Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
The state of Florida is in a very interesting place when it comes to sports betting. The state is loaded with pro teams and major college teams, which has certainly created a stir from all sides. Now that pro leagues have mostly tucked their tails between their legs and are just looking for their cut, the door is open for Florida to be one of the bigger markets for legalized sports betting. The NCAA has kept up its token opposition, but probably won’t have much of a leg to stand on overall.
Right now, casinos are limited to those run by Native American tribes, the most notable being the Seminoles, who operate six casinos in the Sunshine State. As you’ll read down the page, an amendment to expand casino gambling in the state was expected to be on the November ballot, but that may now include the opportunity for sports betting in Florida.
A “Yes” vote on Amendment Three would stop any expansion of sports betting, whereas a “No” vote would allow operators to begin constructing casinos separate of what the state currently has. The age-old battle between those in favor of tourism, tax revenue, and additional dollars vs. those against the spread of gambling is raging on. Obviously, with a big stake, the Seminole nation isn’t thrilled about additional casinos cutting into their revenue.
There are a lot of grey areas overall. Is sports betting the same as casino gaming? If the answer is no, could Floridians, separate of casinos, approve betting at race tracks and existing Indian casinos? Some states look pretty cut and dry when it comes to the legalization of betting. Florida is not one of them. This could be a very long process.
Recent News Stories About Betting
Florida Passes Amendment 3 – The amendment requires that casino gambling now be approved by a statewide vote of over 60 percent
Brian Bandell of the South Florida Business Journal had an outstanding write-up on Amendment Three and the tug-of-war from all sides.
WTXL 27, an ABC affiliate in Florida, discussed the major obstacles facing Florida shortly after PASPA was struck down.
Florida is in a holding pattern right now. Eventually, as legalized sports betting sweeps across the country, and as states that do have a lot of Indian casinos make a move, Florida will get added to the list of approved states, but your guess is as good as mine with how long it will take. Things, like the traffic and a lot of the retirees, don’t move all that quickly in Florida and sports betting will likely move at a similar pace.