Florida SPorts Betting

Sports Betting In Florida In 2022

The current sports betting situation in Florida is in a state of flux. Efforts were made last year to introduce the Sunshine State’s first sportsbook app. However, it was live for mere weeks before it was pulled by the courts, and continues to be caught up in litigation.

Below, we’ll take a look at the background surrounding recent attempts to change betting laws in Florida. We’ll also look at the current legalities and what the future may hold.

Background to the recent controversy

Sports betting is legal in Florida, but the technicalities surrounding it are a little difficult to wrap your head around. The Seminole Tribe hold exclusive rights to sports betting in the state. All licensing has to go through them.

The Tribe also operates the Hard Rock brand, which owns casinos. In November 2021, they launched the Hard Rock online sportsbook – the first and only online app in the state.

However, after around a month of being active, Hard Rock became embroiled in litigation. Rulings were made against them and the app was taken down. It remains down to this day.

Now, other brands could step up to fill the void. But permission must first be obtained from the Seminole Tribe and deals struck, seeing them take a percentage of the profits made.

So, we’re left with an impasse, with efforts made to change laws, only for those changes to be reversed.

The current betting situation in Florida

As mentioned earlier, betting and gambling are legal in Florida. The recent controversies surround the introduction of the state’s first online sportsbook.

Florida has seven Native American gaming casinos in total. Coupled with horse racing, these are some of the main avenues of gambling. The issue affecting the introduction of the state’s first sportsbook app was that licensing laws restricted it to bets placed on casino land.

Given the popularity of online betting around the world and the liberal laws governing the sector, it seems that Florida may follow suit and relax rules surrounding online sportsbooks.

Ahead of that change, it may be worth doing your research on the options that could become available to you. Some online betting companies specialize in different things. For example, Bet America is best known for its horse racing site.

Horse racing and fantasy sports

Fantasy sports in Florida have a bit of a curious legal standing. The government has never actually taken a stance on them, and as a result, fantasy sports are available to play within the state.

Players can enjoy a range of games, such as fantasy football and soccer, across a number of different providers – in stark contrast to the online sportsbook situation for real sports.

One of the distinguishing features of fantasy sports in Florida is that they don’t need to be run through the Seminole Tribe. This means that more operators can offer these services.

Are other betting options likely in the future?

Florida gambling laws are fixed in a unique way and that doesn’t look likely to change in the future. The Seminole Tribe enjoys a multi-billion dollar hold over the industry and won’t be yielding their grip any time soon.

However, from the perspective of the player, their attempts at expanding the market to introduce an online sportsbook app is a positive step in bringing the available services up to date with everywhere else.

The big question is whether other online betting companies will be allowed to bring their sportsbook apps to the market too. A wider choice is only going to be a good thing for the player, bringing more deals and more competitive odds.

But online sportsbooks in Florida still face a massive legal challenge. Firstly, the legality surrounding the Seminole Tribe’s attempt to offer betting beyond reservation land, as permitted by current law, has been questioned.

Another issue lies in the Florida constitution. Any planned expansion of sportsbooks has been challenged on the grounds that a deal must be approved by a ballot.

So, the future of sportsbooks in Florida is tangled in a web of bureaucracy and doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

In summary

The future of gambling laws is uncertain in Florida. While some niches of the industry, such as fantasy sports, are thriving, other areas of growth have been stunted, particularly with sportsbooks.

Change is inevitable, especially given how widely available sportsbook apps are in the rest of the United States and the wider world. But there’s still plenty for Floridians to enjoy, with casinos and race tracks aplenty.

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