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Guide To The Current Legal Issues In Florida Around Gambling


Florida is renowned for its sunny weather and is one of the best places to see Alligators, but that’s not all. Florida has also made the rounds for its recent fiasco with the legalities around sports betting. It’s become quite the confusing ordeal trying to figure out the Florida betting laws, hence in this guide, we shall go through the current legalities to enjoy sports betting in Florida.

Florida Sports Betting Clampdown

To understand the issue in its entirety one must first look at the initial issue. Back in 2010, the Seminole Tribe received the right to offer all forms of gambling. This would later be reversed when the Seminole Tribe removed itself from the 2010 agreement due to a disagreement regarding racinos and as such made it impossible for the state to receive any form of revenue.

It wasn’t until 2020 that SB392 was introduced by Senator Jeff Brandes. This was the first bill to legalise sports betting in Florida. Fast forward a year into 2021 and Governor Ron DeSantis made a deal with the Seminole Tribe which allowed the tribe to offer online as well as retail betting in the state.

Come November 2021, Florida finally has its first glimpse at online gambling with the release of the Hard Rock Sportsbook which launched a mobile app to allow residents the ability to wager remotely. This was short-lived, not because the app was inadequate but rather due to a case between the Seminole tribe and West Flagler, this was due to the app breaking an agreement that stated it could only provide wagering fun to those within state grounds.

Current Florida Sports Wagering Laws 

At the beginning of 2022, the sports betting situation had not improved and after failing to reach enough signatures for the betting referendum by February 1st 2022 no further news was said on the matter.

In June one of the appeals for the Florida sports betting case was dismissed and in July the same D.C. circuit reopened the compact case deliberations for sports betting. Yet even with all the commotion, Florida residents have found new ways to enjoy sports wagering online within the state lines. 

Even with all the legal limitations on Florida online sportsbooks, one can still enjoy online sports betting through offshore bookies. These offshore bookies operate through a legal loophole which allows the bookies to offer their services to the many residents in Florida looking to wager. 

Since these sites operate outside of the state's jurisdiction, the state cannot shut down nor deny its residents from using said sites. 

Can You Wager In Florida Or Not?

Legally one cannot wager in the state of Florida, that being said since sports wagering is federally legal the state cannot deny access to residents seeking online wagering fun. By right the law states no wagering is to be done on state land but since you are wagering at a site which is offshore you aren’t breaking any laws. 

This technicality is what allowed offshore sites to flourish in Florida. With authorities going back and forth on the terms, taxation, legality issues and the constant pushback for full legalisation since 2015 residents looked to sort out their own methods to enjoy wagering.

What To Expect Once & If Sports Betting Is Legalised

If legalisation does finally come to the sunshine states, Florida residents can expect a legal gambling age of 21. Since the initial Florida method of sports betting was indeed a mobile app, one will expect to see plenty more in the future and is most likely the preferred method of wagering. Hopefully the next time sports betting does come to the state legally it won’t go full circle a month later as it has in the past.

One should also expect the ability to wager in person as well as online. More than probably retail betting is to be commenced in the standing brick-and-mortar casinos that are currently in operation.

Keeping Your Wagering Safe

Now that we’ve gone through all you need to know regarding current legalities it’s time to provide some tips & tricks that will ensure your safety when gambling at offshore sites. Offshore betting sites have an unfair history for being phishing sites which couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Although like any industry in the online space, it is indeed susceptible to scammers and malicious eyes looking to make a quick buck hence it’s important to follow these next few steps when choosing an offshore bookie.

 1. Check The Gaming Licences 

Just like retail betting, online betting sites must go through a screening process in order to obtain their licence. The best and top offshore gaming sites will always be sure to showcase their licence badge. These licence badges showcase to users that the site is ongoing through scrutinous and continuous checks to make sure they are offering fair gaming to their clients. 

Some great licence authorities include and are not limited to the Maltese Gaming Authority(MGA) & the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).

2. Check The Security Of Said Site

Another great way to ensure your money’s safety, as well as your personal data, is to ensure that the site of choice does indeed use encryption techniques to keep its users' money and data safe. To quickly check if the site does indeed operate with encryption look for a little grey locked padlock just left of the website's link, this ensures that the site uses SSL encryption.


Just as Italy calls on couples to kiss in dedicated ‘romance zones’ the residents of Florida are calling for legalisation to come sooner. Hopefully the authorities can figure out and sort the issues between them to not only provide their residents safe wagering options but to also benefit from the revenue the industry generates.

Source: limnews

All sports articles on 2022-08-16

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