Gambling laws in Florida keep changing due to the increased interest of citizens in gambling lately and the lawmakers pushing their agenda forwards instead. You will see legislation being introduced to either ban a form of gaming or expand some other type. This may sound interesting politically, but it gets gamblers in a tricky situation.
Even the population of the state is conflicted, as per polls conducted. When questioned if Nevada-style casinos should be allowed in Florida, the results were very close. This means the legalization of commercial casinos and online betting is still not supported by the majority of the public, but a large part of it.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Florida?
No, sports betting is no longer legal in Florida. On Nov 22, 2022, a federal judge ruled that the state’s Florida-Seminole Gaming Compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). This required all tribal gambling to take place on tribal lands.
This case is in the process at the Federal Court, where the Seminole Tribe has placed appeals for a stay which has been denied. It may be until 2024 before any resolution for the case and if the tribal gaming compact can include sports betting.
Other Types of Gambling:
Gamblers have plenty of gambling options until sports betting gets legal in Florida. The state lets tribal casinos get all the betting action. Florida also has the option of horse race betting, the only legal form of online gambling in Florida.
The Seminole Tribe is allowed to operate six major casinos in Florida, including the one in Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. The Hard Rock casino houses over 3000 slots and 200 tables, along with live poker games for Floridian gamblers to enjoy.
On the other hand, the Miccosukee tribe also operates the seventh tribal casino. Their eighth facility offers slot, table games, poker games, and horse race betting- all in one place.
When talking about online casinos, they are not permitted in Florida openly. The government does not encourage citizens to play online. Also, you will neither be prosecuted nor fined for it. However, no resident can launch an online gambling site in Florida as it is against the law, and you will be prosecuted. The Seminole Trible also gas a social casino app where players can play a few table games and slots for a non-cash prize.
The state of Florida does not regulate online gambling yet or allow any casinos to operate within its state lines. But the silver lining is that no law mentions online gambling. This means it’s still technically legal to gamble online if you do it with off-shore-based casinos, play poker, or wager on sports betting sites. To date, no one has been prosecuted for online gambling in Florida or placing a wager on a sports betting site. We cannot find any law yet that might lead to any conviction if you gamble online on an off-shore gambling site.
You are free to gamble for real money at online casinos in Florida until the government regulates it in any form.
All of Florida’s tribal casinos also feature several poker tables. The Hard Rock, operated by the Seminole tribe, offers over 40 poker tables.
There is no Florida-based online casino where citizens can play online poker. But they can always opt for online casinos operated outside the state. There are no gaming restrictions when it comes to gambling on sites operated outside the state of Florida.
It might come as a surprise to many that while Sports betting is not legal currently in Florida, Horse race betting is legal. Their most popular race tracks are Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Hialeah Park, and Isle Casino Pompano Park.
Horse race betting is the only form of online betting allowed in the Sunshine State. Pari-mutuel horse race online bets can be placed using various apps and horse racing sites. This betting is overseen by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
The Bottom Line:
Florida is one state which has created confusion surrounding gambling laws. It seems like the government wants to go out of its way to protect its citizens from the adverse effects of gambling. But on the other hand, it has also made several compromises to please the public. At the same time, there are several legalized casinos by tribal but no commercial casinos yet.
We would still like to add that Florida does not offer much yet when it comes to online gambling and sports betting. They offer no sites yet for online gambling and sports betting and prefer their citizens to bet at sites outside their jurisdiction.
Gamblers find a gray area in gambling online, as no law states it is illegal. But, as a resident of Florida or a tourist, you will still find ways to get into online gambling with several options and enjoy the perks of gaming online.