The Sunshine State is one of the only few states that offers gambling on Jai Alai. Online gambling has yet to be formally legalized, however offshore online casinos are available and accept players from Florida. Land based casino gaming is prevalent with native american casinos offering a wide range of gaming.
- Florida Lottery provides online sales and winnings validating for customers. It holds a state monopoly with the sale and distribution of lottery products
- Land based Indian casinos are commercially operated by the Seminole Tribe and Miccosukee Tribe (seven and one respectively).
- Card establishments (venues with no slot machines) and bingo are operated on commercial basis
- Pari-mutuel wagering is available on horse and greyhounds until 2021 races.
- Wagering on Jai Alai is permitted.
- Onshore online gambling is prohibited.
- Offshore online casinos accept players from Florida.
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Exploding in popularity due to the events of 2020, online casino gaming is growing with the recognition of the quality gaming experience and safety that it provides.
In the past, it was relatively unknown that there were several online casino sites that could accept players from Florida, and the ease of which it is to join up and play.
There are several factors to consider when signing up to an online casino. Sites need to be safe and secure, bot for processing transactions and for the protection of a players personal information. They need to have trusted banking methods, and customer service which is prompt and responsive. Ideally, they also have a wide range of gaming and a catalogue of games that is regularly updated.
Lastly, the best online casinos have excellent Welcome Bonuses. Accordingly our list of recommended online casinos for Florida players are listed according to Welcome Bonus size, but please note that the other factors are also taken into account.
Florida Casinos Reviewed
Unfortunately in the big cities of Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando you won’t find any Las Vegas style casinos. In fact, the closest thing to a casino is in Miami, which has four venues that offers electronic gaming.
If you want to get the best gaming action possible, then you need to head to Tampa which hosts the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. This casino is touted to be the largest in Florida, offering all the fine dining, gaming, luxury and glamour that can be found in a Vegas casino.
Florida Live Casinos Live Dealers
At the time of writing, Live Casinos with Live Dealers is starting to take off. An Online Live Casino offers real time streaming of a Live Dealer. There is no RNG involved, which provides a level of assurance for some players that the gaming is not rigged. Live Casino Live Dealers is almost exactly the same as playing table games with a live dealer at a land based casino.
There are in fact, more features that are available via online than land based. These include, unlimited other player back betting, instant messaging to fellow players and the dealer, a plethora of trend analysis such as Hot and Cold runs, black and red, even and odds. In addition, Players remain safe and have the convenience of playing anywhere, anytime at hand.
Our favorite online live casino is El Royale, who have partnered with Visionary iGaming. Visionary iGaming is a leading live casino provider, experts in providing quality software and a professional sharp table operation which provides Players of all background a fantastic experience.
Online sports betting sites, however, do exist and they are based offshore. They accept Florida bettors, with no precedence of any bettor being informed of a breach in law, let alone charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports is growing fast in popularity. New to the gambling scene, it is considered a game of skill by many which requires bettors to create a fictitious team based on real players. The performance of the real sports players in real life determine how successful the fictitious team is. As a result, it truly is those with the most “skills” will win.
The two dominate daily fantasy sports providers is DraftKings and FanDuel. On this site, we do not actively promote daily fantasy sports as we understand that it is a game of “skill” which is being exploited by bettors who have the best risk modelling. That is, it isn’t nearly about how well you know your sport, the sport players etc, it is very much about who has the best statistical model and who has access to the most detailed sports player data.
As someone who may be a big fan of sport, and thinking that they would have a good chance of winning money in DFS, think again. You are pitted against statistical modelling experts who deliberately target games that mostly have new players to DFS. In fact, it has been alleged that those who are extremely good at DFS have been known to collaborate among themselves and not compete with each other. Thereby creating a sustainable winning formula shared by the experts.
We therefore want our readers to be aware that DFS is not what is appears to be. In fairness, DFS is legal in Florida and many DFS onshore operators accept Florida players.
Top 3 Florida Online Bingo
Online bingo is very popular in Florida, hence we have ranked the best sites to sign up to and play at. These three bingo sites are rich in features, promotions and prizes and are hands down the most fun! Enjoy playing online bingo.
Florida bingo laws are stipulated under Charitable gaming state legislation. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address nor permit online bingo by onshore operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Florida players are based offshore (which is the same as online casinos and sports betting sites).
The recommended online bingo sites all accept players from Florida. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!
