States can now legalize sports betting with legislative approval, but Florida is a long ways from getting legal sports betting following the Supreme Court decision on May 14, 2018 that struck down the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA).
Florida is one of the most populous states in the U.S., but the Sunshine State has strong opposition to sports betting from the powerful Seminole Tribe that controls most the casinos in the state.
A recent amendment that passed in November, 2019 also will make it much more difficult to legalize sports betting in Florida. So betting on pro and college football and basketball games, or hockey, baseball, soccer, tennis, UFC and other types of sports is not going to be available to residents in Florida in the foreseeable future.
Legislation updates on sports betting in Florida
There are no sports betting bills in the 2019 session.
When Florida voters passed Amendment 3 in November 2019, it meant that any future gaming expansion in the state would have to go through a referendum, not simply through legislative votes. So legalizing sports betting is now more difficult as any proposed legal sports betting measures will have to meet a certain threshold with voters to pass. Then state legislators would have to agree on a regulatory framework with tax rates, licensing fees, etc.
Online Sports Betting in Florida
Florida residents can bet online with out-of-state and offshore online gambling operators. While not technically legal, residents in Florida can gamble online through these platforms, as licensed offshore sportsbooks are located outside the jurisdiction of the US federal laws. There is no legal punishment that has yet occurred to residents for betting illegally offshore or at sites not based in the U.S. However, choosing a reputable and well-financed sports book is recommended as these operators could elect to not pay winnings to residents of the state where the sportsbooks are not legal. Minimum age to bet online is 21.