Can I gamble online legally in Florida? Law For Real Money 2024

Last updated:

September 25, 2023
Can I gamble online legally in Florida?

Florida is home to online gambling enthusiasts. Although the state has not regulated online gambling options, residents and visitors can still access a range of online casino games, slot machines, and sports betting. This article will delve into Florida’s current online gambling situation, including its legal status, top online casinos, and potential future regulation developments. Whether you’re an experienced gambler or simply interested in the available options, continue reading to discover more about the world of online gambling in the Sunshine State!


Florida Gambling: A Look At The History  And What’s At Stake

Gambling has existed since God knows when, but things are different in Florida, as it has always been a problem there! Why? Well, I don’t want to get into this. Still, in short, maybe the reason is that everything in Florida is in the 80s(or even before!), the temperature, the humidity, and the legislation!


For most of the 20th century, gambling was illegal outside of Nevada. But in 1976, Atlantic City opened its doors to mega casinos like Resorts International, and gambling promoters’ next stop was Florida! In 1978, Sunshine State voters rejected full-scale casino gambling. Hence, gambling remained limited to dogs, horses, and Jai-alai. Before 1986, a lot happened in the state concerning gambling and casinos.

Can I gamble online legally in Florida?

In 1986, voters again said NO to full-scale casino gambling but approved Florida Lottery. The Lottery was the first in a series of seemingly benign events that triggered a chain reaction of unintended gambling expansions.


In 1988, the lottery began operation, and the first Lottery sales soared. Result? Pari-mutuels suffered! As a result, legislators quickly gave pari-mutuels operators simulcast wagering. The story doesn’t end here! In the same year, congress passed a new law granting Native American tribes the right to host any form of gambling already legal in their state, so tribes got video lottery.


In 1989, in response to the 8 retirees’ arrest for playing low-stakes poker, lawmakers legalized penny-ante poker games in home and private settings as long as the pot did not exceed $10. Result? Tribal Poker Rooms emerged and expanded. Pari-mutuels started whining again! They complained about unfair competition from the tribes. They began lobbying for card rooms of their own.


In 1994, voters rejected casinos and full-scale casino gambling for the third time. But in 1996, pari-mutuel owners won their card room concessions from lawmakers but with a $10 pot limit. By 2003, poker rooms have one higher-stakes betting. A year later, in 2004, 50.08% of voters in South Florida voted for Slot machines legalization only at seven existing pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. But, almost instantly, Slots were expanded to tribal lands, too. As a result, all pari-mutuels were clamoring for slot machines of their own.

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Florida Compact With The Seminole Tribe

In 2010, Governor Charlie Crist entered a compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, billed as a firewall against gambling expansion. According to the deal, the Tribe was given exclusive rights to operate slot machines, Blackjack, and Baccarat outside pari-mutuel facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties for 20 years. In exchange, the Tribe pays Florida State $1 billion over 5 years, win-win!


But a year later, in 2011, some lawmakers sought to break the compact, introducing legislation to build the largest casino in the world, the so-called “destination resort” casinos.


The history is clear; the expansion of the gambling industry won’t stop and can’t be stopped even if some people and lawmakers hate the fact. For example, in 2014, there were already five casinos within 15 minutes of each other in South Broward County and three in Miami-Dade, making the South Florida gambling market almost saturated.


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What About Online Gambling? Is Online Gambling Legal In Florida?

If you live in the Sunshine State or watch Jimmy Kimmel Live, you should know Governor DeSantis! The guy is against legalizing everything, from online gambling and same-sex marriage to teaching children about menstruation in elementary school!


So, speaking of online gambling, it is not a thing in Florida! The state legislature has made repeated attempts to legalize sports betting in recent years. But as long as Governor DeSantis is there, the process of legalizing online gambling in the state may take until ever! But DeSantis is not the only problem. The Seminole Tribe, which holds a monopoly on casino gambling in South Florida, has been a major obstacle to the legalization of online gambling in the state. Why? Because they face losses if online casinos and sports gambling are legalized across the state.


Despite facing numerous obstacles, three new bills were passed in 2021 to bring online gambling to Florida. This is promising, and according to the predictions, DeSantis, Seminoles, and others against online gambling legalization cannot stop the process. Online casinos and sportsbooks are very likely to be legal in the coming years, with sports betting being the first legalized game in the state.

Where Can You Gamble Online For Real Money In Florida?

Since there is no legal online casino and sportsbook operating in Florida state, to gamble for real money, you should visit land-based Tribal casinos or play online at licensed offshore gambling websites. There are also illegal offshore platforms, but we do not recommend signing up with them. Here are the top three trusted online casinos for players from Florida.


1. Betonline: All-in-One Trusted Gambling Website

Betonline: All-in-One Trusted Gambling Website

Operating under the Panama license, Betonline has been serving US and international gamblers for more than two decades. Luckily, the website is available in Florida, and casino and sports bettors from the Sunshine State can sign up and play for real money.


There are various welcome bonuses and loyalty programs, including crypto bonuses, to help bettors make the most out of their deposit money. Betonline sets the industry standard for the most secure and fast banking methods supporting various traditional and e-banking methods, including cryptocurrencies.


