Are Sports Betting Legal in Florida?

If you’re a sports fan, you know the excitement of placing bets on your favorite team. For many years, sports betting was illegal in most states of the United States, including Florida. However, the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018 opened the possibility of legalizing sports betting nationwide. Since then, several states have legalized sports betting, and many others are in the process. This article will examine the current state of sports betting in Florida, including its legality, regulations, and prospects for the future.

Legal Status of Sports Betting in Florida

Florida is one of the few states that has yet to legalize sports betting. Although there have been several attempts to pass sports betting bills in recent years, they have yet to be successful so far. The most recent attempt was made in 2021 when Senator Jeff Brandes introduced a bill to legalize sports betting in Florida. However, the bill failed to make it out of the committee stage.

There are several reasons why sports betting has yet to be legalized in Florida. First, there is a solid anti-gambling sentiment among some lawmakers and residents of the state. Second, there is a complicated relationship between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which operates several casinos in the state. The tribe has exclusive rights to offer certain types of gambling in Florida, and any expansion of gambling would require renegotiation of the tribe’s compact with the state.

Despite the lack of legal sports betting in Florida, many state residents still engage in sports betting through offshore sportsbooks or illegal bookmakers. It creates a significant revenue not taxed or regulated by the state.

Regulations for Sports Betting in Other States

Examining the regulations in other states that have legalized sports betting is essential to understand the potential regulatory framework for sports betting in Florida. Currently, 26 states have legalized sports betting, and several others have passed bills awaiting implementation. Each state has its own set of restrictions, but some common elements can be identified.

First, most states require that sports betting operators partner with existing on-casinos or other licensed entities. It allows for a physical location where customers can place bets and cash out their winnings. Second, states impose taxes on sports betting revenue, ranging from 6% to 51%, depending on the state. Third, states have strict regulations around the advertising and marketing of sports betting, including age restrictions and responsible gambling messaging. Fourth, states require that sports betting operators use geolocation technology to ensure that bets are only placed within state lines.

Potential Prospects for Sports Betting in Florida

Although sports betting has yet to be legalized in Florida, there are several reasons to believe it could be in the future:

  1. The potential tax revenue from sports betting could be significant, especially given the popularity of sports in the state.
  2. Neighboring states such as Georgia and Alabama are considering legalizing sports betting, which could pressure Florida to do the same.
  3. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has expressed interest in expanding its internet casino gambling offerings, including sports betting.


The legalization of sports betting has been a hot topic in the United States since the Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA in 2018. Although 26 states have already legalized sports betting, Florida still needs to be among them. The lack of legal sports betting in Florida has created a significant revenue not taxed or regulated by the state. However, sports betting could be legalized.