Florida Sports Betting in 2021

Last updated: Nov. 24, 2021

Legal sports betting may be short-lived in the Sunshine State.

On Nov. 22, 2021, a federal judge ruled the Florida-Seminole Gaming Compact was in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). After just three weeks of legal wagering, Florida’s only sportsbook, Hard Rock, may not be an option for FL sports bettors for much longer.

This guide to Florida sports betting will serve as your go-to resource for the latest news and updates as they continue to unfold.

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: Yes

  • Book Icon

    Retail sportsbooks: Coming soon

  • Percent Icon

    Sports betting revenue: N/A

Florida Map

Licensed U.S. online sportsbooks

Covers Seal #1 Top-rated sportsbook
#1
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#12
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Payout speed 3-6 days

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#13
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  • Reputable US betting operator online
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#16
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Payout speed 3-10 days

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#17
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#19
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  • Terrific live betting interface
  • Licensed by the Seminole Tribe
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
Payout Speed: 1-6 days

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#20
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  • Licensed and regulated in New Jersey
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#21
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  • Great mobile apps for iOS and Android
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Payout Speed 2-7 days

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#22
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#23
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  • Awesome sportsbook interface
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Payout Speed: 4-8 days

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#24
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  • The best odds for online betting in Colorado
  • Tremendous native mobile apps for iOS and Android
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Payout Speed 1-5 days

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#25
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  • Famed and licensed operator
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#28
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#30
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#33
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#34
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#36
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Is sports betting legal in Florida?

Yes, sports betting is still legal in Florida. On Nov. 22, 2021, a federal judge ruled the state's gaming compact violated a federal law that requires all tribal gambling to take place on tribal lands. While a server was located on Indian land, Florida sports bettors were not, which the Court could not accept.

The judge's decision doesn't spell the end of Florida sports betting just yet. The Seminole Tribe promptly filed an appeal to reverse the November 22 decision. If the appeal is denied, the state will have the opportunity to re-work the Seminole Compact to restrict all event wagering to tribal lands. However, the path of least resistance would be leaving it up to Florida residents. If the subject is placed on the November 2022 ballot, voters will have the chance to usher in the return of legal sports betting.

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

Timeline of sports betting in Florida

With the Nov. 22, 2021, ruling to invalidate the Florida-Seminole Compact, the Sunshine State is on the brink of losing legal sports betting.

Here's a look back at Florida's sports betting journey to date:

May 14, 2018: SCOTUS overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Individual states are now permitted to legalize and regulate sports betting.

Nov. 6, 2018: Voters pass Amendment 3, effectively prohibiting the Florida Legislature from passing new gambling expansions without the approval of the Seminole Tribe.

May 2019: Gov. DeSantis refuses to sign off an agreement reached between Sen. Wilton Simpson and the Seminole Tribe. The pact would have allowed for tribal casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting.

May 25, 2021: Gov. DeSantis quietly signs a new tribal compact. The agreement would allow the Seminole Tribe to expand its gaming library and offer retail and online sports betting. Pari-mutuel facilities would also be permitted to offer online betting through servers located on tribal lands.

Aug. 6, 2021: Florida’s pact with the Seminole Tribe passes its 45-day approval period. By neither approving nor denying the Seminole-Florida Gaming Compact, the U.S. Department of the Interior gives Florida the OK to move forward with their proposed October 15, 2021, launch date.

Aug. 17, 2021: Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room file a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and  Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, challenging the validity of their Seminole Tribe Compact approval.

Sept. 27, 2021: Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room file their second lawsuit — this time, in D.C. The lawsuit claims Florida online sports betting would violate several federal laws.

Sept. 27, 2021: Two Florida businessmen and anti-gambling group No Casinos file the third lawsuit — the second in D.C. The motion claims no gaming expansion can occur in Florida without voter approval, citing Amendment 3.

Oct. 15, 2021: October 15 arrives, but legal sports betting does not.

Oct. 19, 2021: Florida District Judge Allen Winsor dismisses the first of the Magic City-Bonita Springs lawsuits.

