Could Sports Betting Become Legal in Florida in 2021?

There is growing hope that sports betting may become legal in Florida at some point in 2021. This is a direct result of State Senator Brands deciding to re-introduce a whole host of potential sports betting legislation that’s to be debated and voted upon throughout 2021.

Three Bills, But Three Chances?

Senator Brands has introduced three new bills, but do remember that he tried to bring new legislation into the eye a year ago without much success. However, by launching Bills 392, 394, and 396 into the debating schedule, there is real hope that there may very well be some kind of breakthrough. The only problem? Things won’t happen in any way until March at the earliest.

Bill 392

Bill 392 was the first one put forward by the Senator, and it focuses on the requirements for being allowed to bet, how to get the license, and any fees. In short, it’s going to set out the laws surrounding sports betting, so this should be viewed as being the basic bill that would ultimately need to be passed for sports betting to then move forward.

This bill, along with the other two, lays down the foundations for how sports betting would operate in the state. It includes where it can take place, limits, laws, and the tax levy.

Other Bills

The other bills being put forward do contain the same basic information, but there’s one major difference, the tax. Of course, Florida would want to gain tax income from this, but the actual percentage varies depending on the bill. The main target is to have a tax rate below 20% which wouldn’t make it one of the lowest in the country, but it’s viewed as being important to come in under the 20% levy as seen in Tennessee.

What are the Odds of the Bills Being Passed?

Passing this kind of legislation isn’t easy in most parts of the country, but what are the odds of it moving forward in Florida? Previously, attempts to introduce sports betting within casinos held by the Seminole Tribe failed to gain any ground. That in itself was a surprise.

But the issue here is the potential for both tribal and commercial operators to come up against one another. They will both want to protect their own interests without giving too much away to their competition, but that’s something that has been replicated all over the country.

That will be a problem as the people of the Sunshine State don’t share the same fears over the introduction of sports betting across the state. In fact, they voted overwhelmingly for changes in legislation back in 2018 with a majority of 71%.

Sports betting in Florida would be a huge business, and it could easily become one of the main focuses of the industry across the country. Sport has such a real history in the state, so opening up the ability to place bets on the outcomes of various events would be amazing. Hopefully by the end of 2021, that will be something that pretty much anybody can do.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.