Is Online Gambling Legal in Florida?
The bad news for those residing in Florida is that online gambling is explicitly illegal in this state. While in other states there are many who still attempt to participate in online gambling activities, Floridians tend to follow to laws to a T. The reason being that there is specific legislation that bans all forms of online gambling.
In fact, it even has the ability to make any device that could be used for online gambling illegal too. This includes all your electronic devices such as computers, phones and tablets. It’s best to find your gambling entertainment at legal local establishments rather than risk playing at any online casino site.
The good news is that you’ll find some of the world’s best land-based casinos in Florida on the Seminole Tribal lands. Much like with other states, the Indian tribes have free reign on what forms of gambling they choose to run on their lands.
Back in 1931, all forms of gambling were banned in Florida until the late 1970’s when the Seminole Tribe of Indians decided to open a bingo hall. From there the Native American tribes won the right to host bingo gambling and later on casino gambling. Their reservations were recognised as sovereign territory by treaties with the US federal government. Thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act implemented in 1988, tribes like the Seminoles can open casinos without fear of being prosecuted. Gambling on their lands is legally allowed and over the past few years, many land-based casinos have been built on these lands.
You’ll find popular casino brands like Hard Rock Casino on these grounds where you can play a wide variety of casino favourites. Floridians also have the option of hopping on board a cruise ship to take a trip to nowhere and just enjoy playing casino games in international waters. On these ships, you’ll get to play popular games like Craps and Roulette which isn’t found in the land-based casinos.
Playing casino games on the Seminole Tribal Lands or on the cruise ships is completely legal.
When it comes to poker there is good news and bad news for poker enthusiasts based in Florida. The bad news is that no online poker games are allowed as it is covered by the 2012 laws that ban internet café casinos. The laws cover games of skill and games of chance so there’s no way of getting around it.
Luckily you can find card rooms in the Tribal casinos and racetracks where you can enjoy live poker games. Poker has become quite popular in the state and Florida even hosts a few prestigious tournaments and regular cash games. You are also allowed to play poker games at home but keep in mind the provisions for these games are quite strict and nobody can profit from these home games.
For sports bettors, there are limited betting options available and most online sports betting sites are illegal. You can bet using pari-mutuel machines and the only betting options include horse and dog racing. The only other sports game you can bet on is Jai-Alai which is a regional ball game in a 3-walled court.
Sports betting options are extremely limited and finding sports betting entertainment online is considered illegal.
Another gambling activity that has not been legalised in Florida yet is Daily Fantasy Sports Betting. There were several bills introduced in 2018 to legalise and regulate daily fantasy sports but nothing has come from it yet. With recent motions being to push legalisation for DFS it could become a legal gambling activity in the near future.
The state government founded the Florida Lottery back in 1987 when the Seminole tribe of Indians started testing the gambling waters. Since the lottery first opened, Florida also joined multi-state lottery associations and Floridians can take part in the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries.
Much like with other legal aspects regarding gambling, the state of Florida is incredibly strict with their gambling age requirements. Those who are aged 18 or older can play casino games in venues where no liquor is being served. If you wish to play in casinos where alcohol is allowed you have to be 21 or older.
The Casino Regulatory Body that focuses on all gambling-related matters is the Florida Division of Consumer Services.
If you or anyone you love are developing a gambling problem you can find help at any of the numbers below.
National Problem Gambling Helpline
Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling
P.O. Box 2309
Sanford, FL 32772
Helpline: 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848)
Text: 321-978-0555 (24/7)
Live Chat: www.gamblinghelp.org (24/7)
Florida is one of the more conservative states that take gambling matters very seriously. You can visit any of the land-based casinos on the Seminole Tribal Lands if you’re looking for a night out gambling.
Online gambling is currently illegal and you can get prosecuted if you are caught trying to access an online casino site. It’s best to find your gambling entertainment at the legal land-based casinos in the state instead.