The casino features a range of games, including but not limited to Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Texas Hold’em, Slots, and more. Those who love the thrill of live action can enjoy Betonline’s world-class live casino streaming in HD with professional and friendly human dealers. High-rollers and low-stakes players can both enjoy at Betonline’s top-notch casino and sportsbook as they offer an extensive array of betting options. Sport betting enthusiasts will enjoy early competitive odds offered for a wide selection of national and international sporting events and tournaments. Not convinced yet? Visit Betonline and talk to the supportive agents online 24/7, or read our comprehensive Betonline review!


2. Bovada: Best For Sports Betting

Bovada: Best For Sports Betting

Operating since 2011, Bovada is best known for its world-class online sportsbook. Although Bovada is not available in some countries and US states, players from Florida are welcome to play and gamble here online for real money. There are multiple welcome bonuses and promos to get you started. An extensive collection of casino games, sports, safe and fast banking methods, and a racebook are a few key features to expect at this US and Crypto-friendly online gambling website.


3. BetMGM: The Vegas Giant in Florida!

BetMGM: The Vegas Giant in Florida!

MGM International is one of the leading gambling service providers in Vegas and the online market. Besides generous bonuses and promotions, BetMGM provides world-class casino and sportsbook services, including live casinos, live betting, and poker rooms.


The sportsbook covers nearly every single sporting event in the US, Europe, and internationally. In addition, you can enjoy special bets like props and futures in various markets like entertainment. But is BetMGM available to players from Florida? Yes and No. Racebook and some sportsbook features are available in Florida. But the casino is not accessible in the sunshine state. Still, you can contact customer service and discuss how to access your desired service from the BetMGM mobile app.


Top Bricks And Mortar Casinos In Florida

As explained, the gambling industry is expanding in Florida, and regulations are expected to be updated accordingly. Florida is a destination for US and international tourists. Casinos and resorts are great ways to attract more tourists and boost the state’s economy. At the time being, the following five casino resorts are the top venues in Florida, with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino being the most popular and iconic one.


  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tampa Bay
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood
  • Casino Dania Beach, Dania Beach
  • Casino Miami Jai Alai, Miami
  • Big East Casino, Hallandale Beach


These casinos provide diverse gambling experiences, including slot machines, table games, and poker rooms.


How To Play Poker In Florida?

Florida is known for its thriving brick-and-mortar casinos. It is considered a major poker hotspot in the United States. However, local players do not have access to state-sanctioned sites when it comes to online poker. Instead, they have two options:


  • Join a poker-friendly social and sweepstakes casino and platform: Players can participate in online poker through platforms like Zynga, Chumba Casino, and LuckyLand Slots, which offer a social gaming experience. These platforms do not involve real money gambling and are a legal way to enjoy poker online in Florida. In social casinos like Chumba and LuckyLand, you can redeem your virtual winnings for cash prizes.


  • Use offshore real-money poker sites: Another option is to use real-money poker sites operated by offshore operators, like Betonline, Bovada, Bookmaker, and Ignition Casino.



Daily Fantasy Sports: Is FanDuel Available In Florida?

The legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Florida is uncertain. Section 849.14 of the Florida code, which defines illegal gambling, does not have an exemption for games of skill. A 1996 Advisory Legal Opinion by Attorney General Robert A. Butterworth stated that fantasy sports leagues contests should be considered illegal within the state.


Despite this, both FanDuel and DraftKings still offer their services to Florida residents, who make up an estimated 3-5% of their customer base. However, Yahoo DFS withdrew from the Florida market in 2015 due to the lack of certainty, and smaller operators like DraftOps and StarsDraft do not accept Florida-based DFS fans.


Florida authorities are not currently interested in turning DFS into a legal battle, and local Republicans have pushed for DFS legalization in the past.


Wrap Up

They call it Sunshine State as it is one of the popular tourist destinations in the United States. But things like gambling remained in the 80s in Florida! Concerning online gambling, there is a legal battle ongoing between the Seminole Tribe and other sportsbooks, including FanDuel and DraftKings.


These sportsbooks are challenging the exclusivity agreement, arguing that it violates federal law. If the courts overturn the exclusivity agreement, online and mobile gambling could soon become legal in Florida. Until then, players can play at Seminole-owned casinos, bricks and mortar venues, online offshore gambling websites, and social casinos.


See also  Is Online Poker Legal in California?

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Online Gambling In Florida FAQs

  • What Is The Legal Gambling Age In Florida?

    If you are under 21, you are not allowed to play and gamble at Florida gambling venues.

  • Is Sports Betting Legal In Florida?

    Florida legalized sports betting in 2021, but the Seminole Tribe of Florida has exclusive rights to offer sports betting on its own mobile app and website.

  • Is Mobile Gambling Legal In Florida?

    No, mobile gambling is not legal in Florida at this time, but playing on offshore websites like Betonline on mobile is not against the law, and players will not face charges.

  • What Are Top Online Casinos And Sportsbooks Available To Players From Florida?

    Betonline, Bovada, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Wild Casino, Super Slots, Red Dog, and Ignition.


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