Close your eyes and remember what it was like in November 2021. It feels like forever ago, but 10 months ago, Florida sports betting was legal.
For a few weeks, Floridians could bet on sports on the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Sportsbook from anywhere in the state. That only lasted a few weeks before a federal judge ruled the state’s compact violated federal standards.
Now close your eyes and imagine what it will be like when Florida sports betting returns. Hopefully, it’s not too far in the future. In fact, the D.C. Court of Appeals could give the tribe a favorable ruling and sports betting is could return as early as next year.
When we can bet on sports in Florida, mobile apps such as the Hard Rock Sportsbook, and possibly even BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel, will allow us to place wagers anywhere in the state.
The option to bet on a game you’re watching at home will be available at your fingertips. Beyond that, where else would you like to bet on a sporting event?
Here are my top six places to bet on sports in Florida once sports betting it’s legal again:
1. On a riverboat cruise
Florida is known for its riverboat cruises, which offer a different way to enjoy the sights and sounds of both nature and urban areas. Depending on the location and theme of the cruise, you can learn about local history and wildlife, and even partake in food and drink options.
In my experience, riverboat cruises also offer some downtime, such as at departure. The boat will most likely have to turn around and follow the same path back, too. Checking out the lines to find a good bet seems like a nice way to pass a few minutes if the opportunity arises.
2. Riding Disney World’s Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
When the debate for best ride at Disney World comes up, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the top names in the conversation. While this isn’t an article about the best rides in the park, the “Star Wars” ride could be the best one to place a bet while riding.
At 18 minutes in length, the ride is a full-on adventure. If you want to make a quick, in-game prop bet at the start of the ride, you could even come out the other side a winner.
Even if you lose the bet, you get a world-class ride to experience. And that is a win, no matter what.
3. While taking in some rays
Florida has beaches. Lots of them.
With over 8,400 miles of coastline and more than a dozen unofficial coasts, Florida’s nearly 200 beaches stretch from Jacksonville down to Miami, around to Key West and up to the Sun Coast before continuing along the Gulf of Mexico. By the time you reach Pensacola, you’re now in the Central time zone!
Would you be up for placing a bet on every Florida beach in a given season? I wouldn’t be. I would enjoy sweating the outcome of a game while at the beach, though.
4. At any professional sporting event
The last entry was about the sun’s rays. This one can be about Tampa Bay’s baseball team. As well as every other professional sports team in the state.
I think this list would be incomplete without citing the possibility of betting on a game you’re attending, especially given that Florida has three NFL and two MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS teams.
This is especially true if you’re into prop bets, such as betting on who will score the next goal of a hockey game. Of course, you can’t leave out other events such as the PGA Tour’s five tournaments and NASCAR’s handful of events across Daytona Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
5. From Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is a world-class resort in every sense of the word. Known for its dining, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, I look forward to being able to experience a game at SHR Hollywood’s sportsbook when that day comes.
Even outside the sportsbook, SHR Hollywood will be an awesome place to bet using a mobile device. Its pools, restaurants, gaming floor and poker room all stand out.
6. Atop Key West Lighthouse
The Key West Lighthouse was built in 1848 (to replace the original, completed in 1825) and now stands around 100 feet above sea level.
Should you wish to climb to the top, you will be rewarded with views of the surrounding landscape and ocean for miles in every direction. To me, this also seems like a great place to bet on a game.
The lighthouse is part of a museum and requires a small entrance fee. If you want a free attraction, head a quarter-mile down the street to the southernmost point of the continental USA marker.
Of course, this list is only the tip of the iceberg for awesome places to bet in Florida. Anywhere you enjoy spending time within the state sounds like a great place to bet on sports, as long as you bet responsibly.