Sports Betting For Florida Residents
The legality of sports betting for Florida residents is frequently debated, particularly due to the rise and popularity of Internet-based offshore sportsbooks that nominally fall into a gray area of US legal jurisdiction. The lack of accurate information surrounding online sports gambling in Florida can be disconcerting and even off-putting to potential players, but that doesn’t need to be the case, because once you understand the ins and outs of FL sports betting law, you’ll be able to place your wagers with confidence.
If it seems daunting to navigate all the state and federal laws surrounding sports betting in FL, don’t worry – it’s not. The laws and rules are fairly straightforward when it comes to betting on sports in the Sunshine State, and once you know what to look for, you’ll be able to wager safely and with peace of mind, no matter where you are in the state.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
Sports betting legality in Florida is a tricky thing on the surface. There are no laws explicitly banning the activity, but there are also no regulatory laws allowing it, either. That said, laws in the US are based on what is prohibited, not on what is allowed. As such, you can assume – rightfully so – that sports betting is in fact allowed in the state. In other words, FL residents can freely wager on athletics without fear of government reprisal, provided they use a reputable online sportsbook.
Whether you're simply betting for your favorite team like the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Panthers, Miami Hurricanes, FSU Seminoles, UF Gators, Tampa Bay Bucs, or even theJacksonville Jaguars, you can do so without worrying about governmental repercussions of any kind. To add to that, by using an online sportsbook instead of a shady local bookie, you know the lines on top local teams will be unweighted (i.e. have reasonable vigs, or house takes) and that your winning payouts are always guaranteed.
Legal Sports Betting Sites Accepting Florida Residents
While there are many legal sports betting sites accepting Florida residents out there, they are definitely not all created equal. If you’re going to risk your hard-earned money to place bets on your favorite players and teams at an online, offshore sportsbook, you owe it to yourself (and your bankroll) to make sure you pick only the most reputable Florida sportsbook service providers.
With decades of experience serving the Sunshine State, sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and other top books (BetDSI, 5Dimes, BookMaker, etc.) are always your best bets to finding and placing winning wagers on their robust, comprehensive betting boards.
Bovada - Live Betting On Football, Basketball, Baseball, Etc
The Sunshine State has a lot to offer those who live there, with its great weather, sunny vistas, and sandy beaches. Even better, Bovada – the state’s top online sportsbook – lets you enjoy the tropical outdoors while you wager on your favorite sports matchups. Thanks to Bovada’s top-of-the-line, industry-leading mobile sportsbook portal, you can put money on sporting events no matter where in the state you happen to be.
One of the top reasons to go with Bovada as a Florida player is the betting odds that are available on their always-updated betting boards. After all, options are important, as most FL bettors aren’t strictly going to bet on their local home teams. So, while all of the Florida teams are represented at Bovada, all of the other professional and amateur US teams of note are also on their boards, with international wagering options to choose from as well as sports like soccer, rugby, cricket, and more. New FL residents signing up at Bovada today can even get a generous, low-rollover $250 Welcome Bonus to pad their online betting accounts.
BetOnline - Features Live Dealer Casino + Poker
Florida isn’t the cheapest place in America to call home, but there’s no state income tax, so that’s a huge draw for residents of all age groups. After all, in the current economy, saving as much money as possible while enjoying a casual lifestyle is more important than ever. BetOnline also believes in this philosophy and it can be seen by how they give away so many free-play bonuses. Anyone living in Florida that signs up for free at BetOnline will be able to qualify for their lifetime bonus. Just enter the promo code LIFEBONUS on every qualifying deposit and earn up to 25% on top of your deposit.
In addition to reload bonuses, BetOnline offers several other valuable perks for both new and returning members. And while their sportsbook is the site’s number-one draw, it’s definitely not the only way to gamble at BetOnline. BetOnline features a fully-fledged, Vegas-style live dealer casino, a popular online poker lounge, dozens of table games, hundreds of digital slots, and a thorough international Thoroughbred racebook.
SportsBetting - Spread + Over/Under Can Be Wagered
The hottest betting odds – and highest betting limits – await Florida sports bettors at SportsBetting. With action on just about every national and international sport, this betting site is considered the go-to sportsbook for Florida high rollers. However, with the most deposit and withdrawal options of any FL sportsbook, SportsBetting is just as well suited to the gambling novice as to the wily old vet.
SportsBetting accepts both traditional and alternative payment options, from credit cards, debit cards, and bank wires to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and DASH. Even better, all of these financial options carry high deposit and withdrawal limits at SportsBetting, meaning that – no matter how much money you have to wager – you can load up your SportsBetting account in a hurry. As with most other sites, SportsBetting.ag also offers new and returning FL customers plenty of valuable bonuses and perks to keep them coming back for more.
