The Essential Guide To Florida Sports Betting 2020

Florida sports betting still isn’t legal – but we’re fully expecting the legalization of online betting in the Sunshine State to come soon. 

However, while there have been lots of discussions taking place on the subject of legal sports betting, it’s unfortunate that most of these take place behind the scenes. Because of this, it can be very hard for the average sports bettor to know where they stand. 

The biggest hurdle to overcome is that sports wagering in the state of Florida has to coincide with a gambling agreement between two parties: the Seminole Tribe and the state itself.

Recently, there have been a pair of legislative sessions. At these sessions, the tribe and the leaders of the state legislature got together to chat about a possible deal that would allow Florida casinos to start accepting sports bets. 

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the 2020 discussion was halted in March, and no agreement was settled on regarding Florida sports betting.

That said, there are still positive signs. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the future of Florida sports betting, and we’ll also be showing you how Florida sports bettors can place bets in the meantime. 

Online Sports Betting In Florida 

Top 5 Sportsbooks 

For the moment, Floridians have to be content to use offshore sportsbooks that are legal to U.S. citizens. And while it’s really important that you abide by state laws, we are aware that some bettors use VPNs to access specific sports betting sites.

RANKSPORTBOOKFEATURESPLAY

1

MyBookie

  • 50% first deposit match bonus up to $1,000
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Great mobile client
  • Early odds

2

Bovada

  • 50% welcome bonus up to $250
  • Hugely reputable site
  • Early lines
  • Lots of sports variety

3

BetNow

  • 100% welcome bonus up to $500
  • Solid betting software
  • Prop builder available
  • Good customer service

4

XBet

  • 50% welcome bonus up to $30
  • Competitive odds
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Good for recreational bettors

5

BetOnline

  • 100% first deposit match bonus
  • Bonus on all subsequent deposits
  • Fast and reliable payouts
  • Huge wagering limits

How Online Sports Betting Works In Florida 

Florida Sports Betting Launch 

In the November election 2018, the legislature lost control of any changes to gambling in Florida after the Seminole intervened. This meant that, if sports betting in Florida was ever to become legal, future legislatures would have to work with the Seminole.

In 2019, the Florida legislature focused their efforts on renegotiating the gaming impact. Simpson was tasked by Senate President Bill Galvano to work side by side with the Seminoles and he managed to work out an early agreement with them. However, the deal was refused by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Subsequently, the Seminole said they would withhold their $350,000,000 annual payments to the state. 

In 2020, legislators began the year by suggesting they would try to legalize Florida sports betting without the help of the Seminole. A bill was authorized that would allow the state to regulate sports betting without the need for the tribe to get involved. 

The Seminole, however, continued to dig their heels in, and the bill got nowhere. As of March 13, there were further discussions behind the scenes about the future of Florida sports betting, but they got nowhere, too. 

As it stands, then, we’re still awaiting an outcome and can only hope that any disputes between the Seminole and the legislature are resolved soon. 

How To Bet On Sports 

If you’ve never placed a bet before, the good news is that wagering on sports is really simple. In fact, it can be done in just a few steps:

  • Choose a legal sportsbook that’s right for you
  • Create an account and make your first deposit
  • Grab the welcome bonus
  • Take a look at the sports and find a sport you like
  • Take a look at the sporting events and markets
  • Choose a bet
  • Consider the odds – is there value here?
  • Enter a stake
  • Confirm your bet

What Can You Bet On Right Now In Florida? 

At the moment, you can only place bets via an offshore betting site within the state that’s available to U.S. citizens. As mentioned earlier, we know that some Florida bettors use VPNs in order to access these sites legally. 

However, because betting in the state itself hasn’t yet been legalized, the sports you can bet on remain up in the air. 

That said, betting on all professional sports is legal across America. Where the waters get muddier is with college teams, as each state has different rules regarding what you can bet on. To play it safe, we suggest sticking with pro sports. 

Here is a rundown of the pro sports you can bet on:

  • American football
  • Athletics
  • Aussie Rules
  • Badminton
  • Bandy
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bowls
  • Boxing
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • eSports
  • Fishing
  • Soccer
  • Formula 1
  • GAA
  • Golf
  • Greyhounds
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Horse racing
  • Ice hockey
  • MMA/UFC
  • Motorsports
  • Netball
  • Pool
  • Rugby league
  • Rugby union
  • Snooker
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • WWE

What Sports Betting Options Are Available At Florida Sportsbooks?

  • Moneyline bet: The moneyline bet is the most popular bet among U.S. bettors. It’s really simple: All you have to do is pick the team/individual who you think will win a particular match.
  • Point Spread: The point spread bet is similar to the moneyline bet, but it comes with a twist: As well as winning the match, the specific team/individual you bet on must always win by a set number of points. For example, if you bet on the Bills to beat the Cardinals by -5 points, the Bills must win by 5 clear points. If they win by 3 or 4, you won’t win the bet. The point spread is harder to get right than the moneyline bet, but the payouts are bigger.
  • Over/under bet: Before a match starts, the sportsbook will set a total number of points for a specific statistic in a game. Usually, this is the combined score. For example, if the Lakers are playing the Clippers, the sportsbook might set the total number of points at 190.5. You then need to decide whether you think the true outcome will be over or under.

Taking Advantage of Bonuses and Rewards 

All sportsbooks offer bonuses and rewards. However, they vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, which is why it’s really important that you do your research before signing up. 

Bonuses and rewards to look out for include the welcome bonus. This is usually a match bonus that matches a percentage of your first deposit with free money. For example, MyBookie is currently offering a 50% welcome bonus up to $1,000. This means if you deposit $200, you’ll get an extra $100 on top. 

Other bonuses to look out for include reload bonuses, which match your subsequent deposits, and rebates. Rebates offer you a percentage back as free bets on your losses on specific sports. 

Make sure to also look out for VIP programs as these offer perks, such as free bets and more rebates. To qualify for VIP programs, you just need to be a regular bettor. 

Florida Sports Betting FAQ

Is Sports Betting Legal In Florida? 

Sports betting is currently illegal in Florida. 

When Can Florida Residents Start Placing Bets? 

It’s hard to say at this stage when Florida residents will be able to start placing legal wagers. This is because the tribal casino regulations are so far presenting a major hurdle that the legislature has been unable to overcome. 

There is a chance that tribal casinos will launch sportsbooks, but this may not happen until 2021 at the earliest now. 

Why Is Florida Sports Betting Still Illegal?

As mentioned, the biggest stumbling block is the Seminole Tribe. Because they enjoy so much success with their casino games in the state, they don’t want to sacrifice a number of their profits to sports betting. If sports betting was legalized, it’s almost certain that Florida residents would play casino games less. 

Is Mobile Sports Betting Available In Florida?  

No. 

Can I Use DraftKings Sportsbook In Florida? 

DraftKings sportsbook is legal in a number of U.S. states, but at the time of writing, it is illegal in the sunshine state. This also means you cannot play daily fantasy sports in the state of Florida.

Final Word On Sports Betting In Florida

We eagerly await the day sports betting is legal in Florida. For now, sports fans in the sunshine state will have to wait a little longer. But keep checking this page for information, and we hope to have some good news for you soon.

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