Legal sports betting in florida

Sports Gambling In Florida

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 Dolphins, Heat, Marlins, Magic, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Panthers, Lightning and the 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 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 offshore sportsbooks 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 that 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. They are all legally licensed and regulated, 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 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (otherwise known as PASPA) was passed and made sports gambling illegal in all but four states: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Unfortunately, as you can see, Florida did not make the list. This means that there are no legal forms of in-house or brick and mortar styles of sports wagering.

However, PASPA and Florida state law restrictions do not include offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada or BetOnline. These offshore sportsbooks are legally licensed and operated and used by millions. They operate outside the jurisdiction of the PASPA 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 online gambling free and clear.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 prohibits banks from processing any transactions stemming from online gambling. However, the key takeaway from these laws is that they deal with sports betting within United States borders. So, offshore sportsbooks that accept Florida residents, like 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, however until PASPA is repealed or drastically modified to include the addition of other states in the exemptions, there isn’t anything the state can do about it. Federal law always trumps state law, which is one reason New Jersey is facing opposition from the feds as they try to implement sports betting into their gambling repertoire without being exempted from the restictions of PASPA.

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 dominate of sports teams in their respective leagues, there are a few teams that look poised to have 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.

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