How To Bet On Sports In Florida

Sports betting possibilities are heating up in Florida and 2021 saw big developments. While the state has historically been in legislative gridlock, thanks to the Seminole Tribe’s ironclad grip on several other gambling activities in the state, Gov. DeSantis and the Tribe came to an agreement in early 2021 to bring mobile betting to Florida. As such, potential bettors in Florida would do well to learn how to bet on sports using Florida’s mobile sportsbooks.

The legalization of Florida sports betting is great news for sports wagering enthusiasts in the state as legal sports betting has been a long time coming. Newcomers to sports betting may not know how to jump into this activity when it’s finally legalized, especially since there aren’t any details about how sports betting will be available.

This page will break down everything you need to know about how you’ll be able to bet on sports in Florida once legislation is finally passed.

Where Can You Bet On Sports In Florida?

Online Sportsbooks

Online sports betting apps and platforms are more popular than ever before and for good reason. Online sportsbooks allow you to enjoy sports wagering from the comfort of your own home without having to drive to a retail casino location.

This makes it easier to put money down on upcoming or immediate sporting events whenever you like. Even better, many top sportsbooks include opening bonus offers for all new account holders, such as free site credit, free bets, and more.

Many of the best mobile sportsbooks even incorporate live streaming so you can place in-play wagers. These are special bets that feature betting lines made from automated algorithms. In-play betting is a unique and fun way to engage with sports wagering, but it’s often only available for mobile platforms.

Fortunately, if sports betting is legalized in Florida, odds are that any operators will be allowed to provide sports betting through their mobile platforms as well as retail locations.

Retail Sportsbooks

It can also be fun to place sports bets at retail sportsbooks. These will be located at Florida casinos, the majority of which are owned by the Seminole Tribe.

At retail sportsbooks, you can enjoy a drink and watch sporting events on big TVs while seeing if your bets pan out. Depending on legislative details, Florida may require sports bettors to finish the registration process for a mobile app by visiting a partnered retail sportsbook near their area.

Alternatively, sports betting registration may not require this step, allowing registration to be completed from anywhere within the state.

Popular Sports Bets In Florida

When sportsbooks finally launch in Florida, they’ll provide a variety of wagers for different sports markets. As Florida is home to several professional sports teams, you’ll find markets for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and other leagues no matter which sportsbook you choose to use.

Depending on the sportsbook you download or visit, you’ll also be able to put money down on other sporting activities or markets. These include NASCAR and motocross racing, MMA and UFC fighting, darts, and even eSports which is highly popular competitive video gaming.

Florida also has a lot of immigrants and its proximity to the Atlantic ocean makes it a popular place to put money down on international sporting events such as rugby, Australian rules football, and cricket. Not all sportsbooks provide international betting markets, so you’ll need to choose your book carefully if you want to wager on these events once sports betting is legal. 

Another big point of contention will likely be college or collegiate betting. Florida has a lot of top college sports teams for sports like football and basketball, and many fans of sports in this state would be disappointed if sportsbooks didn’t allow them to put money down on their favorite teams.

But even gambling progressive states like New Jersey have some limitations with collegiate betting to protect college players. There hasn’t been any word as to whether Gov. DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe have reached an agreement about collegiate betting.

They may decide to outlaw college sports betting entirely or choose to prevent wagers from being placed on in-state teams and games. They may also decide to allow collegiate betting overall, though this is unlikely.

Regardless, if collegiate betting is allowed in any capacity, college bets will be some of the most popular in Florida.

What Kinds Of Bets Can Be Placed In Florida

All sports betting platforms these days offer a handful of staple wager types, with a few rare exceptions:

  • Moneyline bets, where you simply bet on which team will win or lose a match.
  • Spread bets, where you bet the spread by wagering whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of points.
  • Totals bets, where you wager whether the scores of two teams combined will be more or less than a set point amount.
  • Prop or proposition bets, which involve wagering on specific events within a game (such as a player hitting a home run, an injured player, and so on).
  • Futures bets, which are popular wagers for championship events or things like March Madness. With futures bets, you bet on the outcome of the future event with odds and potential payouts being higher the further out from the event you put your money down.

There will be some specific differences between different books. For instance, WynnBET doesn’t currently have any futures bets available, so if this operator comes to Florida, bettors won’t be able to see these lines on this particular betting platform.

In all likelihood, Florida sports wagerers will be able to place all these bets and more on their favorite sports betting platforms. 

How Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated

In all high-quality sportsbooks, betting odds are calculated using both professional line makers (essentially sportsbook statisticians) and line-making algorithms.

In a nutshell, line makers gather official league data and try to come up with betting odds that provide a good potential for payout relative to the risk for both underdog bettors and favorite bettors. In this way, anyone who puts money down on a bet using a fully licensed sportsbook should have a great time. Underdog bettors have the potential to win more money, but also accept a little more risk.

