Florida Sports Betting in 2021

With the announcement of an October 15, 2021, launch date, Florida is primed to become the most populous state in the U.S. to offer legal mobile sports betting.

On May 25, 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a gaming compact that would allow Florida’s Seminole Tribe to offer retail and online sports betting in the Sunshine State. After gaining federal approval on August 6, 2021, it's now just a matter of time before sports gambling arrives in Florida.

This guide to Florida sports betting will serve as your go-to resource for the latest news and updates over the coming months.

Florida, United States
Florida Flag
Florida, United States
Online betting in the Sunshine State
Florida Map
  • User Icon

    Population: 21.6 million

  • 21+ Icon

    Legal age for sports betting: 21

  • Dice Icon

    Online sports betting: Coming soon

  • Book Icon

    Retail sportsbooks: Coming soon

  • Percent Icon

    Sports betting revenue: N/A

Florida Map

Is sports betting legal in Florida?

Nearly, yes. The state’s pact with the Seminole Tribe was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior on August 6, 2021. Now that the agreement has been published in the Federal Register, it's officially considered in effect and on track to launch on October 15, 2021. Bettors will need to sit tight as they wait for retail and online sportsbooks to set up shop in the Sunshine State.

Engage with our interactive legal tracker for the latest information on sports wagering legislation across the country. 

Timeline of sports betting in Florida

Florida is now on track to offer retail and mobile sports betting in 2021. Some legal battles are expected to ensue, even after the federal government deemed the Seminole-Florida gaming compact acceptable, but all signs point to an October 15, 2021 launch.

Here’s a summary of Florida’s sports betting journey to date:

Online sports betting: Coming soon to Florida

Sports betting could be live in the Sunshine State as early as October 15, 2021. The main point of contention with Florida’s new gaming pact was the inclusion of state-wide mobile betting  (mobile bets with tribal casinos must be placed on tribal land). Now that the U.S. Department of the Interior has deemed the agreement to be compliant with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IRGA) — citing the physical location of the tribe’s servers — the Seminole Tribe will be free to move forward with both retail and online sportsbooks.

Expect the Hard Rock Casino to dominate the Florida sports betting scene early on. The Hard Rock Sportsbook and the Hard Rock Digital Sportsbook will almost certainly be the first retail and mobile sportsbooks to launch in the Sunshine State.

Who can bet on sports in Florida?

Adults 21 and over will be permitted to place legal sports wagers on a legal sportsbook app or website or in person at a tribal casino. 

Here's a brief look at what's in store for Florida sports bettors:

21plus Legal age

If you’re 21 or older, you will be allowed to place a sports bet in Florida.

bank Retail sportsbooks

It would stand to reason that brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be located in most if not all of Florida’s tribal casinos. Pari-mutuel betting facilities were also in line to partner with the Seminole Tribe and offer sports betting, but the Department of the Interior nixed those plans.

Hard Rock Sportsbook in Hollywood, FL will be a top option for in-person betting.

21plus Mobile betting

Mobile betting will be permitted in Florida. Sports bettors will be able to place wagers from anywhere in the state through the Seminole Tribe’s servers. These servers will be located on tribal lands.

21plus Remote registration

Florida sports bettors will almost assuredly be permitted to register with online sportsbooks from anywhere in the state. With mobile betting approved, Floridians are not likely to be required to visit a casino to register in person.

globe Within state borders

In states that have legalized sports betting, online sportsbooks use geofencing to ensure all users have both feet firmly planted in the state. This process will be no different in Florida.

percent Taxable winnings

With no state income tax, Florida sports bettors will only need to fork over the federally mandated 24% on gambling winnings over $600. Luckily, gambling losses can offset these winnings as well.

 

Crossing state lines: Nearby betting sites 2021

Few options exist if Floridians are looking for alternative locations to place sports bets while they wait for legal wagering in the Sunshine State. Mississippi has legalized sports betting — but only in licensed casinos. Tennessee, on the other hand, is the nearest option for mobile betting. 

The pros and cons of Florida sports betting

With mobile sports betting on the way, Floridians are set to benefit from the convenience of placing wagers anywhere within state lines.

However, with the Seminole Tribe owning exclusive rights to offer sports betting in Florida, bettors will be unlikely to be offered the most favorable betting lines.

Florida sports betting
Pros
  • Mobile sports betting from anywhere in the state
  • Remote registration expected
  • Few limitations on sports bets
Cons
  • Monopolized market may lead to lackluster betting lines
  • Big industry players left out in the cold
  • Casino-only retail betting

How to start betting in Florida

With legalized retail and mobile sports betting, Florida sports bettors will have the option of visiting a physical sportsbook or legal sports betting website or app to get started.

1

Select a sportsbook

All sportsbooks will run through Florida’s Seminole Tribe. Still, it will be important to identify which one best suits your betting needs.

Keep an eye on sign-up bonuses, betting lines, and the ease of making deposits and withdrawals. Don’t forget to read over some reviews as they become available.

2

Register online

Now that mobile sports betting has been deemed acceptable in Florida, there should be no reason to limit bettors to in-person registration. Florida will very likely allow users to register, make deposits, and place bets — all from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere else in the state.

