In May 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sports betting compact that gave the Seminole Tribe the exclusive right to operate sports betting in the state. However, this compact was thrown out by a federal judge, leaving the future of sports betting in Florida unclear.
While other attempts have been made to legalize sports betting in the Sunshine State, so far none have been successful.
Here’s everything you need to know about sports betting in Florida, including its future and recent attempts at legalization.
Recent News and Details About Sports Betting in Florida
- Florida Education Champions (FEC) announced it would not have the required 891,589 signatures to put sports betting to a voter referendum in November 2022.
- The FEC partnered with sports betting leaders DraftKings and FanDuel to promote the referendum, but due to the failure to collect enough signatures, it may take several more years for sports betting to be legalized in the state.
- Hard Rock pulled its sports betting app from Florida in 2021 due to a series of rulings against legalizing sports betting in the state.
- Florida Gov. DeSantis previously announced an agreement with the state’s Seminole Tribe to bring mobile sports betting to the state by the end of 2021, but this agreement was later overturned.
- Florida’s Seminole Tribe is currently appealing the court decision that ended the 2021 Florida gambling compact; however, this appeal is moving slowly, thus delaying the return of sports betting to the state.
- After the failure of the FEC, DraftKings, and FanDuel to pass a ballot measure to legalize widespread sports betting in Florida, there are currently no other initiatives to bring online sports betting to the state.
Online Sports Betting in Florida: A Timeline
Online sports betting in Florida was legal for a brief period after Gov. DeSantis signed the Florida sports betting compact in 2021. However, it was overturned by a federal judge later that year, leaving the future of sports betting in Florida uncertain. Here are the most recent developments relating to the legalization of online sports betting in Florida:
- May 13, 2022: According to estimates from Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, Florida may not introduce widespread online sports betting until 2026.
- Feb. 21, 2022: Despite failing to get enough signatures for a voter referendum, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins expects to get a question on the ballot for Florida sports betting in 2024.
- Jan. 28, 2022: The FEC reveals it failed to get enough valid signatures for a voter referendum on sports betting in the November 2022 election.
- Jan. 15, 2022: DraftKings offers Florida customers $100 to sign the FEC’s petition for a sports betting referendum in 2022.
- Dec. 20, 2021: The BetMGM Horse Racing app launches in Florida. While sports betting is generally illegal, Florida does allow horse racing betting apps to operate in the state.
- Dec. 4, 2021: After a federal judge overturned the Seminole Tribe’s sports betting compact with Florida, Hard Rock Sportsbook suspends its mobile sports betting app.
- Nov. 22, 2021: Judge Dabney Friedrich throws out the Florida sports betting compact soon after Hard Rock launches its sports betting app in the state.
- May 26, 2021: Gov. DeSantis signs the Florida sports betting compact. This agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe gives the Tribe the exclusive ability to conduct sports betting in the state.
How Do Florida Residents Feel About Sports Betting?
As sports betting in Florida has yet to be put to a voter referendum, it’s unclear whether the majority of Florida residents support the legalization of online sports betting. The FEC, in partnership with DraftKings and FanDuel, collected approximately 480,000 of the 891,589 valid signatures required to hold a voter referendum on sports betting.
Whatever the future of sports betting in Florida, it will likely have to be determined by voters. In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 3 by a vote of 71% to 29%, giving voters the exclusive right to authorize casino gambling in Florida.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Florida?
Though many states still don’t permit sports betting, some do allow residents to participate in daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. These apps allow players to create fictional teams and compete with others in daily contests to earn cash and other prizes. Due to the nature of these contests, some states consider them to be games of chance, and others view them as games of skill.
While sports betting is illegal in Florida, DFS apps are legal and currently operating in the state. Residents can participate in DFS contests by registering with one of the apps available in the state, including major platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel. The Florida Department of Lottery oversees daily fantasy sports for regulatory purposes.
Florida Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of May 2022.