There has been some legal drama (see below) around sports betting in Florida, but it’s currently legal in the Sunshine State with one online option and six retail locations operated by Hard Rock at Seminole Casinos in the state. The Hard Rock Bet is also the one online sportsbook option in a state where industry giants like Caesars and BetMGM aren’t present. The following cities in Florida host retail sportsbook locations: Okeechobee, Coconut Creek, Immokalee, Hollywood (2), and Tampa.

Bettors in Florida don’t have a lot of options when it comes to online sportsbooks, but this article will share with you what you need to know before placing that first sports wager in a state loaded with professional sports franchises.

Florida Sports Betting Legal Path 

Sports betting was legalized in Florida for a short period of time in late 2021, but was only active for less than a month before being challenged by the courts. However, the Supreme Court rejected a motion to shut down the state’s online sports betting apps and Hard Rock Bet opened its app for all Florida bettors in Dec. 2023. Sports betting is currently legal in Florida, but there may be more legal drama ahead. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) aren’t regulated in the state after bill SB1568 failed in the senate in March of 2024. 

Additional Florida Legal Betting Path Details

Here are some key questions regarding Florida's sports betting rules:

  1. How old Do You Have to Be To Bet In Florida?

    You must be 21 years old or older to bet at a legal retail or online sportsbook within the state.

  2. How Many Sportsbooks Operate in Florida?

    There is one online sportsbook and six retail sportsbooks in Florida.

  3. Can you Bet on College Sports in Florida?

    You can bet on professional and college sports teams based in Florida, but not individual college athletes.

  4. Can You Play Daily Fantasy In Florida?

    Daily fantasy sports contests are unregulated in Florida.

  5. Do you have to go to a retail location in Florida to register a sports betting account?

     Florida allows for remote registration for sports betting.

  6. Can you bet on Esports in Florida?

    Betting on esports is illegal in Florida.

  7. Can you bet on Politics & Entertainment in Florida?

    Betting on Entertainment (Oscars, Golden Globes) and Politics isn't permitted in Florida.

Home Field Advantage 

With a whopping nine teams representing the four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB) bettors in Florida have a lot of options when deciding which team they’ll root for.  The NFL is king for sports bettors and those in Florida are lucky to have three different franchises (Dolphins, Buccaneers, Jaguars) to choose from. With two MLB teams (Rays and Marlins), two NBA teams (Magic and Heat), and two NHL squads (Panthers and Lightning), Florida bettors constantly have their favorite teams on the television. 

NFL – Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were founded back in 1966 and were extremely successful in the 1970’s, winning two Super Bowls (1972, 1973). The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and their season runs from September through January. Miami has made the postseason the last two years and feature a fun offense to watch thanks to speedster Tyreek Hill.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The most successful of Florida’s NFL teams recently, the Bucs won the Super Bowl with Tom Brady & Co. in 2020. They also won the Super Bowl in 2002. The team plays at Raymond James Stadium and has made the postseason in four-straight seasons.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The youngest of Florida’s three NFL teams, the Jaguars were founded in 1995. They play their home games at EverBank Stadium and have only made the postseason twice since 2008, but things are looking up with franchise QB Trevor Lawrence behind center.

NHL – Florida Panthers

The Panthers’ hockey season runs from early October through April, although it can be extended into May and June if the team makes the playoffs. The Panthers have seen some recent playoff success, making the Stanley Cup Final in 2023. They play their home games at Amerant Bank Arena. 

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning play their home games at Amalie Arena and their season runs from October through April. The Islanders were founded in 1992 and have won three Stanley Cups in their history, the most recent one in 2022. They made the playoffs in 2023. 

NBA – Miami Heat

The Heat play their home games at Kaseya Center. Their season runs from October through April, and they have been one of the NBA’s most successful recent franchises. Miami has won three NBA titles in its history (2006, 2011, 2013) and made the NBA Finals in 2020 and 2023. They have also won their division the past two seasons.

Orlando Magic

The Magic play at the Kia Center and have been the lesser of the two Florida NBA teams for many years. Their season runs from October through April, and they’ve never won an NBA title – making the NBA Finals in 1995 and 2009. With an exciting young core, the future is bright for the Magic – they have also been the NBA’s best team against the spread this season.

MLB – Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays were founded 1998 and were the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998-2007 before the name was shortened. The season runs late March through September, although the Rays have been a frequent postseason participant recently. Tampa Bay plays its home games at Tropicana Field and has made the postseason in five-straight seasons, reaching the World Series in 2008 and 2020.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins play at LoanDepot Park and were founded in 1993. They have won two World Series in their history (1997, 2003) and made the postseason in 2023 as a surprise wild-card team. Their season runs from March through September as well.

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