Line makers also formulate their odds so that the sportsbook itself can take a small cut or vigorish of the bet. This is how sportsbooks make money, alongside other things like sponsorship deals and special promotions.

It’s always important to review the quality of player friendliness of betting odds before downloading a sportsbook. Different books have different qualities of odds, and many more experienced sports bettors like to line shop by browsing different sportsbooks, looking for betting lines covering the same event. Once they find a betting line with the best potential for payout, they’ll use that sportsbook to put their money down.

How To Bet On Sports In Florida

The exact process for betting on sports in Florida will depend heavily on whether in-person registration is required for mobile sportsbook downloads. Here’s a brief breakdown of what the betting process will likely look like.

Download A Sportsbook

First, Florida residents will need to choose a sportsbook to download. Odds are that there will be several mobile apps to download as soon as the industry fully launches, as licensing will be taken care of before the official launch date.

iPhone users will be able to download the sportsbook of their choice straight from the Apple App Store. Android users, on the other hand, might be required to download their sportsbook from the operator’s desktop website depending on the book in question. Some sportsbooks are available on the Google Play Store, but not all.

After downloading a sportsbook to your phone the installation will happen automatically. Geolocation software will also install to prevent you from placing a wager outside Florida state lines.

Register An Account

Florida residents will next need to register for the sportsbook at a downloaded. They will be able to open the sportsbook app and make an account by providing their date of birth, Social Security number, and more information for identity verification.

If Florida requires in-person registration, residents will then need to visit the casino partnered with their sportsbook and complete the process by showing some ID.

Fund Your Account

Funding one’s sports betting account should be quick and simple no matter which book you download. All top-tier sportsbooks provide a variety of deposit methods, including credit or debit card transfers, bank transfers, electronic wallet transfers, and more. But the exact deposit methods depend on the sportsbook you choose.

You’ll also want to take advantage of any opening bonuses that may apply based on the book you’ve downloaded. Some sportsbooks require promotional codes to be entered for you to get free credit, free bets, or other benefits.

Others require you to deposit a certain amount. Be sure to read the fine print carefully so you take full advantage of any applicable opening bonuses.

Make A Bet

Once a sports bettor has funded their account, they’ll be able to make a bet by navigating through their app to the betting lines available. Creating and funding a sports betting account in Florida will take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours (depending on whether in-person registration is required).

Sports Partnerships

At this time, there aren’t any details about prospective sports betting partnerships in Florida. Remember, the Seminole Tribe controls most of the retail casinos in this area. Additionally, this tribe owns Hard Rock International: a gaming company that already offers online sports betting in states like Iowa, New Jersey, and Nevada. Therefore, the Seminole Tribe may simply decide to use Hard Rock to provide sports wagering in Florida.

If this happens, we expect a good amount of protest from other operators.

Alternatively, the Seminole Tribe may decide to partner with other operators known for their quality platforms or sports wagering opportunities. DraftKings, FanDuel, Bet MGM, Bet365, BetRivers, and more are all likely eager to jump into the Florida sports betting market once the activity is fully legalized.

Regardless of which operators receive licensure, they might need to partner with the Seminole Tribe, as a retail sportsbook presents may be required to receive an online license. Time will tell how many licenses are ultimately up for grabs for Florida’s legal sports betting market.

How To Bet On Sports In Florida FAQs

Is it legal to bet on sports in Florida?

No, not yet. However, an agreement on sports wagering will likely be reached between the state government and Seminole Tribe sometime before the end of 2021. Once this occurs, we’ll have more details about whether retail or online sports wagering will be allowed, which operators will be applying for licensure, and more. 

Will all sportsbooks in Florida offer the same sports bets opportunities?

No, but most major sportsbooks that pursue licensure in Florida will offer roughly the same sports betting markets. You can rest assured any approved sportsbook will allow you to place bets on major sports betting markets such as those for the NFL, NBA, and so on. But sportsbooks can differ dramatically on what kind of niche or international sporting markets they offer.

Where will Florida residents be able to bet on sports?

Only in Florida. Depending on future legislation, retail sports betting may be the only type legalized. If online sports wagering is legalized, bettors will be able to put money down from anywhere within state lines.

Are in-play sports betting available for Florida residents?

Not yet. But many of the most likely operators to pursue licensure in this state, such as DraftKings, do offer in-play betting at states where they are already active.

Which sportsbooks have the best odds for sports betting?

Generally, larger and more established sportsbooks have top-tier, player-friendly odds available. Operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and William Hill typically have very good odds for all of their sports wagering markets.

Are there any sports betting partnerships in Florida right now?

No, but the Seminole Tribe has historically partnered with Bet365 and William Hill in the past. That makes these two operators more likely candidates for partnership licenses, should the Seminole Tribe be granted exclusive control over the Florida sports betting industry.

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.