The History of Sports Betting in Florida

Sports betting is a pretty interesting hobby, and unlike traditional gambling, this requires some skill and knowledge of the sport and the team you’re placing your money on. It promotes healthy living and it spreads the sports culture even more, which is always a huge plus in my book. However, in some places, it’s still forbidden by law.

Florida is a place where people love watching sports. And, wherever people are watching sports in massive numbers, you have many who want to make their viewing experience more interesting and place some money on the match. Florida is filled with such people, but unfortunately, they are unable to bet due to government restrictions.

Not only that sports betting is not allowed in Florida, but online casino websites and even traditional casinos are pretty strongly regulated by the government. People can still play these social games such as Poker or Roulette, but it’s legal only if there isn’t any money involved in the process. This is a bummer for many people who enjoy the thrill of betting, but thankfully, the action is taken recently to legalize the activity.

Before we get into it, if you want to become more familiar with possibly the best Florida Sports Betting Sites, you can learn more from

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Why are sports betting in Florida not allowed?


Currently, there are no laws in Florida stating that gambling and sports betting in any form are allowed. But, a few discussions are going on with the government, and people are trying to make it happen. Whether this sounds overly optimistic or not we can’t really say because the effort to legalize betting is quite large, but so are the complications tied to the process itself.

According to what we know, to make this effort a reality, a deal between the government and the Seminole Tribe needs to take place. As you’ve probably heard already, The Seminole Tribe owns the Hard Rock casino chain in the state. Some say that a solution would be to offer The Seminoles a chance to run sports betting in their casinos but that’s far from happening from this standing point. Those discussing the matter are optimistic and say that some minor changes may start happening in 2023, that is if and only if the senate and the Seminole Tribe agree on the entire idea.

In short, according to multiple sources, sports betting in Florida may only be available through the Hard Rock Casino Chain, but given the previous battles The Seminoles and Disney put up whenever this subject was brought up, chances for the best outcome to happen are pretty slim.

The Strange History of Sports Betting in Florida


If you are not at all familiar with the history of sports betting in Florida, chances are that you’re wondering whether the situation was always like this. Well, that’s where things get strange. Florida was optimistic about betting and gambling back in 1932, and that’s when they made the activity completely legal. This was a huge milestone and it made the entire situation look bright for the future of gambling in this state. The legalization increased tourism and brought the state a lot of money. In 1935, just two years later, slot machines were also legalized and the gambling industry started blooming. However, in 1973 the slot machines got removed from all local casinos.

Now comes the most interesting part.

In 1984 a few companies decided to “bend the law” into their favor so they created cruise ship service with internal casinos, allowing people to go on cruises and “to play a few hands” while they’re on the journey so they have a more enjoyable overall experience. The main point of course was gambling and the cruise was unimportant. These cruise ships were later on labeled as “Cruises to Nowhere” for obvious reasons.

In 2004 casino gambling in Florida became legal through a long and complicated process that involved powerful tribes, such as The Seminoles. Gambling is of course only legal at their casino chains.

Offshore online casinos “based in Florida” and tourism gambling


Some online casinos advertise as being based in Florida but they are offshore and they operate in some sort of a gray area, “allowing” some Florida citizens to gamble through the internet. We still don’t know whether this is completely legitimate or not but we do know that sports betting is nearly non-existent.

It’s pretty obvious that Florida benefits a lot from tourists who want to gamble and they visit the Hard Rock casino chain as soon as they arrive. It’s also pretty obvious that sports betting will bring even more money to the governments as people living in Florida are passionate about supporting their teams, but we don’t know whether this will happen in the future or not.

Florida and Sports – The Miami Dolphins Tweet


Currently, Florida is known for many top-tier sports teams such as the Jaguars, The Dolphins, The Buccaneers, The Panthers, Orlando City FC, Inter Miami CF, Heat, Magic, and The Marlins. In Florida, the enthusiasm for sport and sports betting is on a pretty high level but unfortunately, at the moment you can only bet by going to another state if you are a Florida citizen.

Many people are unsatisfied with this reality, including the famous Miami Dolphins NFL Team that encouraged all the Florida citizens to protect their right to place money on their favorite team and bet on sports through an official post on Twitter. This is pretty awkward since the Miami Dolphins team is supported by The Seminoles.


Florida is a wonderful place but the only thing missing according to those living there is the ability to bet on sports. Currently, there are some efforts to push this activity into legalization but things are far more complex than they look. The relationship between the government and The Seminole tribe seems to be the most important thing in the entire situation.