5Dimes - World Class Casino, Poker And Horse Book
When the heat index is 115 degrees Fahrenheit, Florida residents tend to say inside with the A/C pumping and the cool drinks coming. Naturally, then, there is no better time to hop online and place some wagers on a baseball or football game. To that end, 5Dimes is a historic and reputable online sportsbook that accepts Florida residents, and it is 100% free to join. As long as you are 18 or older, you can be a member of one of the best sports betting sites in the world.
5Dimes has a robust sportsbook with a number of wager types on tap, including straight bets, spread bets, totals, props, and futures. However, there are many other betting options that can make things even more interesting. With alternate lines aplenty, 5Dimes offers more wagering customization than any other competing book, perfect for those who like to group their bets into parlays for maximum payout potential. 5Dimes also has lots to do outside of sports betting, with a world-class casino, poker room, and horse book available to all FL members who sign up today.
|Best Florida Sports Betting Sites - 100% Trusted + Safe|
|50% Up To $250||VISA + Wire Transfer|
|50% Up To $1,000 NEW!||VISA, Bitcoin, Cash Wire|
|50% Up To $1,000 NEW!||Bitcoin, Wire Xfer, VISA|
|50% New Member Bonus!||VISA, Bitcoin|
|100% Up To $500 NEW!||VISA, Bitcoin, Checks|
|50% Up To $520||Western Union, VISA|
Best Banking Methods At Legal Florida Sports Betting Sites
All of the top sportsbooks serving FL have similar – but not necessarily identical – payment options for deposits and withdrawals. However, the best banking methods at legal Florida sports betting sites are fairly universal between them, and it comes down to exactly how much and how soon you wish to bet. If you need to place your bets right away and have to load up your online sportsbook account ASAP, credit or debit charges process instantly.
Be warned, however, that credit/debit payments carry lower transfer limits than some bigger bettors like. In their cases, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (accepted everywhere, with different books accepting different altcoins as well) are superior, given that they process the same day and carry the highest limits of all options at most books. However, some folks prefer to deposit and withdraw their funds via older, more traditional methods like check, bank wire, or money order.
In these cases, the limits are often quite high, but the associated processing times (1-2 weeks) and added fees make them more expensive options than Bitcoin and other altcoins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, Cardano (ADA) and other methods (where accepted).
Mobile Online Sports Betting In Florida
Mobile online sports betting in Florida is the wave of the future, and – once the state institutes a sports betting law and local sportsbooks open for business – you will shortly thereafter likely be able to use their online portals via your mobile phone or tablet to wager from anywhere inside the state. Additionally, with legalization, it is likely you will eventually be able to download official iPhone apps and Android apps for your Florida sports betting facility of choice.
However, any mobile web portal or app-based sports betting solution from an FL-based sportsbook will be geo-fenced, meaning that you will always have to physically be inside the state of Florida to place your wagers.
Right now, with offshore sportsbooks already being online and operational for Florida sports bettors, you can use your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to wager at Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and all the other top legal books serving FL residents. Another advantage of using these overseas sportsbooks is that they are not geo-fenced, meaning that FL residents who sign up for these services can continue to use them even when they are outside of FL’s borders. Each one of these sites is optimized for mobile browsers and some even have apps that you can download straight from their site.
Florida Sports Betting Laws
There are actually no current Florida sports betting laws to speak of, as the state has traditionally relied on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) to govern their gambling laws in the athletic arena. Now that PASPA has been overturned by the Supreme Court, however, the FL legislature will have to institute its own sports betting regulations and licensing schemes before any physical brick-and-mortar or online facility in the state can offer sports betting inside FL’s borders.
That said, there is a passage in FL law that could be construed to be a nominal sports betting ban. Florida Statutes 849.14 states the following:
“Whoever stakes, bets or wagers any money or other things of value upon the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed or power or endurance of human or beast...shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree...”
Of course, there are plenty of semantic technicalities in the above statement that effectively ban this “ban” from being an effective ban. As such, though the state sees some 3-4 million residents turn a sports betting handle of roughly $12 billion each year, not one single person has ever been arrested, fined, imprisoned, or otherwise harassed by the FL government for placing a sports bet locally or over the Internet at a legal online offshore sportsbook.
When Will Florida Offer Legal Sports Betting In-State?
With PASPA overturned, the timeline on when FL will offer legal sports betting in-state isn’t set in stone. Although most industry experts expect the state to enact a comprehensive set of sports betting laws sometime in the very near future.
Though there may be some small difficulties working with the tribes’ charters and compacts such as their exclusive casino gambling rights. A new compact may have to be written in order to include provisions for this gambling expansion. Sports betting is far too popular – and far too lucrative – to warrant languishing in the state legislature for too much longer.
However, with Amendment 3 passing on the recent ballot, it could make formally legalizing sports betting all the more difficult. The amendment essentially gave voters the right to bring forth any casino gambling expansion legislation they want to see the state legislators. While the amendment did not specifically mention sports betting, some have argued that it would fall under the category of casino gambling. With so many sports fans in the state, it would be surprising if voters did not formally request their state lawmakers to bring about this change through a referendum.