- Native Tribe land based casinos, casino boats (that travel and operate offshore where gambling is legal), card rooms, pari-mutuel wagering, and pari-mutuel gaming machines are permitted under State law
- Commercially operated lotteries banked or percentage games, and gambling machines prohibited under State law
- Subject to age restrictions, online gambling is neither prohibited nor expressly regulated under State law
Legal Minimum Gambling Age
- 18 for lottery, poker and pari-mutuel betting
- 21 for gaming machines
- Standard tax rate for gambling products is 35% gross gaming revenue
- Surplus generated from State lottery is circulated to State-wide education
- Card room operators pay 10% gross gaming revenue (as well as a tax equal to 15% admission charge for entrants or 10 cents, whichever is higher)
Regulation and Governance
- Department of Agriculture, Sweepstakes Registration
- Department of Business and Professional
- Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
Florida Gambling Market Developments
- The Seminole Tribe opened its first bingo hall in 1979
- The Florida Lottery was established in 1986 by voter referendum for the purpose of generating revenues for public education
- Strong appetite to bet among State Citizens, particularly interactive poker
- Casino expansion and interactive market regulation have been considered on and off over the last few years though nothing is yet to materialize.
- Florida is home to an extensive gambling industry consisting of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, jai alai, slot machines and card rooms at pari-mutuel facilities and a major cruise ship industry
- Voters approved slot machine gambling in a 2004 referendum which amended the State Constitution to allow residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties to decide whether to permit slots at parimutuel facilities
- In 2007 the Seminoles obtained a compact with the state, which is required by federal law in order to operate house-banked slot machines and table games, known as Class III gaming under the governing statute, the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
Dana Young, State Representative, introduced HB1233, that would establish a framework for two land based casino resorts to be located in South Florida, a gambling commission (state regulator) and an end to live racing at dog tracks, though slots would be authorized to continue. Should a casino
resort be opened, the tax rate for slot machines on pari-mutuel betting would be reduced to 25%, down from 35%. The bill contained provisions that sought to prohibit any extension of games that could be offered in Florida, subject to approval by a statewide vote. However, the bill did not address tribal gaming and contained no provisions for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, whose state compact expires on 31 July 2015.
All provisions that related to casinos, were removed from HB1233, by State Legislators, which ended the possibility of two Resort Casino being built within the state. HB 1233 was subsequently refilled without the casino proposal, but would still authorize greyhound racetracks to operate other forms of gambling should live racing be discontinued
The House Finance and Tax Committee passed HB1233, by a 10-8 majority vote and progressed it to a final Committee review. However, the introduction of a provision on barrel racing creates challenges for the passage of HB1233, as previous judicial decisions determined this form of gambling to be unlawful. Time presents another challenge, as the legislative session ends on 1 May 2015.
James Billie, Chairman of the Seminole Tribe, issued a letter to the State legislature expressing concern over the Tribes efforts to extend its State compact by one year. This came after an unexpected closure of the House, which created uncertainty over existing bills in the legislative process. The letter requested the State act in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and enter into negotiations over a new gambling compact with the Tribe.
The Seminole Tribe filed litigation action, requesting the Appeals Court review its recent decision, to authorise slot machines at Gretna racetrack and potentially expand slot machines further throughout the state. The action was brought in response to the negative financial impact, the decision could have, on the tribe’s casino operations.
State Senator Gwen Margolis introduced a bill to allow the lottery to develop and operate an online ticket sales platform. The proposal will be considered during the 2016 legislative session.
The First District Court of Appeals overturned the decision to install gaming machines at the Gretna racetrack with a ruling of 2-1. The case has been referred to the Florida Supreme Court for review as it is seen to have significant statewide importance.
A bill seeking to allow the state lottery to conduct online ticket sales has been withdrawn. The bill, SB270, was introduced in September but has been dropped, due to concerns it would constitute as the expansion of gambling
Representatives Gaetz and Workman, introduced a bill to regulate daily fantasy sports contests.
HB707 would define DFS, as a game of skill and exempt it from the current prohibition under Chapter 849 of the state statutes. The bill proposes a framework for the regulation of the game and details a number of consumer protection measures to be put in place
The Appropriations Sub-Committee on General Government approved SB402 to allow lottery tickets to be purchased from point-of-sale terminals. The bill was submitted to the Committee on Fiscal Policy for further consideration and will be discussed on 3 December 2015.
A bill, introduced by Senator Joe Negron, was filed in the Senate and subsequently referred to the Regulated Industries Subcommittee. SB832, seeks to regulate Daily Fantasy Sports operations in the state under a separate definition to other gambling products. It will not, therefore, be subject to the existing gambling regulations imposed by chapter 849 of the State Statute but governed by the new rules detailed in the bill
Governor Rick Scott submitted a new Tribal-State Gaming Compact to the House and Senate for consideration. The compact with the Seminole Tribe outlines a number of responsibilities and targets to be met by both sides over the next 20 years. The revenue share agreed by both parties is a marked increase on the previous deal with $3bn in funds guaranteed for the state, the tribe will be required to invest over $1.8bn and create 4,800 new direct and indirect jobs. The agreement includes permission for the tribe to expand a number of products across their 7 properties and maintain their exclusive right to offer blackjack.
