As the National Football League season starts, fans in thirty states can legally wager on football games. However, that’s not the case in Florida. The legal status of sports betting in the state remained in limbo. A federal court hasn’t ruled on the legality of the deal between Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe.

According to pay per head bookie insiders, the compact with the Seminole Tribe violated the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act. The IGRA governs gambling on Tribal grounds. Florida’s new agreement with the Seminole Tribe gave the latter complete control over the state’s gambling industry.

Experts from a political news forum said that the compact exceeded the boundaries of what’s legal under IGRA. For example, Florida law allows online sports betting if the servers are within tribal land. However, including online betting in a federally regulated compact is a potential violation of federal law. Also, it gives the tribe a monopoly on the sports betting industry in the state.

Sports Betting in Florida

Legal Status of Sports Betting in Florida Remains Uncertain

Florida voters approved Amendment 3 via a ballot initiative in 2018. It prevents future legislatures from legalizing sports betting without going through the Seminole Tribe. Also, the tribe launched a Hard Rock sportsbook app in November 2021. However, it shut down less than a month after due to a court ruling.

At present, the lawsuit remains at the Federal Court of Appeals. It would take several years before the court would develop a resolution. Until then, sports betting will remain unauthorized in Florida. It is the same as casinos in Georgia, where players can only play games in river boats.

If Florida wants to legalize sports betting, it must be done via another ballot initiative. However, even through that process, the earliest people can wager on sports legally will be in 2025.

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