Place yer bets! Can you legally bet on Super Bowl 58 in Florida? You can now

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As we come up on one of the sports world's biggest events, the Super Bowl, the questions pile up.

Will the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers, again? Will Brock Purdy ruin the Chiefs' night? Will this year's Super Bowl get decided with an officiating call, again? Will Taylor Swift make it there from her Tokyo show in time to cheer for partner Travis Kelce?

And the question Floridians have been asking for years: can I bet on it? Legally?

A record 68 million Americans are expected to bet $23.1 billion on Super Bowl 58 this Sunday, according to an estimate from the American Gaming Association, a 35% increase from last year. A big chunk of that might be due to Florida's gambling laws changing last year.

Here's what you need to know before you place your bets.

Is it legal to bet on the Super Bowl?

Before 2018, the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibited state-authorized sports gambling and limited single-game betting to only Nevada. But the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down and the states quickly jumped to open the betting floodgates and reap the economic benefits.

So far 38 states and Washington, D.C. offer some version of sports betting and 29 states (and Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) allow online sports betting through websites or mobile apps. Nine states limit sports betting to in-person bets, and Vermont and Tennessee only offer mobile sports betting, according to Forbes.

More gambling bills are expected to be brought up in 2024.

Is it legal to bet on the Super Bowl in Florida?

Before last year, most definitely not. But it is now.

Gambling laws in Florida have been … complicated. Some gambling was legal, some was legal only in certain places, by specific methods, and under detailed regulations. And some gambling would get you fined and/or arrested.

The Seminole Tribe had a deal with then-Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007 but Republican legislators challenged it, saying it should go through legislators, and the Florida Supreme Court sided with them. The tribe was allowed slot machines and given exclusive rights to some card games such as blackjack.

But in 2021, the Seminole Tribe struck a 30-year deal (known as a gaming compact) with the state to allow sports betting on tribal lands and also allow anyone in Florida to gamble with the tribal app, in exchange for paying the state about $20 billion, including $2.5 billion over the first five years. The contract also allows the Seminoles to add craps and roulette, previously prohibited, to their Florida casinos.

The Seminoles briefly launched the app but shut it down after pari-mutuel owners filed a lawsuit alleging it violated federal law and would cause a “significant and potentially devastating impact” on their operations. That two-year fight has moved through several courts as the tribe moved forward on in-person bets.

In November the tribe quietly relaunched the app and restricted its use to people who had physically visited a Hard Rock or Seminole Casino to earn "Unity points," as an effort to sidestep the "anywhere in Florida" problem. In-person sports gambling rolled out at some Seminole-controlled casinos on Dec. 7, 2023, in a massive star-studded celebration and the restrictions were removed from the app, despite the ongoing legal battle.

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How can I bet on the Super Bowl in Florida?

You have three legal options.

  1. Place in-person bets at one of the Seminole Tribe-controlled casinos where sports gambling has been launched.

  2. Bet online with the Seminole Tribes' Hard Rock Bet app (iOS | Android) or the Hard Rock Bet website.

  3. Take a gambling cruise that travels three miles out into international waters. Which is sort of fuzzy, legally speaking, but it is an option.

There are online apps that claim to be based on offshore locations and therefore legal in Florida, but those are on even shakier legal grounds.

Place your bets: You can now bet on Super Bowl 58 in Florida on your phone. Here's how, and 3 other ways to bet

Who can bet on the Super Bowl in Florida?

Anyone who is 21 and over, located in the state, and bets in person at an approved casino or has an account with the Hard Rock Bet app and website in good standing may place bets on sporting events.

Unless you're an NFL player, team owner, executive, coach or staff member, of course.

Can I bet on whether Taylor Swift will make an appearance at the Super Bowl?

Not legally, not in a U.S.-based sportsbook. Rules differ from state to state, but generally you can only wager on what happens on the field.

"We don’t want any subjectivity in a prop (bet),” BetMGM public relations manager John Ewing said. “We want it to be either it won or it didn’t win or went over or went under, and that’s the concern for regulators as well. That’s why typically we stick to if it’s in the box score, it can be posted."

You may see Swift-based betting in offshore sportsbooks, where the bets are not regulated in the U.S.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Super Bowl 58: Is sports gambling legal in Florida? New deal allows it