If you enjoy playing online casino games in your free time, you’ll probably have explored the idea of engaging in sports betting and pondered the legalities of this type of gambling in your state.
In 2018, the Supreme Court invalidated the federal ban on sports betting, known as PASPA. This momentous moment in history gave authorities in each individual US state the freedom to decide whether to legalize sports betting. Since the ban was lifted, more than two-thirds of states have legalized this popular gambling pastime in some form or another. Also, around half of states now allow mobile sports betting using a PC or smartphone.
But what about sports betting in Florida, specifically? Online gambling is only technically allowed in a handful of states, namely Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Luckily, sports betting (and horse racing, in particular) has received more leniency than many other forms of gambling in Florida.
Read on to discover the various Florida sports betting laws and how to bet on sports legally when visiting or living in the Sunshine State.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
Unfortunately, Florida has remained in sports betting legal limbo since 2021. Sports betting was legalized in Florida in 2021 when the state renegotiated its gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe (the tribe manages Florida’s Hard Rock Casinos, along with four Seminole Casinos – hence its massive influence over the state’s gambling industry.) The negotiation focused on introducing retail sportsbooks at Seminole casinos and mobile sports betting via the Hard Rock Sportsbook app. Retail sports betting at pari-mutuel facilities partnered with the Seminoles was also given the green light.
Sadly, sports betting was only legal in Florida for three weeks before a district judge overturned the refreshed gaming compact and reinstated the ban. US District Judge Dabney Friedrich justified his decision by claiming the amended compact was in violation of an act detailing the legalities of gambling on tribal land – the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA.)
Following the reinstated ban, the Seminoles attempted to negotiate a stay on the order, allowing them to offer mobile betting until a final decision could be made, but their request was denied, placing legal sports betting in Florida on hold for the foreseeable future.
Those against the ban didn’t stand down, though. In 2022, the Department of Justice appealed US District Judge Dabney Friedrich’s decision, and FanDuel and DraftKings adopted a ballot initiative to try to legalize online sports betting across the state. Gamblers still await the decision regarding the appeal and, unfortunately, the ballot initiative didn’t make it onto the 2022 ballot due to a lack of signatures.
Only time will tell if Florida’s luck will turn regarding legal sports betting.
How To Bet Legally on Sports in Florida
There’s good news despite the bad news above! While sports betting isn’t legal in Florida, it’s possible to participate in online horse racing betting, greyhound betting and daily fantasy sports without any run-ins with the law.
There are also options available regarding in-person betting in Florida. You can legally bet on the races at various racetracks, participate in jai alai betting and play casino games at cardrooms (many of which also offer slots and electronic table games) and tribal casinos.
Only interested in sports betting? If you live in Florida and you’re keen to bet on your favorite sport, you might want to consider traveling to a nearby state where sports betting is legal. For example, both Arkansas and Mississippi now offer legal sports betting to various degrees since the 2018 PASPA ruling.
Tips for Responsible Online Horse Racing Betting
Betting on horse racing responsibly is a must to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience – remember never to bet more than you can afford to lose!
Here are some helpful tips.
Take the time to learn about horse racing and betting strategies. Familiarize yourself with the different types of bets, odds, and factors that can influence race outcomes. Understanding the sport and its intricacies can improve your decision-making.
Bet Within Your Knowledge
Stick to races and horses you’re familiar with. Avoid making impulsive bets on unfamiliar races or exotic wagers you don’t fully understand. Focus on races where you can analyze and evaluate the form, track conditions, jockey performance and other relevant factors.
Never chase your losses by trying to win money back with risky bets. Maintain discipline, and if luck isn’t on your side, take a break and reassess before continuing.
Set Time Limits
Allocate a specific amount of time for horse race betting and stick to it. Avoid spending excessive time gambling, as it can lead to neglecting other important aspects of life.
Bet on Horse Racing Online With BetMGM
Here at BetMGM, while you can’t play casino games online, we’re thrilled to be able to provide a convenient and accessible platform for online horse race betting in Florida. Explore a wide range of horse racing events and place your bets with ease. We’re always keeping you up to date with comprehensive horse racing information, including race schedules, horse profiles, jockey details and track conditions to help you make informed decisions regarding your bets.
Be sure to check out BetMGM’s online casino when visiting states where online gambling is legal. You’ll have access to an expansive menu of online slots, live dealer casino games, casino table games and more.
Register when you’re ready to join in the fun!