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Florida Sportsbooks: Will There Be Other Options Besides Hard Rock Bet?

Chris Lollis
Written by: | Fact checked by: Earnest Horn
Last Updated: May 2nd, 2024
Florida Sports Betting Overview

Current Online Betting Status: Currently live for all Florida residents through Hard Rock Bet

Perhaps no other state has had such a complicated road to sports betting legalization than Florida. The Sunshine State has gone back and forth on sports betting a few times over the years, but things finally seem to have settled. The banner day was December 5, 2023, when all Florida residents could officially use Hard Rock Bet.

Sports fans and bettors in the state remain cautiously optimistic that online sports betting is here to stay. Will other operators soon be available in Florida? We'll answer that below, but first, let's go over a quick timeline of how we got here.

Florida Sports Betting Timeline

Governor Ron DeSantis was oh so close to getting online sports betting pushed through in Florida back in 2021. Here's a brief look at some of the key milestones that occurred during that year.

2021 Includes Exciting Launch and Painful Shutdown

In April 2021, Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe hammered out a deal that would bring mobile sports betting to Florida. Folks from the State legislation even approved the new compact the following month in May. Things appeared to be in order, but no one knew the complications that lay ahead.

The first ever online sportsbook in Florida, Hard Rock Sportsbook, officially went online on November 1, 2021. To say gobs of Gator and Seminole fans were excited would be a gross understatement. Unfortunately, the happiness only lasted 21 days!

On November 22, 2021, the agreement between Gov. DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe was deemed invalid by a District Court judge. Because of this, Hard Rock Sportsbook had to shut down its operations in Florida on December 4, 2021. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals did not hear arguments on Florida sportsbooks until more than a year later on December 14, 2022.

2024 Brings New Hope and a Re-Launch

Though the first half of 2023 was relatively quiet, sports bettors received a glimmer of hope at the end of June. That's when a court in Washington DC overturned the District Court's ruling on Florida sports betting from 2021. Hard Rock Sportsbook, now rebranded as Hard Rock Bet, immediately went to work on another launch.

However, as bad luck would have it, a company named West Flagler & Associates looked to enforce a stay that would prohibit sports betting from being offered by the Seminole Tribe. Thankfully, West Flagler & Associates's petition was struck down by the DC Circuit Court. A relaunch became even more apparent on October 25, 2023, when the Supreme Court also ruled against West Flagler & Associates.

Hard Rock Bet Re-Opens for Business in Florida

On November 7, 2023, Hard Rock Bet launched for the 2nd time in the Sunshine State. This marked the end of a long and winding road of legal battles filled with lots of ups and downs for those in the state who want legal sports betting. While the soft launch was only open to prior customers, the Supreme Court decided NOT to take Hard Rock Bet offline.

To parlay off of that good news, Hard Rock Bet decided to officially open its app to all legal customers in Florida on December 5, 2023. Does this mean other sports betting apps will soon flock to Florida?

potential Florida sportsbook options

What to Watch for in 2024

As we all know, the only available online sportsbook in the state of Florida is Hard Rock Bet. This is obviously not ideal for sports bettors in the state, but at least sports wagering is finally available to the masses. Let's hit on a few topics to keep your eye on in Florida during 2024.

The Rise of Pick'Em Style Fantasy Sports

Jason Shoaf, a Florida political leader, filed a bill on December 5, 2023, to make a props-style form of Daily Fantasy Sports legal in the Sunshine State. This would be fantastic for folks in Florida who would enjoy a new, improved version of DFS.

The rapid success of apps like PrizePicks and Underdog just proves that sports fans are starved for more player props types of fantasy games. Unfortunately, PrizePicks, Betr, and Underdog Fantasy were sent Cease and Desist letters from the Florida Gaming Control Commission back in September. However, things could change in 2024 if the new DFS bill passes.

More Sportsbooks?

More sportsbooks could come running to Florida at some point in 2024. If Hard Rock Bet enjoys any semblance of success, other big names in the industry like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM will look to strike deals with the Seminole Tribe. Stay Tuned...

More Legal Challenges?

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that nothing ever comes easy in the state of Florida. This has certainly been the case with legalized sports betting. You can bet (pun intended) that there will be another group that'll try to inhibit the growth of sports betting in the state. Sports bettors can only hope that it doesn't happen.

florida sports betting faqs

Florida SportsBook FAQs

The path to legal sports betting in Florida was a complicated one. Thankfully, mobile sports wagering is live once again in the Sunshine State after a two-year hiatus.

Florida has one of the largest populations in the country and a large number of both professional and college sports teams. This should result in one of the largest influxes of new sports bettors that the industry has ever seen.

The FAQs below are aimed at preparing these new bettors for the arrival of legal sports betting in their state.

Is sports betting legal in Florida?

Yes, sports betting is now legal in Florida. Folks in the state can wager on their favorite teams through the Hard Rock Bet app. 

When will more online sportsbooks come to Florida?

That's a tough question to answer. It all depends on whether or not the Seminole Tribe, who controls the rights of all forms of casino-style gaming in Florida, will choose to partner with any additional operators.

What sports are legal to bet on in Florida?

Folks in Florida can now enjoy betting on a wide variety of sporting events. Hard Rock Bet offers wagering on baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, tennis, and a plethora of others.

Will mobile and online betting be legal in Florida?

Yes, under the current legislation, online and in-app wagering is now legal in the Sunshine State.

What is the minimum age to bet on sports in Florida?

The minimum age to gamble in a casino in Florida is already 21, while the lottery and horse racing each have a minimum age of 18.

Is DFS legal in Florida?

Yes, daily fantasy sports are currently legal in Florida. This means you can join DFS sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, and others. A new bill has been filed to even make props-style DFS sites like PrizePicks and Underdog legal in the state.

What happens if you get caught sports betting in Florida?

Sports betting and other forms of illegal gambling are considered second-degree misdemeanors. If found guilty, the penalty may include up to 60 days in jail, probation, and a fine of up to $500.

Will sportsbooks offer bonuses when they open in Florida?

While we can't predict what sportsbooks will do, we believe they will offer bonuses and other promotions to attract new customers. That's what they do in every state, so we expect the same thing when sports betting goes live in Florida. The online sportsbooks will also probably offer pre-registration bonuses.

How will the tax rate in Florida compare to other states?

The tax rate on sports betting revenue has yet to be announced in Florida. However, taxes will likely be quite high due to the tribal compact agreement with the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Most states have a tax rate between 8-10%, so if we were to guess we would think it would be anywhere from 15 to 20%.

Do I have to be in Florida to place a sports bet?

Yes! To place a legal sports bet in the state of Florida, you must be physically present inside of the state lines at the time of wagering. You don't have to a Florida resident, but you must be at least 21 years old or older. 

21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-877-770-7867(CO), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA), Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit (MD), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Call or text 877-718-5543 or visit (NC). Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY), 1-888-532-3500 (VA).

Chris Lollis

Chris Lollis is a sports betting expert that has covered the industry for more than a decade. Over that time he has covered everything from the repeal of PASPA to the state-by-state legislative changes. Chris serves as the Head of Content at EatWatchBet, and is responsible for tracking latest news and updates from every U.S. sportsbook.



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