Senator Maria Sachs introduced a bill to create a Department of Gaming. SB1198 outlines the necessary changes to the legislation and the re-organization of the existing commissions and departments currently governing gambling, in the state to facilitate a separate Department of
Gaming. The bill would also see the appointment of a Gaming Commission to consider gaming related issues raised within the Senate.
Bill 707, which seeks to regulate daily fantasy sports contests, received a majority vote by the Business and Professions Subcommittee. The bill, introduced in November, requires the same result from the Regulatory Affairs Committee before it returns to the House of Representatives for a vote.
Two bills which seek to authorise DFS contests, were passed by their respective committees. SB832 was approved by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee by an 8 to 2 majority. HB707 was approved by the Finance and Tax Committee by a 15 to 3 majority. Both bills await reports from the committees before returning to their corresponding chambers for a vote.
Senator Joe Negron, proposed amendments to the state/tribe gaming deal, previously agreed between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe. Negron included a clause, to allow all counties whose residents vote in favor of gambling expansion the right to operate casinos. However, the initial
deal struck with the tribe, only permitted two counties to have casinos and this amendment has the potential to cause significant problems for the Seminole tribe, who are now unlikely to agree to the deal as it stands.
A committee substitute bill has been proposed as an alternative to Senator Negron’s changes to the state/tribe gaming compact. The alternative deal would permit the expansion of slot machine gaming into five (5) new states and blackjack into 2. It would maintain the tribe’s exclusivity agreed to, in the initial deal, as well as the revenue share and payment clauses.
Governor Rick Scott’s state/tribe gaming compact died in the Senate, after lawmakers failed to act on the motion before the deadline on 11 March 2016. The committee substitute bill introduced in February, is still progressing through the legislature and offers an alternative way to get a deal passed in the current legislative session.
A trial to decide if the Seminole tribe can continue to operate blackjack tables in their casinos, has been rescheduled to begin in October. The trial was brought by the tribe following the expiry of the gaming compact last year which, whilst in effect, granted them the exclusive right to offer blackjack at 5 of their 7 casinos.
IGT won a competitive procurement process to supply the State Lottery with a wide range of lottery support services until 2031.
Citizens of St Lucie and Duval Counties voted to allow gaming machines at pari-mutuel wagering facilities and jai alai frontons in the referendum. The State legislature is still required to pass legislation authorising the expansion of gaming machines before any facilities can offer them.
District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled the Seminole Tribe can continue to offer blackjack at its casinos for the next 14 years. The case was brought by the tribe after a number of failed attempts to negotiate a renewal of their gaming compact with the state legislature.
House Representative Jason Broduer introduced HB149 to classify daily fantasy sports contests as a game of skill and therefore exempted from the state’s definition of gambling.
Senator Bill Galvano introduced a wide-ranging gambling amendment bill to the Senate. SB8 proposes a large number of changes to existing gambling legislation and introduces a number of new acts.
Some of the key proposals are:
- Authorization of point of sale lottery terminals;
- Amendment and ratification of the 2015 Seminole tribe gaming compact;
- Authorization and regulation daily fantasy sports through the Fantasy Contest Amusement Act;
- Creation of the Office of Amusements to oversee the DFS industry in the State.
The Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee introduced legislation to reinstate the previous gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe to grant them the exclusive right to operate gaming machines and blackjack in all counties except Miami-Dade and Broward. HB7037 would prohibit pari-mutuel facilities from operating gaming machines and blackjack despite voters approving the measure in eight counties. The bill was passed to the House floor for consideration.
The Senate approved gambling expansion bill SB8 by a majority of 32-6. The bill progressed to the House for consideration and approval.
The House gave its assent to HB7037 which intends to limit gaming in the State to what is currently permitted and reinstate the Seminole Tribes monopoly on gaming machines and blackjack in all counties except two. The bill progressed to the Senate for consideration and approval
The Florida Supreme Court approved a constitutional amendment which would require voters to approve the expansion of casino gambling in the State rather than the legislature alone. The court voted four (4) to two (2) in favor of the question being included on the November 2018 ballot.
Competing gambling bills, SB8 and HB7037 were dropped from the legislature as the chambers failed to reach a compromise and agree on the expansion or restriction of gaming in the state.
The Miami Beach Planning Board voted in favor of proposals to ban casinos in the city by amending the planning and zoning code. H2 understand the Miami Beach City Commission were scheduled to hold the final vote on the proposals on 26 July 2017.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Creek Entertainment Gretna race-track could not operate slot machines despite a majority of voters approving the measure in a county referendum.
Governor Rick Scott signed a settlement agreement with the Seminole Tribe to ensure the Tribe’s exclusive right to offer banked card games until 2030. The agreement did not allow for any expansion of gambling in the state.
