The Sunshine State boasts amazing beaches, sprawling cities, beautiful weather, and surprisingly to some, Florida offers access to legal sports betting as well. Plenty of teams host their off-season training in Florida because of the great weather year-round.
Florida’s major pro sports teams include the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Orlando Magic, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Tampa Bay Rays, to name a few. With all this sports action, betting on sports in Florida is a popular form of gambling entertainment that bettors ranging from amateur to professional frequently do.
That being said, it is important to address the legal status of sports gambling in Florida so as to avoid any issues or complications. This guide will explore how to safely and legally bet using the sportsbooks we’ve recommended for Florida residents. In order to be a successful bettor, it’s imperative to know how to legally bet in your state.
Is Sports Gambling Legal in Florida?
The short answer is, yes – there is legal sportsbook gambling available to Florida residents. There are no Florida state laws and no US federal laws that make it a crime to bet on sports in the USA as long as the destination at which you placing your wagers is legally licensed and regulated.
This rules out US-based sports betting for Floridians but leaves legitimately licensed sportsbooks operating legally outside of the United States wide open. You can read more about the legal status of Florida sports gambling below where we discuss the specific laws governing sports betting in the United States.
Top Rated Online Sportsbooks For Florida Residents
Here you will see a listing of the Florida friendly online sports betting sites that we consider to be industry leaders. There are of course many more sportsbooks than what we list here, however, we are highly selective about the brands that we recommend, and we only include those destinations that we have personally vetted through a very specific review process.
These sportsbooks are all legally licensed and regulated either individually or through a parent company, offer superb service to their customers, have legitimate bonus offers and utilize sophisticated security protocols that exceed licensing requirements.
|Logo||Site Name||Bonus||Rating||USA||Visit Site|
|Betonline Sportsbook||50% Max $2500||Visit Site|
|Sportsbetting||75% Max $1000||Visit Site|
|Bovada Sportsbook||50% Max $250||Visit Site|
US Federal Gambling Laws That Affect Sports Gambling In Florida
In 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act was repealed by the Supreme Court, allowing each individual state the authority to determine their own will regarding the legalization or prohibition of state-licensed sports betting within their boundaries. Despite this, Florida has yet to take advantage of this newfound freedom and has yet to legalize locally operated sports betting venues.
However, at no time did PASPA or any Florida state law restrictions prohibit Floridians from enjoying offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada or BetOnline. These offshore sportsbooks are operating legaly within the jurisdiction in which they are based, and are used by millions. They operate outside the jurisdiction of the US law and allow players to place wagers without fear of penalty.
There are other laws to consider when talking about sports gambling, such as the Federal Wire Act. Passed in 1961 by President Kennedy, the Federal Wire Act bars people from accepting wagers over the phone or through wire transmission.
In 2011, the Department of Justice established that the Wire Act only applies to US-based sports gambling, leaving offshore gambling free and clear. After PASPA’s repeal, the Federal Wire Act was again reinterpreted and places regulatory restrictions on state-regulated sportsbooks accepting wagers across state lines.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 provides regulatory oversight on how gambling-related transactions can be processed by the US operated banks and credit card companies.
However, the key takeaway from these laws is that they deal with sports betting within United States borders, something that Florida does not yet allow. So, offshore sportsbooks that accept Florida residents, such as Bovada and BetOnline, are legal and safe to use for sports betting.
Will State Licensed Sports Betting Be Legal In Florida Any Time Soon?
If given the opportunity, Florida may one day try to legalize sports betting since PASPA is no longer in force. There have been discussions on the matter, however Tribal gaming concerns and opposition have slowed the process.
Popular Sports Teams to Bet On in Florida
As mentioned earlier, Florida has a lot of sports teams to bet on. While Florida may not boast the most dominant of sports teams in their respective leagues, there are a few teams that look poised to have a successful 2017-2018 season.
The Miami Dolphins reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008 this season under new Head Coach Adam Gase. They ultimately lost out in the first round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but to their credit were missing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who had helped lead the Dolphins to a 10-5 record up to that point.
