January 30, 2021 3 min read


Sports Betting Legalization in Florida to Bring Benefits

Although sports betting is yet to be legalized, there are variety of ways to place a bet illegally in Florida, revealed Senator Jeff Brandes while speaking for Spectrum Bay News 9. According to him, since there are no people prosecuted for betting, the activity should be legalized.

Will Florida Join the U.S. States That Have Already Legalized Sports Betting?

After in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), it effectively enabled the legalization of sports betting. The law that was deemed unconstitutional had restricted sports betting to Nevada for 25 years. However, once the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, it left the process of legalization and regulation of sports betting in the hands of each state’s legislature. Since then, more than a dozen U.S. states have undertaken actions to legalize the activity and more states are in the process.

Undoubtedly, the Super Bowl is America’s favorite sports event. Every year, millions of sports fans place wagers on the Super Bowl and starting next week, it is going to be played in Florida. But if sports fans in Florida would like to legally place a bet, they will have to wait until next year. This is because the state is yet to establish its legal sports betting market, despite the efforts of St. Petersburg Republican state Senator Jeff Brandes.

Speaking for Spectrum Bay News 9 last week, the Senator acknowledged that there are multiple ways for illegal sports betting in Florida. He stressed that nobody has been prosecuted for placing sports bets online. Consequently, the Senator said: “if we’re going to allow it and we’re not going to enforce a law, then let’s legalize it“. Indeed, the legalization of sports betting will enable residents of Florida to participate in the activity legally but it would also bring benefits.

Such legalization would undoubtedly bring millions of tax revenue for the state. Another benefit of legal sports betting is enhanced player protection. By using licensed operators, residents of Florida would also avoid the risk of depositing their funds with offshore or black market operators.

Last month, the Senator filed 3 bills for the legislative season set to start in March. According to the proposal in SB 392, it would be Florida’s Department of Lottery that would be responsible for the regulating of sports wagering. As a part of SB 394, Senator Brandes proposed a 15% gambling tax on gaming revenue generated from sports wagering. Last but not least, SB 396 proposes a $100,000 application and renewal fee. If the proposals are passed into law, according to SB 392, the effective date for legal sports betting in Florida would be October 1, 2021.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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