Law & Updates – When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in Florida?
We know the same question keeps coming up: Can you sports bet in Florida? Well, as is the case across the US, rules continue to be discussed, amended, discarded, and accepted. It’s a complicated subject in Florida. Here is an ongoing timeline of important details:
- January, 2023: After a year of inactivity, mobile sports betting in Florida may be on the horizon in 2023, when legal processes are scheduled to begin.
- December, 2022: The Battle of the Florida Sports Betting continues regarding the legal matter between the Seminole Tribe and State of Florida with a two-hour oral hearing.
- Bettors in Florida have been unable to place wagers on sports games so far, but there is optimism that legal sports betting will return to the Sunshine State soon.
- July, 2022: There would not be a ruling on sports betting in Florida until 2023, according to the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.
- Both the Department of the Interior and the Seminole Indians submitted briefs in the appeal to get the new agreement reinstating sports betting in Florida upheld.
- Due to the ongoing legal battle over Florida sports betting, the Seminole Tribe ceased making payments to the state as per the revised gaming agreement from the previous year.
- The federal government submitted its response to the appeal filed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida in the case against the 2021 gaming accord. The government contends that it adequately represents the tribe’s interests.
- West Flagler Associates, the plaintiff in action challenging the 2021 agreement, submitted a response to the appeals filed by the federal government and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Two of the brief’s three arguments were aimed at the government, while the other two were addressed to the tribe.
- December, 2021: The Seminole Tribe, which operates the brick-and-mortar casinos and the pari-mutuel horse races in Florida, filed a suit against the newly opened sportsbooks. This forced the new betting brands to shut down only three weeks after opening temporarily.
- The bill would allow individuals over 21 to bet on professional and college sports but would not allow betting on high school sports.
- November, 2021: Hard Rock Sportsbook went live for the Floridan residents, but just for a short while. The Seminole Tribe quickly suspended all sports betting after a federal appellate.
- February, 2021: In 2021, the Florida Legislature began considering a bill that would legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.
- The amendment stipulates that sportsbooks must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the business before they can open in Florida.
- The amendment also required that sports betting be permitted in existing casinos, and this was likely to include tribal casinos.
- November, 2020: In November 2020, Florida residents voted to approve Amendment 3, giving the Florida Legislature the power to regulate sports betting in the state. However, both SB 968 and SB 970 did not make it through the early stages.
Can You Sports Bet in Florida – Overview
Back in early 2022, the question “can you sports bet in Florida” was still in a state of uncertainty. The timeline for resolving the tribal problems around the Seminole state gaming agreement is unknown.
Given the status of the litigation, since the appeals were filed, it seemed unlikely that online sports betting in Florida would be allowed to resume in 2022.
New Contract with the Seminole Tribe
In April 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new contract with the Seminole Tribe that legalized mobile wagering across the state.
After receiving approval from the state legislature in May 2021, the US Department of the Interior authorized the tribal agreement in August 2021. This made it possible to publish the bill in the Federal Register and therefore legalize sports betting in Florida.
That action kickstarted issues about the legality of mobile sports betting in the judicial system, where they properly belong under tribal gaming legislation.
Several groups in Florida filed lawsuits against the state’s legalization of sports betting, arguing that doing so violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
This is the main crux of the question; is sports betting legal in Florida? There need to be serious discussions for things to move forward.
Gaming contract nullified
The Seminole Tribe lodged an appeal with the court that nullified the Florida gaming contract through 2021.
However, due to sluggish court proceedings, it became highly doubtful that online sports betting would return to Florida in the year 2022. Regardless of the many attempts.
Florida’s sports betting negotiations took place almost exclusively behind the scenes, in contrast to the public legislative hearings that are standard practice in other areas.
Sports betting in Florida requires a bigger gaming agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe for it to continue on a positive path.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
The answer to is sports betting legal in Florida is yes, but only in tribal casinos. In November 2020, Florida residents voted to approve Amendment 3, which gave the Florida Legislature the power to regulate sports betting in the state.
However, online sports betting is currently illegal in Florida.
A federal judge ruled that the Seminole Tribe’s provision of mobile sports betting to state citizens when not on tribe grounds violates the Indian Gaming Regulation Act.
When will Sports Betting be Legal in Florida?
It is still being determined when will sports betting be legal in Florida. The Florida Legislature is currently considering a bill that would legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.
The bill would allow individuals over 21 to bet on professional and college sports but would not allow betting on high school sports.
The bill is still in the early stages and has yet to be approved by the legislature. If the bill is approved, it will likely take several months for sports betting to become legal in Florida. But as it stands, there is positive action taking place.
Sports betting is legal in the state of Florida, but only in tribal casinos. So to ensure you are completely on the same page, online sports betting is still illegal due to a court case surrounding the Seminole Tribe.
As it stands, the Florida Legislature is currently considering a bill that would legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.
If the bill is approved, there will still be some time to wait before the big betting brands can officially launch. But the plus side is that the official talks are still planned to go ahead.
In the meantime, there are still opportunities to bet on sports in the state. The only stipulation is that you must be willing to do so in one of the tribal casinos.