The US is experiencing a sports betting gold rush. Some states have already assessed the benefits and are licensing as many sportsbooks as possible. Others are in the reflection stage, still figuring out whether it’s worth the risk or not.
Then there’s Florida—a state whose governor is against online gambling. In all fairness, Gov. Ron DeSantis was financed by land-based casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. And the billionaire is paranoid about losing business to Internet-based betting operators.
To be clear, Florida doesn’t prohibit online gambling. But it has no laws that permit it, either—creating a grey area often exploited by offshore sportsbooks. Recently, Florida experienced the full force of overseas casinos when it hosted NBA games in a bubble.
Sports betting went up tremendously. And both DraftKings and FanDuel reported increased interactivity by customers within the Sunshine state. So, are people betting illegally? And what are they betting on now with the NBA season over?
DFS Fans Focusing on NFL, MLB and MLS
After the NBA finals, people didn’t stop drafting teams on their favorite Daily Fantasy Sports websites. Instead, they switched gears to create lineups inspired by the NFL, MLB and MLS. To be clear, DFS isn’t legal in Florida, but authorities tolerate it.
For the uninitiated, DFS involves drafting a lineup from your favorite teams in a league. Let’s say you like football. You could drat you team with a kicker from the Raiders, Quarterbacks from Tampa Bay and running backs from Cleveland.
The point is to fill your team with high-performing players because you gain points when they perform well in real life. If Tom Brady scores touchdowns, you get multiple points. If he doesn’t, your team disappoints.
DFS has a community of tens of millions. And there are lots of free and paid competitions. You can compete for fun or to win real money. If you’re lucky and skilled, you could win up to $1M at some tournaments.
Offshore Betting Heating Up
Like DFS, online sports betting is neither allowed nor banned. It’s somewhere in the middle—and this opens for different interpretations. Some people think it’s wrong to bet at a website not licensed in the US. Others believe it’s perfectly normal.
To learn more, read about the best Florida sports betting sites at legalsportsbettingstates.com. News flash: the best sportsbooks have high safety standards for players. They’re licensed; provide competitive odds and a large variety of betting markets.
Sports Betting at Neighbor States
Because Florida has restrictive sports betting laws, many punter cross borders to wager in Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina. These states allow nearly all forms of betting, which makes them more convenient.
In Florida, horse racing is the only sport allowed for betting. Greyhound racing used to be legal but the Sunshine state later banned it. For clarity, Florida’s closest neighbors—Georgia, and Alabama don’t allow sports gambling too, which is why TE, MI and GE are the most popular destinations.
Some of Florida’s neighbors also allow online betting. But they don’t accept players outside of their states. As such, a sportsbook in Nevada or New Jersey might reject people based in the Sunshine State.
Lineups to Appear an Hour Prior
The NBA plans to introduce a new rule regarding when teams should announce their lineups. Conventionally, franchises make this announcement ten minutes before a game starts. But with the new rule, lineups will become available with one hour to go.
The benefit could be a difference in how people bet on sports in Florida and the rest of the country. Think about it. With only ten minutes to go, many punters can’t adjust their bets at land-based sportsbooks.
Even on the Internet—changing bets with only ten minutes can be a risk. For example, the odds might change against your favor and now you have to settle for less appealing odds. Or a bookie could better the odds but you can’t change your prediction because it’s too late.
A one-hour lineup provides punters with more time to prepare. No need to follow a hundred journalists on Twitter or to stay glued on TV just before a game kicks off. You’ll have a lot of time to adjust your predictions based on the final lineups.
More Pressure on FL
Lately, Florida has been getting a lot of pressure to legalize sports betting. It started with FanDuel and DraftKings fighting to provide their services in the state. But Florida pushed back and filed a lawsuit.
The DFS websites didn’t give in, though and continued to provide their services. After the saga, more people became pro sports betting advocates. Unfortunately, Gov. DeSantis isn’t having any of the advocacies and he’s remained against permitting spots betting.
With that in mind, the only hope for FL is a leadership that’s optimistic about sports betting. So far, a handful of legislators have attempted to draft a bill to authorize the sector. But the majority of lawmakers plus the governor are against it.
Mobile Devices Vital for Betting
Some people might bet at land-based sportsbooks. Others use offshore betting sites. Either way, many of them use mobile devices for betting analyses. Android, iOS, blackberry—if it has a browser, there’s a chance it can be used to analyze sports.
The beauty of today’s mobile devices is that they do everything punters want. You can use your phone to check lineups and injury reports. Or you can use it to read expert analyses and predictions.
Another great benefit is to bet on your favorite teams. And you don’t have to install a betting app. Instead, you can just use a mobile-responsive website. That said, some mobile sportsbooks also let you watch live games, meaning you don’t need a giant TV screen.
In other words, mobile devices have become a one-stop shop for everything related to sports betting. And that’s many advocates in FL are yearning for legal online sports betting. But as things stand, it will take time before the Sunshine State allows sports wagering.