The online gambling legislation in the United States can be confusing for those who have not been following it over the years. Currently, each state is in control of their own laws regarding online and mobile betting, including Florida. In many ways, the situation in Florida is more complex than in any other state in the US.
Before we take a closer look at when mobile betting is coming to Florida, we first need to assess the current situation in terms of all forms of online betting in the state. If we use the state of Indiana as an example, things are quite clear. The form of legal online gambling available in Indiana is sports betting. Unibet Indiana is now live in the state and that is a good example of a legal online sports betting website available to those residing in Indiana. Other forms of online gambling such as online casinos and online poker rooms are not legal in Indiana but you will find plenty of legal online sportsbooks.
Back to the situation in Florida and it is not as clear cut as Indiana. Legal online gambling in Florida includes horse racing, greyhounds and daily fantasy sports. Now, you will find it is possible to place a wager on horse racing, greyhounds and daily fantasy sports using a mobile device. Monkey Knife Fight, FanDuel, AmWager, TwinSpires, and TVG are all available in the sunshine state and can be accessed using a mobile phone or tablet.
However, it is when we get into mobile casinos and sportsbooks where things begin to fall flat for Florida residents. At the time of writing, sports betting is illegal in Florida and that includes mobile sports betting in addition to the desktop websites. There are two exceptions to this rule and they are jai alai betting and cruise ships that leave Florida and enter waters where sports betting is allowed. For some, you may never have heard of jai alai and it is a niche sport, with a history back to the 1920s in Florida but it is not as popular today.
There have been many attempts to legalize mobile sports betting in Florida over the years. One of the latest efforts is the SB 968 introduced in November 2019. This bill wants to introduce online sports betting run by private operators in addition to retail sportsbooks run by the state lottery.
Much like mobile sports betting, mobile casinos and poker rooms are also yet to be legalized in Florida. However, many residents choose to use offshore online card rooms and casinos but you are advised to do so at your own risk. If you decide to access an offshore mobile casino, should anything go wrong when you are playing games, you will struggle to have the issue rectified in your favor.
So, work is still being done to try and legalize mobile betting in Florida. Those involved are hopeful there will be positive steps towards the end of 2020 and into early 2021.