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 state used to rely on federally placed laws to dictate that there is no sports gambling in Florida. Now that such laws have been removed, we have to look directly at state laws to find out the current stance for sports gambling in the Sunshine State.
Fla. Stat. 849.14 makes it against the law to bet money on any contest of skill, speed, or endurance of a human in return for money or another thing of value.
Fla. Stat. 849.25 states that bookmaking is not allowed 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 not permitted 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. It is possible that Florida lawmakers could amend these laws and allow sports gambling to happen within the state. But that is going to be a long process, especially since the Seminole Tribe has a strong hold over gambling in the state. To be completely honest, we do not have an idea right now when sports betting will be introduced in Florida.
Federal Laws That Impact Florida Sports Betting
There are several laws that have impacted sports betting in Florida. Although the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has been completely repealed, we can still take a look at it along with the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act to find out where the state stood on the issues. The first of these laws (chronologically) is the Wire Act, which passed in 1961 and pertains to wire communications. Essentially, this law made it against the law for betting businesses to use wire communications for sending and receiving betting information across state lines. Targeting unlicensed sportsbooks, this law was primarily designed to fight organized crime, but nevertheless, set a precedent for sports betting prohibition. These days, the Wire Act now expands its reach to include the internet. But it only prevents interstate gambling. Offshore sportsbooks are exempt from the Wire Act because they are based outside of the country.
The second and third laws that relate to sports betting are PASPA and UIGEA. PASPA used to prevent from the states all over the country from decided for themselves to legalize sports gambling. We will discuss more in a further section. The UIGEA 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. This can be easily circumvented by using different withdrawal methods to receive your funds from your sportsbook account.
What Is PASPA?
PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was the most influential law on the books in regard to legal sports betting in the US. Passed back in 1992, the federal law made it impossible for the states to enact new sports betting laws. 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.
But as we have indicated, this used to be the case. PASPA was repealed by the Supreme Court of the United States in mid-2018. The law was deemed unconstitutional and now states can freely enact new sports gambling laws. This includes Florida. Although Florida has to go through the Seminole Tribe to create sports betting laws, there are no federal restrictions holding back the Sunshine State. It could be a while before new legislation is introduced, but the possibility is there.
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. Although there is no indication that the state laws will change anytime soon, online offshore sportsbooks are a legal way to bet on sports in the state. All of the legal Florida sports betting sites that we suggest using are licensed and regulated in their respective countries. Though based offshore, the sites have been accepting Floridians and players from all over the US for decades. Sites like Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting 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
Because there are no state-licensed sportsbooks in Florida, you will not find any sports betting apps you can use in the app store. But there are ways to bet your favorite teams using your mobile device. All of the major online sportsbooks we recommend 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. 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 there are some gambling options available for those under the age of 21, sports bettors will have to wait until they are 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. For that reason, we recommend you wait until you are 21 to make a bet.
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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 federal and state 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 we have suggested, you’ll never find yourself in an unsafe situation. You can easily open multiple accounts for free to find out which ones work out the best for you.
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, any laws regarding sports betting are focused on taking down unlicensed 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 your 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. The online offshore sportsbooks we have recommended offer several options for you to make a deposit. One of them will work and the sportsbooks’ help desk will assist you in making a deposit.
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 and other cryptocurrencies. While the top sites offer a bevy of different deposit options, the most convenient and safest method is probably cryptos. Cryptocurrencies 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 cryptocurrencies allow for nearly instant depositing and skip any unnecessary fees. Beyond that, it provides 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 are, 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 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 what veteran gamblers do. 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 best 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.
What Is Shopping Lines?
Shopping lines and odds are the reason why you would have multiple sportsbook accounts. Let’s say for example you want to wager on the Miami Heat. It looks like the odds for them in one site is -115, but another site is saying the odds are even. If that is the case, making a bet on the site that says even will earn you more money than the site with -115 odds. Shopping lines is looking at multiple different sportsbooks and finding out which one has the best odds for your team. If you want to make the most amount of money in the long run, you will need to shop lines and have multiple sports betting accounts. Just remember one sportsbook account per website.
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.