Legislators Jason Brodeur and Dana Young pre-filed corresponding bills into the House and Senate to exempt daily fantasy sports from the definition of gambling. HB223 and SB374 would classify daily
fantasy sports as a game of skill and therefore exempt it from regulation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. If passed, the bills would take effect on 1 October 2018.
Senator Travis Hutson introduced legislation to amend a number of gambling policies in the state.
Senate Bill 840 would:
- authorize daily fantasy sports,
- allow qualifying racetracks to discontinue live racing but maintain other gambling amenities
- incrementally reduce the tax rate on gaming machines to 25% by 1 July 2020;
- allow certain “designated player games” at cardrooms.
Commissioner Tom Lee proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit wagering on greyhound or other dog races. The proposed amendment would phase out live dog racing over 3 years and a total ban would take effect 1 July 2021.
Representative Ramon Alexander introduced HB1111 to authorise gaming machines at a horseracing facility in Gadsden Country provided a majority of voters approve the expansion in a local referendum. The bill was scheduled to be considered by the House in the upcoming legislative session.
A ballot question asking whether citizens should be given the exclusive right to decide whether to authorise casino gambling in the state was added to the November 2018 ballot. The question, which was approved by the Florida Supreme Court in April 2017, would amend the constitution to make the citizen initiative process the exclusive method of authorising gaming machines, card games and casinos provided it is passed by 60% of voters.
Legislation to prevent the expansion of gambling in the state was reintroduced to the House. HB7067, would limit gaming in the State to what is currently permitted and reinstate the Seminole Tribes monopoly on gaming machines and blackjack in all counties for a period of 20-years. The bill included proposals that would require the tribe to pay the State $3bn over seven (7) years. Similar legislation, HB7037, was dropped last year after it was voted down in the Senate.
The House of Representatives voted in favour of HB7067 by a majority of 70 to 40. The bill progressed to the Senate for consideration.
HB7067 was dropped from the legislature as the chambers failed to agree on the Seminole Tribal Gaming Compact and restriction of gaming within the state.
Governor Rick Scott announced he had agreed a temporary compact with the Seminole tribe to extend the terms of the current agreement until the end of the 2019 legislative session.
Miami commissioners vote to change the city’s zoning laws in order to regulate gambling. The move means that Magic Casino may now not permitted to open a poker room at their Jai Alai Fronton in Edgewater.
Proposed constitutional amendments will feature on the 6 November ballot. Amendment 3 would require that give voters an exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling. The ballot measure does not apply to pari-mutuel betting nor gambling facilities located on tribal land.
Voters in the November referendum approved two measures related to gambling:
- Amendment 3 was approved by a majority of 71% and granted voters in the state the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling. Therefore, any expansion in casino gambling must be decided by a state-wide referendum and not solely in the legislature
- Amendment 13 was approved by a majority of 69% and prohibited racetracks in the state from organizing greyhound races in connection with any form of gambling from 31 December 2020. However, tracks would still be permitted to operate all other gambling options currently offered, including simulcast betting on out-of-state greyhound races.
State Representative Robinson introduced House Bill 629 aimed at prohibiting lottery ticket sales on electronic devices, as well as requiring printed tickets to feature a gambling health warning. HB 629 would be considered by the Gaming Control Subcommittee on 20 February 2019.
Three bills to regulate sports betting in Florida were submitted by Senator Jeff Brandes. The bills: SB968, SB970 and SB972 would enable sports betting to be operated by the state lottery and private licensees at retail locations and online. Under SB968 Florida’s state lottery would have power to develop regulations, including setting a maximum stake for sports bets and potentially for multiple online skins to be licensed out to operators. SB970 would set out the application fee for licenses at US$100k and SB972 would set a 15% tax on gross gaming revenues. Should the bill pass into law Floridians could be called to vote on it via a referendum set for November 2020.
Florida lawmakers have resubmitted a bill that would feature a warning on lottery tickets, as well as prohibit the use of electronic devices to play lottery games. HB 991 has been voted through the House Gaming Control Subcommittee by 14 votes for to 1 vote against, and it would also forbid the Florida Lottery from conducting games in which winners are chosen based on the outcome of sporting events.
Is it legal to play at online casinos in Florida?
Florida State law neither prohibit or permit online gambling. However, they are explicit in not allow online casino operators within the borders of the State. Therefore all operators are based offshore. Florida players, however, are accepted at these online casinos with no risk of being charged by law enforcement agencies.
What is the minimum legal age to play at online casinos?
Each online casino is allowed to set their own legal minimum age. However, they do take into account the player’s jurisdiction and the minimum legal age in that jurisdiction. The higher of the online casino or jurisdiction is taken to be the legal minimum age. In the case of Florida, it is therefore 21 years of age.