Florida is home to numerous betting options both on the internet and in the real world. Legal online gambling in Florida currently includes horse racing betting, greyhound betting and daily fantasy sports. In the physical realm, Florida has horse racing betting, bingo, traditional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports gambling in Florida doesn’t appear likely at the moment. The country has long been eyed as a significant potential market for sports betting, but modifications to state law have made any upcoming gaming expansions more difficult as they currently require a statewide referendum initiated by request.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let’s begin with a fast list of authorized Florida gaming websites and dig into all the details below.
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound betting have been legal in Florida for decades and a variety of major racing sites accept clients from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida clients and are licensed right here in america.
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The change made greyhound racing and betting on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal beginning on January 1st, 2021.
Existing racetracks will still be allowed to offer poker and other games following the amendment takes effect, however they will no longer be able to host live greyhound races. This modification has no effect on online greyhound racing, which will stay legal because the amendment only seeks to stop wagers put on races held at the state.
The legal situation for fantasy sports in Florida is complex and uncertain, but many daily fantasy websites have served the state for years with no hindrance from local officials.
Multiple attempts to formally legalize fantasy sports in Florida have collapsed over the decades due to disputes over how the action ought to be categorized and the complexity of tribal gambling contracts between the nation and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
A 1991 Attorney General opinion lumped season-long dream sports in with gaming and opined that it is most likely illegal under state law, but the view is outdated and doesn’t maintain legal weight. Just as lawmakers want to explain the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are approved at both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gambling law permits games of skill only if entrance fees do not directly contribute to the prize pool. This signifies is that it’s legal to pay an entry fee and compete for a fixed prize, but not to play in a contest where all of the entry fees are collected to form the prize pool .
As an instance, it could be legal to host a paid-entry golf tournament if the organizers place fixed prizes that don’t change no matter how many people enter the tournament. The exact same tournament could cross the line into illegal land if prizes were decided by pooling entry charges and paying the winners a proportion of the prize pool.
A 1990 comment from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
“Thus, I am of the opinion that a contest of skill, such as a hole-in-one golf competition, where the contestant pays an entry fee, which doesn’t constitute the decoration, for the chance to win a prized trophy from the exercise of skill, doesn’t violate the gambling laws of the nation. To the extent that previous opinions of this office may be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are hereby modified.”
WorldWinner.com, that is currently the largest skill gaming website, accepts citizens of Florida but restricts them from particular contests where the prize pool isn’t fixed. Follow the link below to see more about WorldWinner:
What about the state lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell lottery tickets on line nor does it provide a subscription service. Obviously, you could always try your luck at Experienced lottery resellers that you may find online. I don’t recommend going that path though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets on the internet from Florida so any website included in the company is completely unregulated and most likely located abroad.
Nobody actually understands how safe or legit overseas lottery resellers are. They claim to have a staff of representatives located around the world whose job it would be to go about and purchase lottery tickets on behalf of consumers. The problem is there is no way to confirm how it really works.
If you would like to play the lottery, it is best to just go buy your tickets in person. You really don’t want to leave the destiny of your own $40 million dollar at the hands of some foreign, quasi-legal website. States do have the ability to sell tickets on the internet, but Florida doesn’t yet do this.
Sports Betting in Florida
Sports betting is illegal for besides 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships which sail into international waters to provide sports gambling.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to some time in Florida through which jai alai was considerably larger than the obscure sport it’s today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and eventually the nation became a little of an epicenter for jai alai players across the world because of warm weather yearlong and effortless accessibility from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is popular.
During its heyday, jai alai was exempted from state and federal sports betting prohibitions. Jai alai preserved a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a continuous decline in the 1980s amid increasing competition from professional sports teams, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Today, jai alai is a fairly niche sport and there are just a couple of active frontons in operation today. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily because of Florida gambling laws that need card rooms to offer some kind of parimutuel wagering (for instance, jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing betting). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate other kinds of gambling.
The other”exclusion” into Florida’s sports betting prohibition occurs on the cruise ships managed by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice each day from Port Canaveral. These ships sail out into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook to get a couple hours and then come back to shore later the exact same day.
As far as a widespread legalization of sport betting, Florida does not seem likely to expand its gambling choices any time soon. There haven’t been any efforts to introduce sports gambling legislation and there have been no recent attempts to legalize sports betting.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gambling recorded the 32 states most likely to legalize sports gambling within five years of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the national prohibition of sports betting. Florida was not contained in that listing, but it was contained in a supplemental collection of 12 additional states likely to legalize sports gambling within seven decades of such a judgment.
Will Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized in Florida?
Aside from the exceptions detailed above, sports gambling remains illegal in Florida and that is not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mixture of competing interests involving lawmakers, Tribal issues and even the Disney business that all have their own comments on the expansion of gambling.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports gambling any time soon took a hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that essentially stripped off the state legislature from authorizing any gaming expansion, including sports gambling.
Previously, the state legislature might have possibly drafted a law to make Florida sports gambling legal. Under the new amendment, Florida citizens would have to initiate a campaign to collect signatures to put the issue to a statewide referendum. Then, voters would have to accept that referendum by 60 percent to make sports gambling legal. It’s possible, but not very likely at this moment.
Is it legal to wager online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of”lawful” is. A few forms of online betting are specifically legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, fantasy and skill). It is clearly illegal to run an online casino, card room or some other company that takes wagers without the correct licensing.
What is not clear is whether or not it is a crime to place bets online at unlicensed gaming websites. The key text from Florida’s gaming laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Betting. Whoever plays or participates in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, anytime, by any device whatever, for cash or other item of value, will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It appears pretty apparent that this legislation makes it a misdemeanor offense to take part in obvious gaming games like slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so forth. The part that states”by any system whatever” can be readily interpreted to incorporate the internet. On the other hand, the state hasn’t once prosecuted one individual for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down people playing blackjack in their computers just is not a high priority.
Internet poker is a different issue. The above mentioned law doesn’t explicitly cite”poker” although it does mention”any game at cards.” But — there’s always a but — that the phrase”other game of chance” seems to imply that only games of chance have been forbidden. If poker is not a game of chance, this legislation doesn’t apply.
It does not end there, folks. You and that I may not believe poker a sport of chance, but sure state and federal laws most definitely do define poker as precisely that. Florida law doesn’t define games of chance nor does it mention poker and there’s absolutely no case law to fall back on.
Someone would need to push the matter before we ever get Florida’s opinion on the matter of poker being ability or fortune. This probably will not happen anytime soon because nobody is hunting down poker players .
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling at Florida
An increasing number of countries are in the process of legalizing online poker and casino games after a federal judge ruled in 2011 that the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports gambling. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized internet poker, casino games or both. State legislators in Florida haven’t yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending in this time.
It does not look like anything will probably be shifting in Florida anytime soon . The state is mostly opposed to the growth of internet gambling. In April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott expressed his opposition to expanding online gambling at the federal level with a letter directed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there haven’t been any real efforts to change Florida gaming legislation. The current status quo looks quite likely to stay as it is for the foreseeable future.
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