Florida Online Sports Betting

After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced an agreement with the Seminole Tribe in April 2021, it looks like Florida sports betting could finally launch in 2021.

Florida might be one of the most anticipated places to get a legal sports betting industry, both for enthusiasts and for operators chomping at the bit for the potential earnings from this market. 

Most recently, Gov. Ron DeSantis reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe to find a mutually beneficial arrangement to expand gambling options in the Sunshine State. 

There is one piece of proposed sports betting legislation currently in the legislature. SB 392, championed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, is the most likely proposal to see discussion and development this year. For now, let’s break down what you should expect from Florida’s future sports betting industry so you’re prepared if and when legalization finally occurs.

Top Sportsbooks Coming Soon To Florida

The agreement between the Seminole Tribe and Florida gives sole control over sports betting to the tribe. It appears that the tribe can launch numerous sportsbooks, or skins, under the agreement. This means Florida could offer sports fans a variety of apps for betting. 

One of the apps most likely to launch will be from Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe. Hard Rock operates sports betting apps in Nevada and New Jersey. As much as they aren’t as readily accessible in other states, it’s likely they will launch in Florida. 

Furthermore, the Seminole Tribe has partnered with operators like Bet365 and William Hill. This also makes them likely candidates for licenses once sports betting legalization is finalized.

Other operators, like DraftKings and FanDuel, currently provide daily fantasy sports or DFS to Florida residents. It’s likely they’ll try to get early licensure as well because all they’d have to do is expand their current mobile app offerings to include sports wagers, plus allow DFS fans to keep their current accounts. DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the most popular sports betting apps in the industry.

Expect to see announcements about potential sportsbook operators in Florida shortly after legalization. Sportsbook operators usually move quickly in order to apply for licensure once a new market opens up. It is likely Florida bettors could also see BetMGM, William Hill, and WynnBET, who are all expanding rapidly across the US. 

Guide To Betting Online In Florida

While there aren’t any legal sportsbooks active in Florida right now, it’s still a good idea to know how to bet online in Florida so you can make smart, profitable wagers once your favorite books launch.

Opening Sportsbook Bonuses

All of the top sportsbooks likely to come to Florida over the next few years will have phenomenal opening bonuses. Opening bonuses provide you with site credit or other advantages so you can place big wagers right off the bat instead of having to make deposits.

For instance, DraftKings offers a 20% deposit match up to $1000 of site credit, active only on your first deposit. This operator also provides five $5 bonus bets to be used on separate betting lines. FanDuel has a new-player-friendly opening bonus: a $1000 bonus bet voucher that covers you if your first wager goes south.

Be sure to check out the opening bonuses offered by a given sportsbook before deciding which ones to download. Furthermore, read the fine print for any opening bonus offer. Many of these offers have strings attached that can surprise you if you aren’t careful.

For example, DraftKings’ aforementioned 20% deposit match bonus up to $1000 also has a play-through requirement of 25 times. That means you have to play through any issued site credit 25 times with separate betting lines before you can withdraw that credit as cash. That’s 25 potential times for you to lose the money.

Additionally, the five $5 bonus bets have to be used within 7 days of making your account. This prevents you from using the bonus bets later in your sports betting career.

For another example, FanDuel’s bonus is distributed across several vouchers, so you can’t use the refunded credit on one big bet.

Therefore, the play-through requirements attached to opening bonuses can help you determine whether a bonus offer is really worth your time.

Teams And Sports To Bet On In Florida

Florida is a highly anticipated sports betting market in large part because the state supports several professional franchises and lots of popular college teams. These include the Florida Gators, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat, and more.

Each of these teams has dedicated fans that would likely appreciate being able to put money down on their teams in support. Once sportsbooks come to Florida, you’ll be able to place wagers on these teams and more in markets for football, baseball, basketball, and more.

You’ll also be able to bet money on international sporting events, such as rugby, Korean baseball, and more. Some sportsbooks, it’s important to note, have more betting market variety than others, especially when it comes to international sporting events and leagues.

Under the draft Gaming Compact entered into between the Seminole Tribe betting will be permitted on college sports. There are no restrictions on betting on in-state games, so it appears betting on Florida State University will be permitted. There are restrictions on prop bets on college games, but this is common in other states with legal betting. 

Status Of Esports In Florida

Fortunately, sportsbooks that come to Florida will likely provide eSports wagering markets right off the bat. eSports wagering is rapidly growing throughout the industry, headed by big operators like FanDuel and DraftKings. However, eSports wagering is not yet supported by each operator. Check out what betting market depth and variety an app has to offer before downloading so you get the best experience for your betting tastes.

Legal Vs Illegal Betting In Florida

It can be tough to bide your time and wait for legal sports betting to come to Florida, especially if you’re already a sports betting enthusiast and have been waiting for several years.

But you should still never use an offshore or illegal betting site under any circumstances.

