Sports

Launch delayed pending court rulings

Sports betting is not currently permitted in the state of Florida. Despite being legally sanctioned in 2021, the new compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state was challenged at the Federal level on December 21, so sports betting activity is suspended pending court rulings. 

While legislators continue to debate the future landscape of legal sports betting in Florida, Sunshine State residents do have access to America’s most popular DFS apps, in the shape of FanDuel and DraftKings.

The best Florida Fantasy Sites – March 2022

More on Florida Sports Betting

Florida Sports Betting: As it stands 

Online Sports Betting  N
Mobile Sports Betting N
Retail Sports Betting N
Minimum Age 21

The legality of Florida sports betting has been a hot topic in America’s third most populous state, as it has nationwide. Facebook relationship status: “It’s complicated.”

While the Seminole Tribe continues to fight the legal case to legitimize their 2021 state compact at the federal level, there is a growing sense that legalized online, and mobile sports betting may still be a while off. 

Although the Seminole offer gambling at their Hard Rock Casino sites, there are currently no physical sportsbooks on those sites while lawsuits continue to rumble through the courts. 

FanDuel and DraftKings had been working on an initiative to get the question of sports betting in the state on the November 2022 ballot. The sportsbook giants were hoping that if passed, Florida sports betting could be live in 2023.

However, early in 2022, it seemed like they had admitted defeat in their joint initiative. 

Neighboring states with legal online sports betting

Although Florida’s sports betting future hangs in the balance, the widespread legal rollout across the country has reached some nearby states.

Both Arkansas and Mississippi have opened their doors to legal sports betting in various degrees since the 2018 PASPA ruling paved the way for regulation. 

Florida Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Florida?

Sports betting is not technically legal in Florida despite being a bill being ratified between the state and the Seminole Tribe in 2021, allowing its rollout.  

Despite the agreement of this 30-year-compact signed off by Gov. Ron DeSantis and tribal leaders, the bill’s been challenged by the federal government, leaving sports betting teetering on a legal precipice.

Will sports betting be legal in Florida?

Given there are five major league sports teams in the city of Miami alone, not to mention Orlando (2), Tampa Bay (3), and Jacksonville’s (1) contributions – it’s difficult to imagine sports betting won’t become legal in the near future. 

The main sticking point – which is currently being debated in the federal courts – is to do with jurisdiction and revenue share through tax. Historically, legal gambling in casinos has always between controlled by the Seminole Tribe in a compact with Florida’s legislature. 

Although a new compact was signed in 2021 to include sports betting, and a mobile betting app briefly released by the Seminole-owned Hard Rock group, its legality was questioned at the federal level and the app was quickly pulled down. 

Where can I bet on sports in Florida?

Currently, the only places you can legally place wagers in Florida are Seminole-owned casinos. Sports bets is not permitted though. 

Can you sports bet online in Florida?

Unfortunately, you cannot currently place sports bets online in the Sunshine State. The case is for allowing online and mobile betting shortly is a strong one, though, and the situation is fluid.

Keep your eyes peeled for further Florida sports betting updates! 

Can I use DraftKings in Florida?

Officially, the use of DraftKings is prohibited by state law. In reality, the use of the DraftKings app for playing DFS, which can include real-money play, is not commonly punished by the state. 

However, the prosecution could be brought against individuals in theory so it’s best to avoid using DraftKings in Florida for the time being.

Most likely Florida sports betting sites

Having already launched, albeit extremely briefly, the frontrunner in Florida still has to be the Hard Rock app.

Following that, the other most likely sports betting sites to take root in Florida, pending legal clearance, are FanDuel and DraftKings. The “big two” have been knocking on the door with their campaign to get the sports betting question onto the state’s November ballot. 

Although that’s taken a knockback as well recently, the two hugely popular betting sites are nailed on to make their considerable presence felt in Florida. 

Aside from that, BetMGM has been heavily linked with a debut in the Sunshine State, given their top-quality product and market reach. 

Is Retail sports betting legal in Florida?

Due to ongoing legal challenges between the Seminole Tribe and the federal courts, there are not currently any retail locations in Florida to place sports bets. 

Latest Florida Sports Betting News

Because a U.S. Federal Judge determined the Florida gaming compact violates IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) it was thrown out the state sports betting agreement with the Seminole Tribe. 

Online and in-person sports betting has therefore been halted in the Sunshine State, and mobile wagering is unlikely to continue until 2023 at the earliest. As of March 2022, the Seminole Tribe is still appealing the court ruling. 

There does seem to be a growing consensus that Floridians would welcome the legalization of sports betting, but that will not be possible until 2023 at the earliest. 

The history of Florida Sports Betting

Rewinding to 2018, the Seminole cemented their grip on any future expansion of sports betting by supporting the passage of Amendment 3. This act made it impossible for future legislatures to legalize Florida sports betting without working with the Seminole.

Following approximately three more years of legal wrangling, a new compact was signed to theoretically enable state-wide mobile sports wagering in May 2021. Although this bill was added to the federal register, this did not constitute its official approval as law. 

With the legal status being somewhat ambiguous, the Seminole – owners of the Hard Rock casino chain in Florida – went ahead and developed a Hard Rock sports betting app. This app went live in November 2021. 

