As online sports betting continues to spread across the United States, the big question remains- when will Florida rejoin the party?
“Rejoin” because Florida was once part of the party for a brief period in 2021.
Sports betting seemed set to take off in the Sunshine State in May 2021 when Governor Ron DeSantis put pen to paper on a compact with the Seminole Tribe that would legalize the activity across the state of Florida.
The governor’s signature came very quickly on the back of legislative approval from the previous week, and in August of that year, the compact was filed in the Federal Register.
Hard Rock Sportsbook made the first move with the launch of their mobile betting app, but the app was taken off the market in December 2021 following legal disputes over the legality of sports betting in the state.
The opposition came from local Florida tribes, who successfully argued that the compact between the state government and Seminole tribe was against the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Seminole Tribe has since launched an appeal against the ruling by the Federal Court.
As it is now, there is plenty of uncertainty over if and when sports betting would again be legal in Florida.
So as many Americans continue to enjoy the thrill of sports wagering, and exciting add-ons like reward programs and betting bonuses, Floridians are in a bit of an impasse.
Industry experts believe that legalization is unlikely to happen until 2024 at the earliest. That continues to be a big shame given that Florida has such a great sporting tradition and a number of legendary sports teams.
More than 30 states have now legalized sports betting in one form or the other in the United States, but interestingly, Florida’s direct border states, Georgia and Alabama are also yet to join the train. Nearby states with legal sports betting include Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.
Some Florida betting enthusiasts have stepped into these states in order to place their sports bets, while some others have taken the riskier route of using unlicensed offshore betting sites.
This legal deadlock has come at a cost, with Florida missing out significant betting revenue.
Along with being a great sporting state, Florida also has one of the largest populations in the United States, boasting over 22 million people. Indeed, it is the third most populous state in the country.
Considering the financial success smaller states have had with sports betting, Florida has got such huge potential of becoming a powerhouse in American sports betting.There are billions of dollars to be made from the industry! When the initial compact was signed in 2021, it was estimated that the Seminole Tribe would receive $20 billion in revenue in the next 30 years.
And as bettors eagerly await that time when they would be able to place bets again, it is important to stress the dangers of using illegal bookmakers.
Not only can these offshore sites land the users into legal trouble, there is also potential for malpractices as there is no authority to check their activities.
There have been cases where deposits have not been credited and winnings have not been paid out. And when these happen, customers wouldn’t have anywhere to turn to seek redress. So it’s better to avoid these sites altogether.
Hopefully, the disputing parties in Florida would find an amicable and favorable resolution to the sports betting standstill in the state. It would be a win-win for everybody.