Florida as of recently has become one of the most confusing states in terms of its wagering laws. Constant delays since 2015 and the back-and-forth legalisation have left many Residents wondering whether one can wager online on their favourite sports without actually breaking any laws.
How To Legally Wager Without Breaking Laws
Let’s get straight into how you can wager legally in Florida without breaking any laws. We will get into how this is viable and the current betting laws in Florida allow residents to legally wager in the chapters to come.
With that being said, residents in Florida cannot legally wager at retail betting stores simply because they do not exist. Although one can wager locally using black market bookies this would be considered a violation of state law. If you’re starting a business in Florida, it’s important to be aware of the state’s legal requirements for Florida LLC and other business structures.
Introducing offshore betting sites. Offshore betting sites are simply put, sites which operate outside of the state or country entirely, hence the term offshore. Residents of Florida can quickly find trusted bookie sites by using sports wagering review sites such as Basketballinsiders which even go through the state laws. At these sites, one can expect to find information regarding the top betting sites while also finding comparisons between the top bookies.
How Is Offshore Betting Technically Legal?
Even though the state of Florida has no “legal” form of gambling within state lines, offshore betting sites do not operate within said state lines. The state by right cannot legally shut down offshore sites simply because what they’re doing is not illegal even if the site is offering illegal fun to their residents, nor can the state deny residents the right to use such sites.
Through a legal loophole residents of Florida can finally enjoy the sports betting they’ve been hoping for and promised since 2015. This is the same way that when the government released laws on social distancing, many found loopholes through.
Florida Gambling Laws
Florida’s wagering laws are quite complex and at times confusing to grasp. As many already know Florida did indeed have sports betting legalised in the state. That’s right, back in November 2023 the state of Florida had its initial launch of the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app. This was short-lived and only lasted a month before a legal lawsuit so the sportsbook shut down in December of 2023.
To understand the issue we must first step back a little further in time. In 2020 SB 392 was introduced by Senator Jeff Brandes, this was later picked up by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2023. DeSantis, together with the Seminole tribe came to an agreement to offer retail as well as online betting to the state of Florida.
This had one major issue, the initial deal stated that the Seminole tribe can only offer its wagering services to those within state lines which they failed to do so in November 2023. Of course, this led to a lawsuit between West Flagler and the Seminole tribe which resulted in the case going to West Flagler’s favour and ultimately the shutting down of the only and first legal sportsbook in Florida.
After countless appeals, the sportsbook was denied the ability to continue offering its service and the last we have heard of the situation was in July. Just a month earlier D.C. Circuit dismissed one appeal and later in July reopened the tribunal case for the sports betting compact.
What To Expect Once Sports Betting Is Legalised
When and if sports betting is finally legalised in the sunshine state one can expect to find a legal age of at least 21 since the casino scene operates in the same manner. One can also expect to see a wider range of sportsbook apps, after the initial release many have seen the sheer money-making potential said sites possess which is sure to bring more companies to invest in said apps.
One can also expect retail betting to hit the casinos, since many casinos already operate within the state’s lines it would make perfect sense for them to be allowed to accept sports wagering. It’s not all good news though as this will also mean Taxation laws!
Yes unfortunately with the many benefits of legalisation there will also be a legal tax that must be paid on all winnings, but this also means you will have the ability to account for the losses too. The increase in revenue for the state can also mean additional state projects.
How To Ensure Safe Wagering In The Meantime
Just as one should learn about Alligator safety in the state of Florida one should also ensure their safety when using offshore betting sites. Although offshore betting sites tend to get a bad reputation in regards to safety and scamming it’s mostly unjust. Just like anything on the internet is susceptible to scamming and malicious attacks, so is the online betting scene.
Unfortunately, many users unintentionally fall into the trap of scammers, using unsafe offshore betting sites and eventually being ripped off. So how can one enjoy wagering safely online?
1. Gaming Licences
The first initial step is to ensure that the said site you are interested in is indeed licensed by an authoritarian site. The top betting sites will make sure to showcase their licence badge. These licence badges act as an indication of honour and that the site is trustworthy. Gaming authorities such as the Maltese Gaming Authority & United Kingdom Gaming Commission do not blatantly give out licences.
In fact, for betting sites to achieve licences they must go through constant scrutinous checks in order to prove their transparency and fairness. Never wager on sites without gaming licences.
2. Site Security
Make sure the site’s security is great. For starters, the first step in checking site security is by checking for a small grey padlock located to the left of the website link. If the site does not have said padlock it means the site is not even using basic SSL encryption which is the global standard for web safety. Again avoid said sites!