Nov. 1, 2021: The Seminole Tribe of Florida goes live with an “early access launch” of its Hard Rock Sportsbook, despite at least two lawsuits challenging the state’s model of legal sports betting still working their way through federal court.

Nov. 22, 2021: Judge Dabney Friedrich throws out Florida's sports betting compact, putting an end to legal sports betting and the Seminole Tribe's gaming expansion plans. The judge ruled both federal (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) and state (Amendment 3) laws were violated.

Nov. 23, 2021: The Seminole Tribe files a notice of appeal and motion for a stay pending appeal with the DC federal court just one day after Judge Friedrich eradicates the Florida-Seminole Compact. The Tribe seeks to continue taking sports bets throughout the appeal process.

Online sports betting: Here to stay?

The Hard Rock Sportsbook is still live in Florida. If the Seminole Tribe's appeal falls short, they could attempt to reach a new agreement with the state. Doing so while bypassing the voter approval process, however, will lead to further litigation. Alternatively, if a new measure is placed before Floridians on the 2022 ballot, we could see the return of legal sports betting early in 2023.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook was the first mobile sportsbook to launch in the Sunshine State and will almost certainly be the first to offer a retail option as well.

Who can bet on sports in Florida?

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

Here's a brief look at what to keep in mind for Florida sports bettors:

21plus Legal age

If you’re 21 or older, you are 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 is still live in Florida. Sports bettors are able to place wagers from anywhere in the state through servers located on tribal lands. 

21plus Remote registration

Florida sports bettors can register with Hard Rock from anywhere in the state. If all betting is restricted to tribal lands in the future, however, Floridians may have to visit a sportsbook in person to get started. 

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 is 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

If Floridians are looking for sports betting alternatives, few options exist. 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

For the time being, Florida continues to offer fully mobile sports betting with the Hard Rock Sportsbook. A DraftKings and FanDuel-backed initiative is also gaining momentum and could appear on the November 2022 ballot.

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

Florida sports betting
Pros
  • Sports betting referendum could be on November 2022 ballot
  • Fully mobile wagering
  • Few limitations on sports bets
Cons
  • Uncertainty amidst lawsuits
  • Monopolized market may lead to lackluster betting lines
  • Casino-only retail betting

How to start betting in Florida

If both retail and mobile sports betting are legalized, 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

Before placing a sports bet in Florida, it will be important to identify which sportsbook best suits your betting needs. Hard Rock may be the only option for now, but other providers could enter the market in the future.

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

2

Register online

Floridians can register, make deposits, and place bets — all from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere else in the state.

3

Claim a bonus

The Seminole Tribe has a monopoly on all of the state’s sports betting but is still offering a $100 risk-free bet to sports gamblers in Florida. Be sure to claim this bonus while you can. Other popular bonuses include deposit matches and no-deposit bonuses, which Florida sportsbooks could offer in the future. 

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 in 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.

Florida sports betting handle

Keep an eye on this space for the latest figures from Florida's foray into legal sports betting.

Yearly breakdown

Year

Total handle

Revenue

Hold percentage

2021

-

-

-

Monthly handle

Month

2021

January

-

February

n/a

March

n/a

April

n/a

May

n/a

June

n/a

July

n/a

August

n/a

September

n/a

October

-

November

-

December

-

Total

-

 

What you can't bet on in Florida

Floridians are able to bet on all professional, college, and Olympic sports online through the Hard Rock Sportsbook. 

Illegal offshore betting websites 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?

Bettors are permitted to place online wagers on Florida-based college teams — or college games taking place in Florida. Individual player prop bets will be off-limits, however. 

Legal sportsbooks in Florida

Industry and political insiders were caught off-guard by Hard Rock, who launched their mobile sportsbook in Florida on Nov. 1, 2021. The excitement may be short-lived, however, as a federal judge ruled against the Florida-Seminole Compact on Nov. 22, 2021.

Florida's online and mobile sportsbooks

Online sportsbook operator

Mobile app

Odds provider

Online casino

Launch date

Hard Rock Sportsbook

Yes

GiG

No

Nov. 1, 2021  

Land-based Florida sportsbooks

Sportsbook

Venue

Address

Phone number

Odds provider

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, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, 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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