outside of PASPA jurisdiction and therefore operate with full legal status.
Beyond that, these top sites are well-tested and can boast endless positive reviews from satisfied customers. As long as you’re sticking with industry leaders, you’ll never find yourself in an unsafe situation. Just make sure to browse several sites before settling on the one (or ones) that make you feel the most comfortable.
Has Anyone Been Arrested For Sports Betting In Florida?
There is no record of a single person being arrested for placing a bet online in the state of Florida. Due mostly to the state’s lack of sports betting laws, you won’t find any legal trouble by using offshore sportsbooks within the Sunshine State.
Moreover, the laws on the federal level are aimed at operators of illegal betting operations, and there is no precedent for the government targeting individual sports bettors. As long as you don’t find yourself opening up a shady sportsbook, you’ll have a perfectly safe and legal online sports betting experience.
What Should I Do If My Bank Didn't Process My Credit Or Debit Card Deposit?
If you’re having trouble with your deposit to a legal Florida sports betting site, there are several options you can try. First, you can always try using a different deposit method. If you’re particular card carrier is unable to process the deposit, it may be an issue on their end, which means it’s time to explore other deposit options that don’t complicate things.
Another option you have is to perhaps switch sportsbooks entirely. If a particular online sports betting site doesn’t seem to be processing your deposit, it may be an issue on their end. That being said, each sports betting site uses different processing services, which means your chances of success are completely different depending on which site you choose.
What Is The Best Way To Fund Your Sports Betting Account?
Generally speaking, the best method for funding your legal sports betting account is Bitcoin. While the top sites offer a bevy of different deposit options, the most convenient and safest method is probably Bitcoin. As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin will allow you to fund your legal sports betting account without incurring any extra fees related to processing, and the rate of transfer is second to none.
Other methods may charge you a small percentage fee and take several days to process, but Bitcoin allows for nearly instant depositing and skips any unnecessary fees. Beyond that, it provides a security that other methods simply can’t match. To simplify things, think of it this way, the best method for depositing within an online marketplace like offshore sportsbooks is, naturally, an online currency.
Do Online Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Football?
They sure do. All the top legal Florida sports betting sites feature odds for both professional and collegiate football. You’ll find plenty of betting action around teams like the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or if pro-leagues aren’t your thing, don’t worry, Florida college teams are well-represented as well. Whether you’re a Florida Gator or a Florida State Seminole, you can always put your money where your mouth is.
As far as the action goes, you’ll find all the betting options you can imagine. Everything from spread betting to futures betting is available on most sites. You can place a single bet on the over/under, or even parlay your bets for a flawless day of football. No matter what sort of football action you’re looking for, online sports betting sites have you covered.
What Is Live Betting?
Live Betting is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; a product of modern technology, live betting is the ability to continue placing bets once a game (or match) has started. Traditionally, betting lines would close down at the start of a contest, but with the advent of live betting, sports bettors can still place bets at any point during the action.
As you can imagine, the draw of live betting is that you can adjust your betting habits as the momentum of the game shifts and develops. For example, the pre-game favorite can quickly drop to even odds or even become the underdog as the game progresses, which presents a whole new slate of betting opportunities.
For a recent example, look to 2017’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Falcons. While the Patriots were a slight favorite before the game, their odds quickly plummeted as the Falcons took a commanding 25-point lead. For the savvy (or clairvoyant) live bettor, the Patriots trailing by 25 was an incredible opportunity to place a wager on them with a tremendous potential payout.
Live betting represents an evolution in legal sports betting, one that delivers more dynamic and engaging action than ever before.
Do Legal Florida Online Sportsbooks Have Live Betting?
Absolutely. Since the top legal Florida sports betting sites are industry leaders like Bovada, BetOnline, and 5Dimes, you can rest assured that your online sportsbook offers live betting. Generally speaking, any sportsbook not offering a live betting option is simply unable to, due to limited technology. So, since the only sportsbooks you should be considering are industry leaders anyway, you won’t have to worry.
Can I Have More Than One Online Sportsbook Account?
Having more than one online sportsbook account is actually highly recommendable. While having more than one account at any one sportsbook is frowned upon, and could lead to the forfeiture of your winnings, having accounts at multiple legal betting sites is a savvy bettor’s best bet.
The reason being, different sites often have different lines, meaning that the odds for any event will vary from site to site. Obviously then, the best way to find the premium odds for any given event is to shop around.
So, say you’ve checked out top legal sports betting sites like Bovada, BetOnline, and 5Dimes. Instead of narrowing yourself to your single favorite site, it’s definitely a wise move to consider opening an account with each site. This way, you’ll always be privy to the absolute bet lines available, regardless of which site posts them. Having accounts at multiple legal Florida sports betting sites will open up your betting action to the most possible variety.
Betting On Horse Racing In Florida
Horse racing, and the betting that accompanies it, is actually very popular in the state of Florida. With a number of different tracks from Hallandale Beach to Tampa Bay, some even consider Florida to be one of the premier horse racing destinations in the country. Complete with pari-mutuel betting, Florida’s tracks should satisfy any race fan or sports bettor out there.
There are plenty of off-track betting options in Florida as well. The next best thing to live betting at the racetrack, these off-track locations provide the thrill of legal sports betting and a place to watch all the horse racing action from across the country.
The Status of Daily Fantasy Sports in Florida
Daily Fantasy Sports are absolutely available to play in the Sunshine State. As the latest trend to sweep the nation, daily fantasy sports attract avid sports bettors and casual sports fans alike. Differing from traditional fantasy contests in that they offer daily match-ups instead of season-long commitments, DFS are changing the way people, Floridians included, engage their favorite sports.
Both of the industry’s leaders, FanDuel and DraftKings, operate in Florida. Some states take issue with DFS, questioning their status as a skill-based game, but Florida is not one of them. That is fortunate for Florida residents, who have full access to all of the contests that FanDuel and DraftKings offer. Choosing between the two sites is a matter of preference, as the basis for both is nearly identical. You can peruse their sites to find which sign-up bonuses or game variety appeals most to you, but either way, you’ll be thrust into the new and exciting world of Daily Fantasy Sports.