Is Sports Betting Legal or Not Legal in Miami?
Although the gambling law in Florida (Miami) prohibits people from betting on sports online via any device, there’s no record of anyone ever being prosecuted for wagering at an online offshore sportsbook like betmiami.net. Since these sportsbooks operate outside the jurisdiction of the United States, technically they are not governed by US law.
In fact, there are some online offshore sportsbooks that only accept American customers, and many that go out of their way to cater to the American bettor. Some cruise ships that set off from Florida ports do offer legalized sports betting on board once the ship enters international waters.
Miami Betting Sites
You can play action at any offshore online sportsbook on your PC or laptop via their online website.
As well, daily fantasy games such as FanDuel.com and DraftKings.com are legal to play in Florida. However, Miami residents may not place wagers at the DraftKings or FanDuel sportsbooks.
If and when legalized sports betting comes to the state of Florida will be left entirely in the hands of the people who live there.
Across the state during the November 2018 mid-term elections, voters cast ballots in favor of Amendment 3, which said the only way virtually any form of legalized gambling can be approved is through a statewide initiative placed on the ballot by citizen petition. Then it would need to finish with a favorable outcome when the vote is held. Exceptions to this Amendment were made for casinos on Indian reservations.
There is a glimmer of hope that something could happen to speed up the process that would legalize sports betting within the state. In the spring of 2019, the Florida legislature entered into negotiations for a new gaming compact with the Seminole tribe.
The only way that the state can get around Amendment 3 and offer Florida legalized sports betting without a constitutional amendment is through the tribes or the lottery. The state could also argue that since sports betting wasn’t on the table when Amendment 3 was passed, then it is not covered by the amendment.
Unfortunately, the May 3 end of the legislative session came to an end without any sports betting legalization bill being put forward. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis indicated that there were still a lot of details to be ironed out before the state could consider moving forward with any such bill. DeSantis did acknowledge that a draft outline of the bill which would open the door for sports betting in Florida, with the tribe acting as a hub for sports betting at the state’s pari-mutuel location, was presented to him for his perusal. But that’s as far as it’s gone.
At this stage, it looks as though legalized sports betting in Florida remains a long way from being a reality.
Miami Horse Racing and Jai Alai
The only sports you can bet only legally in Florida (Miami) are horse racing and jai alai. Gulfstream Park, one of the leading thoroughbred tracks in North America, is a 30-minute drive from Miami.
A hugely intense game from its introduction in the 1920 thought the 1970s with a passionate following, jai alai began to decline in popularity in the 1970s. It has dwindled down to a niche sport followed by fewer and fewer people.
Greyhound racing, once and extremely popular sport with the betting public, was banned in the state when Amendment 13 passed during the November 2018 mid-term elections. The last greyhound track in the state ceased live racing in April of 2019.
Mobile Betting Apps in Miami
Likewise, accessing any of these online offshore sports betting sites via an app on your mobile device of choice also doesn’t seem to be an issue.
You might want to check first, though before you download that sportsbook’s app on your smartphone, tablet or iPad. Many of these sites employ cutting edge technology, so you’ll find that their web pages are extremely mobile friendly.
Florida Land-Based Casinos
There are 10 casinos that operate in the Miami area. They are all within a 25-mile journey from the heart of downtown Miami.
You’ll find that they range from simple no-frills slot parlors that don’t offer table games, to extravagant resort operations that would look right at home on the Las Vegas strip.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the most popular of the bunch. It is situated 21 miles north of Miami and houses 140,000 square feet of casino space.
A $1.5 billion expansion to the facility is due to open in October 2019.
There are also legal card rooms operating in Miami but in order to operate, their facilities must be accompanied by some form of pari-mutual wagering.
Top Local Sports Betting Blogs in Miami
With sports betting seemingly so far away from becoming a reality, you won’t find any blogs catering solely to the sports betting scene in Miami and Florida. Your best bet to keep track of the news is to follow the sports betting legalization stories in the local media.
Professional Teams to Bet
As spring-training home to many Major League Baseball teams, Florida always held a prominent presence on the pro sports landscape. But it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that Miami really became part of the pro sports scene when the Dolphins were awarded an AFL expansion franchise. The second Super Bowl game was played in Miami and when Super Bowl LIV is held next February at Hard Rock Stadium, it will be the 11th Super Bowl held in Miami, breaking a tie for top spot with New Orleans.
Two American treasures….Curt Gowdy and the Orange Bowl.— 1970s NFL (@1970sNFL) June 11, 2019
Super Bowl III pic.twitter.com/W9np1LrEQU
Today, the pro sports market in Miami is one of the hottest in North America. The city is among the few in North America that can boast it has played host to the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup final.
Miami Marlins (MLB)
Like all of the city’s teams, the Marlins were granted an MLB expansion franchise in 1993. Originally called the Florida Marlins, they won the World Series in 1997, their fifth season of existence, and became the first wild card team to be World Series champions.
The Marlins repeated as World Series champions in 2003 and again won the Fall Classic as a wild card playoff team.
In 2012, the team was renamed the Miami Marlins.
Miami Dolphins (NFL)
The Miami Seahawks did have a short tenure in the AAFC, a 1940s rival to the NFL, but Miami’s first major pro sports franchise was really the Dolphins. They entered the American Football League as an expansion franchise in 1966. In their first-ever regular-season game, Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, although Oakland still won the game 23-14.
In 1970, two fortuitous things happened to the Dolphins. They hired Don Shula as coach and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger. The Dolphins made the playoffs that season as a wild card team, becoming the first of the AFL teams to play in the NFL playoffs.
On this date in 1973, the Dolphins became the first (and only) undefeated team in NFL history, beating Washington in Super Bowl VII. pic.twitter.com/K34nwDeZ08— ESPN (@espn) January 14, 2018
The Dolphins played in Super Bowl VI and then beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, completing what remains the only perfect season by a Super Bowl champion, going 17-0. Miami followed up with another win in Super Bowl VIII over the Minnesota Vikings.
Miami Heat (NBA)
The Heat were an NBA expansion team in 1988. They hired former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley in 1995 and built a championship roster around LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
The Heat won an NBA title in 2005-06 led by Wade, and two more in 2011-12 and 2012-13 with James and Bosh joining Wade. Between 2006-14, the Heat played in five NBA finals.
Florida Panthers (NHL)
Hockey came to South Beach in 1993 when the Panthers were an expansion franchise. And like Miami’s other pro teams, it wasn’t long before they were contenders.
Backed by the stellar goaltending of John Vanbiesbrouck, the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup final in 1995-96, their third season of existence. In 2019, the Panthers hired three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Joel Quenneville in the hopes of pursuing further glory.
Photo by Brandi Ibrao