However, its rollout was very short-lived as further challenges to its legality were mounted at the federal level, leading the Seminole to take the Hard Rock app down barely a month later. 

Florida Sports Teams to bet on

Few states in the union can match Florida’s abundance of pro sports representation. Between Tampa Bay, Miami, Florida, and Jacksonville the Sunshine State boasts 11 major league franchises and 11 nation national championships across NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS. 

Not to mention the University of Florida’s might on when it comes to scooping national championships. UF’s proud sporting history features 42 titles across 10 sports between its men’s and women’s teams.

Miami Dolphins

Arguably one of the most iconic names in American sport, the Dolphins did most of their best leaping during the 70s and 80s.

Miami’s top football franchise secured back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972-73 to avenge their 1971 drubbing by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1971 showpiece. 

Legendary coach Don Shula presided over another two AFC Championship wins in the early 80s, with Dan Marino throwing the bullets. However, they tasted defeat on both occasions. 

Unfortunately, the Hard Rock Stadium residents have had little else to shout about since. 

Miami Heat 

If the Dolphins’ success has begun fading into memory, the Heat’s far more recent achievements have certainly restored pride in Florida’s biggest city. 

The roll call of players to have graced the FTX Arena in the 21st century is staggering, with some of the all-time greats on the list. 

Dwyane Wade (3), Shaquille O’Neal (1), and LeBron James (2) have all contributed to NBA championship success.

The Heat made the finals six times between 2005-06 and 2019-20, picking up three titles.  

Miami Marlins 

A relatively recent addition to the MLB, Miami’s baseball franchise has also brought success to the Magic City. 

The LoanDepot Park outfit was formed in 1993 (previously the Florida Marlins) and went on to secure their first of two World Series wins just four seasons later in 1997. 

The next triumph arrived in 2003, with three-time All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett putting in a mighty performance on the mound to claim the World Series MVP award. 

Florida Panthers 

Despite the lack of natural ice in the Sunrise City area of Greater Miami, hockey fans still have the chance to indulge in top-level puck action at the FLA Live Arena.

However, the Panthers are still somewhat in the shadow of their more illustrious state neighbors up in Tampa, having failed to make a Stanley Cup appearance in their 30-year history. 

Inter Miami FC 

History they may not have, yet, but David Beckham’s deep pockets and mass appeal they most certainly do. There’s also the famed Miami climate to add to the general appeal of this glamorous franchise. 

It’s been a tough couple of campaigns since the newest MLS franchise entered the Eastern Division for the start of the 2020 season, but these are very early days for the Beckham-led enterprise. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

If it wasn’t for regular playoff roadblocks the New England Patriots, the Jaguars could well have a pair of AFC Championships in the trophy cabinet at least.

After a long period of relative obscurity, Jaguars fans got the taste of a deep playoffs run again as recently as 2017, again making it to within one ball game of the Super Bowl. 

The Pats have other ideas of course, as the Tom Brady-inspired outfit prevailed in a tight 24-20 encounter.

Orlando Magic 

Despite making two NBA Finals appearances in their history and having some great players don the Magic jersey, the Orlando franchise is still chasing a first league title.

Shaquille O’Neal is still an iconic figure in Orlando’s past, while fellow center Dwight Howard’s all-action game nearly inspired a national championship in 2008-09.  

The Lakers spoilt the party on that occasion and since that narrow miss, there’s only been a handful of playoff appearances to point at. 

Orlando City SC

Despite boasting former World Cup winner Kaka as their first designated player after forming in 2013, not even the Brazilian’s midfield mastery could bring success to Orlando. 

Despite their 0-5 playoffs record heading into the 2020 season, the past two campaigns have at least seen post-season football. The MLS Cup quarterfinals remain their best achievement to date.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After decades in the NFL wilderness, it was extremely fitting that the Buccaneers’ first Super Bowl was inspired by two guys educated at Florida State. 

That both of those guys were from the usually unsung defensive ranks made it even sweeter for Bucs fans back in 2002. 

Safety Dexter Jackson was named Super Bowl MVP, while linebacker Derrick Brooks went on to be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. 

Fast-forward almost 20 years and it was a certain quarter-back by the name of Tom Brady who had made the excellent decision to bring his career swansong to Florida. 

The GOAT scooped Super Bowl LV’s MVP as Tampa Bay put themselves back on the national football map with victory over the Kansas Chiefs in 2021. 

Tampa Bay Rays

A change of name so nearly did the business in 2008 as the Rays converted their first-ever playoff appearance by going all the way to their first World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies proved too strong, winning it in five games, but that firmly placed Tampa Bay on the baseball map. 

Having played post-season baseball fairly regularly in the ensuing years, Kevin Cash’s excellent team took the LA Dodgers to game six in the 2020 World Series. 

Tampa Bay Lightning 

There’s not been a hotter franchise on the ice in recent seasons. 

Indeed, Tampa Bay’s puck maestros proved that lightning really could strike twice by claiming back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2019-20 and 2020-21. 

Those championships added to their maiden Stanley Cup triumph in 2003-04. In right winger Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning have one of the best players in the world.

Kucherov’s attacking brilliance is also well backed up by Swedish teammate Victor Hedman, who is one of the NHL’s most gifted defensemen. 

The only unanswered question is: can lightning strike three times?

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