Simply put, illegal betting is dangerous for a number of big reasons:

  • Illegal sites have no obligation to actually protect your information or deposits. If they want, they could easily give that information to identity thieves or other cybercriminals, as well as strip you of your deposits and any winnings you get from their betting lines
  • Furthermore, offshore betting sites get their betting odds and formulate their betting lines from mysterious sources. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get good betting action if you make an account with an offshore site

All in all, legal betting is much safer and will provide a more enjoyable betting experience if you wait for it. Once fully licensed and legalized sportsbooks launch in Florida, you’ll have a much better time putting money down on your favorite games and sporting events.

Not sure whether a site is legal or illegal? Right now, any online sportsbook in Florida is strictly illegal, so that’s an easy way to tell if a site is safe!

After sports betting is legalized, you’ll be able to identify legal sportsbooks from tags or icons at the bottom of their home screens. You’ll also be able to check the Florida Department of Lottery, which will likely maintain a list of currently active and licensed sportsbooks in the state.

How Do You Know If Online Sportsbooks In Florida Are Fair?

Newcomers to online sports betting might have a tough time determining whether a given online sportsbook provides fair betting lines and will offer a great experience. There are a few big ways you can tell that online sportsbooks are fair.

Who Regulates Legal Online Sportsbooks In Florida?

For starters, check out the Florida Department of Lottery, which will more than likely be the organization in charge of sports betting regulation in this state. This organization will regularly review sportsbooks that it has already licensed as well as heavily investigate any future licensed sportsbooks before allowing them to operate freely.

This regulation ensures that online sportsbooks always provide fair betting lines and swift withdraw processes for all of their users. This regulation is one of the big ways in which legal online sportsbooks are distinct from offshore and illegal betting sites.

Why Can You Trust Legal Online Sportsbooks?

Legal online sportsbooks can be trusted not only because of the above regulation from the Florida Department of Lottery, but also because of their own security measures.

For example, every mobile sportsbook worth your time uses SSL certification. This is an advanced security process that encrypts traffic going to and from their sites or apps, which makes it much harder for any would-be hackers to steal your personal information or get into your account.

Furthermore, most great sportsbooks are partnered with security firms or other organizations to ensure top-tier cybersecurity at all times. FanDuel, for instance, has a partnership with HackerOne, which assists them in identifying early cyber threats and preventing them from affecting their users.

Lastly, you can consider the reputations of legal online sportsbooks. Well-known operators like Caesars, BetMGM, DraftKings, and more are already active in other states and have excellent reputations. They’ve already been investigated by several authoritative bodies.

Bottom line: legal online sportsbooks can be trusted with your money and personal information. 

How Do You Get Paid If You Win?

It depends on the sportsbook you choose to download. Different sportsbooks provide different deposit and withdrawal methods, although most of them share a few core methods like debit and credit card transfers and bank transfers. Other sportsbooks may allow you to make withdrawals using ETF transfers, electronic wallet transfers using PayPal and similar platforms, and even physical withdrawals from cash cages at partnered casinos.

Regardless, whenever you use an online sportsbook, you have to put in a withdrawal request after building up enough cash to meet the withdrawal minimum. Then you can either wait a few business days if you use an electronic method or visit a physical cash cage to pick up your withdrawal in person.

Legal and fully licensed sportsbooks will never withhold your winnings from you if you want to withdraw them.

Florida Online Sports Betting FAQs

What kinds of sports bets are legal in Florida?

None at the time of this writing. But with an agreement reached between the state and the Seminole Tribe, it could mean legalization will become official before the end of May 2021.

Can I bet on college sports in Florida?

Not yet. Under the draft compact between the Seminole Tribe and Florida, college sports betting will be allowed, even on in-state teams. Prop bets will not be permitted on college sports. 

Can I bet on eSports in Florida?

Not yet. But when operators like DraftKings launch legal sportsbook operations in this state, you’ll be able to find plenty of eSports betting lines.

What is the tax rate for online sports betting in Florida?

There’s no current active tax rate for online sports betting in Florida. However, Sen. Brandes’ SB 392 legislation proposes a 15% tax rate for all online sports betting profits. This may be carried into further discussions about sports betting legalization.

Who can get a license to run an online sportsbook in Florida?

Ultimately, any sports betting organization with enough money to pay prospective application and licensure fees, and a working mobile app, will be able to acquire a license to run a sportsbook in Florida. However, all future operators will need to partner with the Seminole Tribe, which would make sportsbook operation contingent on acquiring such a partnership.

Is DraftKings offering online sports betting in Florida?

DraftKings currently only provides daily fantasy sports to Florida residents and nothing else. That’s because daily fantasy sports is technically legal as it does not fully qualify as a game of chance.

Is FanDuel offering online sports betting in Florida?

No. Instead, this operator only provides daily fantasy sports, just like DraftKings.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of FloridaSharp.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries.