Sports Betting For Florida Residents
The legality of sports betting for our 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.
Legal Florida March Madness Betting
Florida is known to have big players betting on big sporting events and March Madness is around the corner. Players know it is legal to bet on sports here and this only makes players more interested in these games. These are the most interesting games that will go on all year long and the biggest thing is there will be upsets that will happen often and more players will win big. Sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, and MyBookie are the sites that players will be able to go to and bet on college basketball. Betting on March Madness in Florida will always be popular and these sites will be the ones that many players will gravitate to. Live betting and mobile options are the main options and there are other betting types like prop bets, live bets, and parlay bets. Florida has a lot of teams that could be in March Madness so players will possibly see their favorite teams here as well.
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.
MyBookie - Top Sportsbook for Florida Wagering
MyBookie is an excellent online sportsbook for all of your Florida betting needs, which means that it is a top tier sportsbook full stop. At MyBookie, you can place all the wagers you need, no matter what. MyBookie’s sportsbook offerings extend past Dolphins moneylines, Jaguars spreads or Bucs Over/Unders, and well into the esoteric. If you want to bet on the presidential election, you can! If you want to bet on whether or not Lizzo will wear a thong to the Super Bowl, you can!
MyBookie also increases betting access by offering both mobile betting and live betting. Mobile betting and live betting go together like peanut butter and jelly, and they work in concert to provide bettors with access to betting at all hours of the day, even after the game has started. Overall, MyBookie is an excellent sportsbook, and well worth engaging with.
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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.
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 laws on the books in Florida that could be construed as banning sports betting within its borders, although it is worth noting that nobody inside of Florida has been punished for the simple use of an online sportsbook. That said, bettors should at the very least be aware of the current laws in the Sunshine State.
The relevant passage is found in Florida Statutes 849.14, and it 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...”
However, between the ease of use of online sportsbooks and the lack of any desire to enforce that law on the betting side, Florida’s sports betting market is fairly large, and exists in a legal gray area. As such, though FL 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 over the Internet at a legal online offshore sportsbook.
When Will Florida Offer Legal Sports Betting In-State?
The status of sports betting in Florida is unlikely to change in the near future, for two major reasons. First, the Seminole Tribe is against Florida’s state government running it, as they view it as part of their compact with FL, and believe that they should be in charge of it. The government would like to increase their revenue as well which makes it unlikely for a bill to get passed without significant legal challenges from the Seminole Tribe.
In addition, because of the way Florida’s ballot measures work (they nearly always pass), voters were presented with a ballot measure that gave the final decision on whether gambling should be legalized to the voters, taking it away from the FL state legislature. This ballot measure made sports betting further off FL, as even if the state legislature passes it, it would then have to be approved on a ballot by the voters.
Between these two factors, legalizing sports betting will probably take some time and maybe in the year 2023, we will finally see land-based sports betting in Florida. Online sportsbooks will be the way to go for a while for most players until this problem gets resolved. With many online sportsbooks already set up and having no legal repercussions towards them, most bettors will gear towards them in the meantime.
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.