3

Claim a bonus

Players should expect sign-up bonuses in Florida, but we’re not sure what they will look like yet. The Seminole Tribe will have a monopoly on all of the state’s sports betting, so they may not feel the need to convince Floridians to choose their platforms. Popular bonuses like deposit matches, risk-free bets, and no-deposit bonuses could still be offered here.

4

Deposit funds

Sportsbooks offer a variety of methods to fund your account. Florida sports bettors will be able to use PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, PayNearMe, or cash when gambling in person.

Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the relevant terms and conditions to avoid any unexpected transaction fees.

5

Choose your bet types

You’ll be able to find all of the popular bet types when sports betting comes to the Sunshine State. These include moneylinespoint spreadsOver/Unders (totals)parlays, prop bets, and futures.

6

Start betting

After you’ve chosen a sportsbook, claimed your bonus, and funded your account, you’ll be ready to place your first sports wager. Remember, if you find superior odds elsewhere, there’ll be nothing stopping you from hopping over to another sportsbook.

7

Withdraw funds

Withdrawing your sports bet winnings should be straightforward in Florida. These transactions tend to take a bit longer to process than deposits, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait a few days to access your bankroll.

odds icon Reading the odds 

Reading sports betting odds is not as difficult as it may seem. American odds are used as the default option in the United States, and they use minus (-) and plus (+) signs to indicate favorites and underdogs.

Favorites are shown with a minus sign, and the number you see tells you the amount you would have to wager to win $100. For example, -160 odds show you that a $160 bet would net you $100 in winnings.

Underdogs are slightly different. A plus sign is used to show the amount you’d stand to win when placing a $100 bet. For example, +110 odds tell you a $100 bet would lead to $110 in profit.

Some sportsbooks also show odds as fractions and decimals. Check out our odds converter to cycle through all three types of betting odds.

 

What you can't bet on in Florida

Floridians are not permitted to bet on any sporting event yet. When sports betting kicks off later in 2021, all professional, college, and Olympic sports should be on the table.

Illegal offshore betting websites do operate in Florida, but it’s best to steer clear of these sportsbooks as they are unlicensed and have been known to mishandle user accounts.

Money Icon Politics

Politics will be off-limits in Florida. No state has legalized this type of wagering to date.

Money Icon Entertainment award ceremonies

Florida isn't likely to permit betting on celebrity award shows such as the Grammy Awards or Oscars. 

Money Icon Esports

It remains to be seen if esports betting will come to Florida. For now, there is no way to legally bet on esports in the Sunshine State.

What about Florida college sports?

It’s not yet known if bettors will be permitted to place wagers on Florida-based college teams — or college games taking place in Florida. Individual player prop bets will be off-limits, however. 

Home team advantage: Florida sports

It’s ok to place a bet on your favorite team — but always ensure your bets are well-researched and not clouded by your home team bias. Our how to bet guides are an excellent resource for new and intermediate bettors alike. 

NHL
Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning
NBA
Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
NFL
Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
MLB
Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays

Other types of gambling

Floridians have plenty of gambling options. While tribal casinos generate the bulk of the betting action, the Sunshine State is also home to one of the largest horse racing markets in the nation. In fact, pari-mutuel horse race betting is the only form of legal online gambling in Florida.

casino Casino

The Seminole Tribe owns and operates six major casinos in Florida, with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood standing as its most prominent facility. The Hard Rock features over 3000 slots, almost 200 table games, and live poker. 

The Miccosukee tribe operates a seventh tribal casino, while eight pari-mutuel facilities offer slots, poker games, horse racing, and jai alai betting.

Online casinos are not permitted in Florida, but the addition of online sports betting could open the door to future online gambling discussions. The Seminole Tribe does have a social casino app, Seminole Social Casino, where players can play a variety of table games and slots for non-cash prizes.

poker Poker

Nearly all of Florida’s tribal casinos feature several poker tables, with Seminole Hard Rock boasting over 40 tables itself.

There are no legal online poker websites for Floridians to enjoy. Global Poker, a sweepstakes website, is the only option for card sharks in the Sunshine State.

Horse and jockey Horse racing

Horse racing is legal in Florida. The most popular tracks include Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Isle Casino Pompano Park.

Pari-mutuel horse race betting is allowed, and it’s the only form of online betting that is legal in the Sunshine State. Online bets can be placed in Florida using TwinSpires, TVG, and BetAmerica. The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering oversees all betting activity.

Horse and jockey Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports remain unregulated in Florida. DraftKings and FanDuel continue to operate in the state.

Responsible gaming in Florida

The state of Florida offers numerous resources to tackle problem gambling and support those who suffer from gambling addiction. The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling is the best resource available. 

Individuals may voluntarily exclude themselves from all betting activity by joining Florida’s self-exclusion program. With the soon-to-be arrival of sportsbooks, players will be given tools to limit their betting activity. Options to set deposit, wager, and loss limits will allow players to take preemptive measures to restrict their gambling activity.

Legal U.S. sports betting markets

States have been permitted to legalize and regulate sports betting since 2018. The following states have already done so: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Florida

Some sportsbooks in Florida may appear to be legitimate, but any website currently operating in the Sunshine State is illegal. Legal, regulated options will be coming soon, so don't risk your hard-earned cash with sportsbooks that don't play by the rules.

Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Florida sports betting FAQs

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