Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida? – Latest News and Updates for February 2024

From Dec. 7 2023, sports betting is available in-person at the first of three Seminole Tribe casinos as well as online with the Hard Rock sports betting app.

Techopedia readers can continue reading to discover the latest betting updates surrounding the question “is sports betting legal in Florida?”, and the laws offering Floridian residents limitless opportunities to wager on their favorite sports teams.’

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Florida Sports Betting Updates

The landscape for Florida sports betting has seen a wave of changes, with more movement on the immediate calendar. Come back to this page for Techopedia’s latest updates.

Here’s a timeline of recent activity:

  • Projected Dec. 7, 2023: Sports betting becomes available in-person at the first of three casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe.
  • Dec. 5, 2023: The Hard Rock sports betting online app is made available to all Florida sports betting customers.
  • Dec. 1, 2023: The U.S. Supreme Court grants an application to extend the deadline for filing its petition for writ of certiorari (asking U.S. Supreme Court to arrange a lower court to submit the case’s record for review) in the Florida sports betting case from Dec. 11. 2023 to Feb. 8, 2024.
  • Nov. 7, 2023: The Hard Rock betting app is live, providing limited access to existing customers, despite threats of legal action. Those actions are deemed unlikely by various attorneys on the subject.
  • Nov 1, 2023: Hard Rock announces final plans to operate in-person (retail) Florida sports betting on Dec. 7.
  • Oct. 26, 2023: The U.S. Supreme Court denies a request that would have prevented Florida’s Seminole Tribe from providing Florida sports betting as negotiated in a 2021 contract.
  • September 2023: West Flagler and Associates, the firm acting as plaintiff against the state, asks the Florida Supreme Court to “find that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state legislature exceeded their power in approving a 2021 compact with the Seminole Tribe that grants the tribe a monopoly on sports betting.”
  • August 2023: West Flagler Associates, owners of Florida casinos competing with the Seminole Tribe, appealed that June decision. Hard Rock’s re-launch is delayed.
  • June 2023: The U.S. Court of Appeals reverses the decision, saying the Seminole Tribe should be allowed to offer online betting in the state.
  • December 2021: Florida online sports betting stops when a federal judge strikes the deal. The ruling said it was in violation of state and federal laws.

Latest Florida Sports Betting Information

  • Legal age for sports betting: 21
  • Legalized: Oct. 25, 2023, passed U.S. Supreme Court
  • Retail sports betting: Dec. 7, 2023
  • Online sports betting: Dec. 5, 2023
  • Daily fantasy sports: Operating but unregulated
  • Horse racing: 1930s
  • Lottery: Jan. 12, 1988

Is Sports Betting Legal in FL?

Yes. After the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request in late October 2023 that would have prevented Florida’s Seminole Tribe from providing Florida sports betting as negotiated in a 2021 contract; the Hard Rock app was re-launched to limited access for existing customers on Nov. 7, 2023.

The app went live to all Florida sports betting customers on Dec. 5, 2023, and retail sportsbooks are set to open beginning Dec. 7, 2023.

These developments have made it possible for residents of Florida to bet on sports online and in-person through sportsbooks and pari-mutuel facilities run by, or in partnership with, the Seminole Tribe.

Florida sports betting customers can also look into the viability of several offshore sportsbooks. The regulations may differ from those overseeing Florida’s legal operation, as in many instances they are set by international rules. Nonetheless, Florida sports bettors looking for an online option are still able to look into licensed offshore sportsbooks.

What Online Sports Betting Apps are Legal in Florida?

As part of our Florida sports betting update, we want to answer the question: Is mobile sports betting legal in Florida?

The Hard Rock Florida sports betting app is the only online option for Sunshine State residents. The app had its official launch on Dec 5 where it offers a full range of sports-betting opportunities to everyone in the state, aged 21+.

Latest Florida Gambling Laws and Bills

The key bill SB 2-A ratified the state of Florida’s agreement with the Seminole Tribe.

Florida sports betting law follows that tribal agreement – the 2021 Gaming Compact – with the state of Florida.

The Seminole Tribe controls gaming rights and owns exclusivity to run sports betting in Florida. Several of the specifics written into the 2021 Gaming Compact underscore the Tribe’s primary rights.

The agreement allows the operators, the Seminole Tribe, what the compact calls “partial, but significant additional substantial exclusivity” for particular sports betting and casino gaming activities in the state of Florida.

The Tribe must provide payments of revenue share. These are to be settled after consideration of the percentage rates as set forth in the agreement.

The compact, with the agreed-upon duration ending July 31, 2051, specifies a guaranteed term payment. The amount is for $2.5 billion for the first five years.

Who Can Partake in Florida Sports Betting?

To participate in land-based and online sports betting in Florida beginning Dec. 7, 2023, at the Seminole Tribe’s casinos, customers must be:

21 years of age or older

Although customers who wish to participate in lottery, bingo, poker and pari-mutuel wagering on horses can be aged 18+, the sports bettors in Florida must be 21 years or older. This is to satisfy the legal requirements set forth by the betting site.

Valid Government-issued ID, valid email.

In addition to owning a valid government-issued piece of identification, potential Florida sports betting customers must maintain a valid email address. This will be used by the representatives at the sports betting operator to confirm and verify a customer’s standing during the initial application process.

Stay within State Borders

As with all U.S.-based sports-betting apps, a licensed sports betting site or app requires customers to be physically located in the state to place sports wagers.

For example, the GEO tracker makes wagering on the Hard Rock Florida app impossible outside of state boundaries.

Taxable Winnings

Sports-betting customers are able to deduct losses while working with their tax representatives but also must be aware of the requirements that accompany winning large bets. Florida has no state income tax, but winnings of $5,000 or more trigger an IRS notice, and 24% will be withheld.

Is Horse Racing Legal in Florida?

Horse race wagering, which became legal in Florida during the 1930s, continues to be popular.

South Florida’s Gulfstream Park is the annual destination for several Grade 1 thoroughbred races and has hosted several champions over the years.

Tampa Bay Downs also is considered a terrific option to watch and wager on thoroughbred horse racing.

Hialeah Park ended thoroughbred horse racing around the turn of this century but has since added Quarter Horse racing to its list of attractions, which include casino activities on site.

Both destinations offer pari-mutuel wagering to their customer base.

Pari-mutuel wagering, which determines the payout based on the odds at the start of a race, differs from sports betting, which determines a payout when the pre-event wager is placed.

More on Florida Online Gambling

On the subject of horse racing, we have useful guides on that and virtually all other sports menu items for readers to peruse.

As of Dec. 7, 2023, when in-person sports betting begins, Florida will become the nation’s largest legal sports-betting state. As for the various legal challenges, many of which are ongoing, there have been volumes of additional news and information reported, such as those from the Tampa Bay Times.

Among the more noteworthy items is that any ongoing litigation — federal cases and state cases included — will be drawn out and not likely to be addressed or certainly resolved until the middle of 2024.

Other Types of Gambling in Florida

There is more than just Florida sports betting in the state. From the lottery to poker to other casino options and more, there are gambling opportunities beyond the sports betting realm.

Types of Gambling Regulated Legalized
Land-based casinos and sportsbooks Yes Dec. 7, 2023
Online casino sites and apps No N/A
Online poker No N/A
Lottery Yes 1988
Politics No N/A

FAQs

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Jay Dieffenbach

Jay is a Sports Betting Writer at Techopedia.com, and has been working in US sports for more than 20 years. He's worked for Daily Racing Form, the Arizona Republic, The Athletic and FanDuel among other sports and gambling positions.