Despite the Ruling to Shut it Down, Sports Betting Online is Legal

First, the Seminole Tribe had the sole right to sports gambling in Florida. Then a judge overruled it. While the legal battle continues, placing online bets with bookmakers outside the state is a grey area in the law. Which technically allows people to place online bets, on a variety of sports, from within the state of Florida.

For about three weeks in November, the Seminole Tribe had the exclusive rights to sports gambling in Florida. Then a judge shut it down. Now, competing interests are trying to get Florida voters to support a less exclusive sports betting market in 2022.

Why Sports Betting is Legal in Florida

While the ongoing judicial discourse and actions rumble on, citizens in Florida are allowed to place online bets on a variety of sports, if the bookmakers are based outside the state. Hence, anyone who is keen on indulging can read all about betting tips in Florida here.

The current legal grey zone was the same before the agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe, during its short-lived period in 2021, and now after the overruling. However, face-to-face sports betting is still illegal, despite the benefits of sports betting.

Why Did the Judge Overrule it

A state law from 2018 requires that any expansion of gambling be decided by a vote of the people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe managed to sidestep this law. They did so by declaring that all mobile sports wagers in the state of Florida would technically undergo no physical expansion —because they would be routed through computer servers located on tribal land.

The judge who stopped the agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe called the basis of the deal “fiction.” But the ruling to shut the operation down may not hold water. This is due to a constitutional amendment that put gambling expansion in the hand of voters. Therefore, the ruling has led to campaigns aimed at permitting sports betting across the state.

The Seminole Tribe agreement will most likely be amended if these campaigns succeed. The tribe would not have the exclusive right to sports betting and would therefore not deem it reasonable to pay 500 million dollars a year to the state, as was agreed.

“Unnecessarily messy”

Eric Raskins, a betting expert and co-host of a gambling podcast, describes the situation as “unnecessarily messy.” In his opinion, the state government of Florida could have handled the situation a lot better from the start.

“If the state government of Florida wanted to give its citizens legal access to sports betting and wanted to generate tax revenue for the state, there were any number of models out there for how to do it successfully, and in a way that serves the public. And they ignored those and made their own little backroom deal with the Seminoles and came up with this monopolistic mess that’s now being held up in the courts.”