Next to Miami, Tampa is the region in Florida with the most professional sports teams. The Lightning have emerged as a perennial contender in the NHL and the Tampa Bay Rays of the MLB and Buccaneers of the NFL are also favorites in the city.
Sports betting is not regulated by the state of Florida and as such it is not possible for Tampa residents to place wagers on sports at local casinos. That said, it is perfectly fine for Tampa Bay residents to place bets through online betting sites that are licensed outside of the United States.
On this page I’ll quickly go over the legality of betting on sports in the United States, give you some recommendations for quality betting sites accepting American residents and touch on sports betting in the Tampa Bay region.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Tampa Bay?
Running your own sportsbook or betting website is not allowed in the State of Florida.
That said, there is no law preventing Florida residents from placing wagers through offshore betting sites that are authorized and regulated outside of the United States. These betting sites, like the two I’ve recommended below, are licensed outside of the United States and are able to take bets from American residents.
Best Betting Sites for Tampa Residents
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These are our top two recommended sportsbooks for Tampa Bay residents. Both sites are very popular across the United States and Bovada.lv actually only accepts American residents, which allows them to fully cater their sportsbook to an American audience.
Offline Sports Betting in Tampa Bay
No offline brick and mortar establishments are able to take sports wagers in Florida. Nevada is still the only state in the USA with regulated offline casinos with active sportsbooks.
Horse race betting is a different story though, with Florida allowing tracks to accept bets on not only their own races, but other horse races from across the country. Tampa Bay Downs is a very popular race track that operates in the Tampa Bay region and does allow people in attendance to place wagers on their horse races.
Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay Downs is located in the western part of Tampa Bay and just a quick 30 minute drive from downtown Tampa. The racetrack has live races throughout the year and you can check the daily schedule at their website. Tampa Bay Downs also features daily sports betting on races across the United States, as well as daily simulcast racing. They also have a great poker room a golf practice facility and some great dining. If you haven’t been to Tampa Bay Downs, I would highly recommend stopping by for some live races.
You can also place bets on the live Tampa Bay Downs races at either of the sportsbooks I recommended above.
Major Sports Teams in Tampa Bay
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
- Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)