The Dolphins are sure to hit the 2017-2018 sense with a chip on their shoulder after missing out on the playoffs. The players seem reinvigorated under Coach Gase and QB Ryan Tannehill will be looking to come back strong from his injury. This team is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were expected to make the playoffs this year but ended up missing out on a tiebreaker. Regardless, star quarterback Jameis Winston continues to improve in the NFL and the Bucs are looking to be the most dominant NFL team in Florida. If not for a series of injuries throughout the season, the Bucs could have possibly gone to do something unexpected in the playoffs. They’ll be another team worth watching in the 2017-2018 season.
While the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have as memorable of a season as their Florida NFL counterparts, they could obtain a few pieces in the offseason with trades and the Draft that could set them up for success.
As far as the NBA goes, Florida has the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. While the Heat no longer have the Big 3 (Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh) anymore, they are still a contender in the East.
The Orlando Magic are also a team on the rise. These two teams are worth watching on a game-to-game basis. With the high amount of games played in an NBA season, there are plenty of opportunities to cash in.
One thing that makes Florida stand out in sports is in college football. The University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida State University have all been trading off in terms of dominance over the years. As it stands now, FSU is the best in the state.
However, UM is another strong contender in the ACC. The 2017-2018 season will be an interesting one with some star players heading for the Draft and new recruits coming in, so these three teams will definitely be worth watching.
NFL Teams in FL
NBA Teams in FL
MLB Teams in FL
NHL Teams in FL
Popular College Sports Teams in FL
FAQ’s About Betting On Sports
How Do I Deposit Funs Into An Offshore Sportsbook Site?
Each of the sportsbook brands we feature include varying options for depositing funds into your account. However, most include credit/debit cards, money orders, money transfers, prepaid cards and even Bitcoin as viable options.
Is It Difficult To Receive My Winnings From An Offshore Sportsbook?
Checks are usually the most popular method and can typically take up to 7-10 business days to process. Bitcoin is becoming the future of currency because it allows for streamlined deposits and payouts. There are even services that allow you to convert your Bitcoins into cash with ease. Another withdrawal option is a money transfer using Moneygram or Western Union. Some methods have fees associated with them while others do not. Applicable fees will vary between the policies of each sportsbook.
Is It Safe For Florida Residents To Place Bets At Offshore Sportsbooks?
Without a doubt. We only recommend sites that have been around for about ten years and have been vetted by the players that use them and respected industry professionals. These sites all offer fair and honest services and payouts and use secure servers in order to keep your information safe online. As successful as these sites are, they take their customer service very seriously and would not jeopardize that success with substandard customer care or unreliable security.
Has Any Bettor From Florida Ever Been Arrested for Gambling on Sports?
The only way you can get arrested in the state of Florida for gambling on sports is by doing so through an illegal bookie. That being said, the bookie faces harsher penalties than the bettor, however it’s best to use safe and secure offshore betting sites in order to avoid these issues.
Do These Sites Offer Any Type Of New Customer Perks or Bonuses?
Yes! Most, if not all, of the reputable offshore betting sites offer both introductory bonuses and bonuses for loyal users. These bonuses make for bigger earnings and higher customer satisfaction. In-house sportsbooks like the ones in Vegas can’t match that!
Do I Have To Pay Taxes On My Winnings At FL Friendly Offshore Sportsbooks?
As profits from sports betting are considered taxable income, it’s important that you pay taxes on them according to your state’s laws. It would be a shame to not enjoy your winnings because you’re in prison for tax evasion. Be sure to check with a local tax specialist on how you should go about reporting your earnings.
Can I Place Bets From My Mobile Device?
Yes, All of the offshore sportsbooks that we recommend utilize a web friendly, mobile optimized app so you can handle your sports betting on the go. The app has all the same services of the web version as well as the same sophisticated security protocols. You can place bets, manage your account and check the status of the events you have bet on, all from your smartphone or tablet.
Are There Any Sports Teams in Florida That Have A Shot At Winning A National Title in 2017/2018?
Realistically, no. However, there are some promising teams on the rise that could pull something incredible off. The best odds at a Florida championship come through either the NFL or college football, so whether or not you place a futures bet on your team winning it all depends on your confidence in your team. There are no clear frontrunners for Florida at the time of this writing.