Legal Gambling Age For Florida Residents
The State of Florida is fairly progressive when it comes to gambling, with some types of gambling available as soon as you turn 18. For wagering on sports online, however, it’s advisable (but by no means mandatory) that you be at least 21 years of age in order to participate. When land-based sportsbooks open in FL now that PASPA has been overturned, however, those facilities will likely require their participants to be 21 or older.
What Cities In Florida Have Sportsbooks?
Currently, no cities in Florida have sportsbooks to offer the gaming public. However, there are a number of potential locations for land-based sports betting in Florida once the state passes formal sports wagering regulations, and though it’s not a sure thing that each of the possible venues will open their own sportsbooks, the majority of them likely will.
These locations include the following, in order of their likelihood to offer sports betting upon formal legalization by the state (with Tampa and Hollywood being first up, as they’re home to the state’s two largest casinos, both of which are Seminole Hard Rock properties):
- Tampa, FL
- Hollywood, FL
- Hallandale Beach, FL
- Okeechobee, FL
- Immokalee, FL
- Pompano Beach, FL
- Dania Beach, FL
- Coconut Creek, FL
- Miami, FL
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
In addition to the casinos listed above, there are also various card rooms and pari-mutuel facilities scattered around Florida. Whether or not these will be included in the sports betting movement going forward remains to be seen, and much of that will depend on how the sportsbook taxation and application/licensing fees are established by the Florida state government.
Florida Sports Betting FAQs
What is live betting?
Live betting, also called in-game wagering, is a recent development from various online sportsbook providers that allows bettors to wager on sports as the contests themselves unfold in real-time. Thanks to mobile devices with persistent internet connections, it’s easier than ever to participate in live betting, adding thousands of daily chances to win to your standard sports betting docket.
What are the consequences of wagering on sports over the Internet under the age of 18?
All of the top online FL sportsbooks only require their customers to be 18 years old or older to use their services, including all of their casino games and racebook options. However, once you attempt to claim your funds, you will have to provide proof of your identity. If you are underage, or if you signed up underage and since turned 18, your account will be terminated and your winnings – and account balance – will be forfeited. However, in order to remain safest, we recommend that you wait until you are 21 to start using these sites. The reason being is that it is the highest required gambling age in the state of Florida and ensures that you can properly avoid any possible trouble with the state down the line.
How can I fund my online sports betting account if my credit card fails to process?
There are numerous alternate methods via which you can fund your Florida sports betting account if your credit card fails to process. For rapid transfers, however, cryptocurrency is the only viable alternative to card payments, as other options (money orders, bank wires, etc.) can take up to 14 days to process and show up in your sportsbook wallet. Seeing as how Florida has sports teams in every major sport, there is always an event happening at some point in the year and those 14 days could mean the difference in cashing in on a game and not.
Do I have to pay to sign up with an online sports betting site?
No, you never have to pay to sign up with an online sports betting site. If you ever come across any sportsbook that requires this, avoid them, as they are almost certainly untrustworthy and may be outright scams. The top online offshore sportsbook sites that accept Florida residents are free to join and many of them actually offer a welcome bonus. This will give an extra cushion for when you want to bet on the Dolphins or other teams for the first time.
Do I have to pay taxes on my online Florida sportsbook winnings?
Yes, you have to pay taxes on your online Florida sportsbook winnings. The requisite government forms and instructional overviews are available here. While this may seem like an annoying process to do, it is the best way to remain safe from any penalties in the future. Florida also does not have a state income tax which is one less expense you have to worry about when filing your taxes.
Is online sports betting a federal offense?
No, at least not with offshore sportsbooks. The Wire Act is the only federal law in place that has something to do with online sports betting and it only prohibits people in one state from using an online sportsbook housed in another state. For example, if you were enjoying a day in South Beach and wanted to place a sports bet, you can’t use one housed in New Jersey. However, the law has no jurisdiction over the operations of sports betting sites located in other countries or users of these sites.
How do I join a legal Florida sports betting site?
In order to join a legal Florida sports betting site, you simply have to enter your name and some basic personal information into your betting site of choice’s automatic membership portal. This is no different than, say, signing up for a Netflix or Amazon account, and your personal information is secured with state-of-the-art encryption. Even better, the whole process only takes about five minutes or less! You could sign up for one in less time than it would take to arrives at one of Florida’s sandy beaches.
When a Florida sports betting site payout is transferred via check, do I have to do anything special with it?
No. However, due to the nature of overseas checks of this sort, it is advisable that you do not attempt to cash the check immediately, as on rare occasions, such checks need additional time to clear. Simply deposit your check into your bank account, and then once it clears, you can draw it out as cash at your convenience. This applies to any bank you use or any Florida credit union you may be apart of.