Florida is home to numerous gaming choices both online and in the real world. Legal online gaming in Florida now includes horse racing betting, greyhound gambling and everyday fantasy sports. In the physical realm, Florida has horse racing gambling, bingo, traditional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports gambling in Florida doesn’t seem likely at this time. The state has long been eyed as a major potential market for sport betting, but changes to state law have made any upcoming gambling expansions more difficult as they now take a statewide referendum initiated by request.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let us begin with a fast list of authorized Florida betting sites and then dig into all the details below.
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound gambling have been lawful in Florida for decades and a number of big racing websites accept customers from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida customers and are licensed right here in america.
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The amendment made greyhound racing and gambling on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal beginning on January 1st, 2021.
Existing racetracks will still be permitted to provide poker and other games following the change takes effect, but they will no longer be able to sponsor live greyhound races. This amendment also has no impact on online greyhound racing, which will stay legal because the amendment only attempts to stop wagers placed on races held at the country.
The legal situation for fantasy sports in Florida is complicated and unclear, but many daily dream sites have served the state for decades with no interference from officials.
Multiple attempts to officially legalize dream sports in Florida have failed over the years due to disputes on how the activity should be categorized and the complexity of tribal gaming 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dream sports in with gaming and opined it is most likely illegal under state legislation, but the opinion is outdated and does not maintain legal weight. Just as lawmakers want to explain the legal standing of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are approved in both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gambling law allows games of skill only if entrance fees don’t directly lead to the prize pool. What this signifies is that it is legal to pay an entrance fee and compete for a set prize, but to not perform in a contest where all of the entrance fees are collected to form the prize pool itself.
For example, it would be lawful to host a paid-entry golf championship in the event the organizers place fixed prizes that don’t change no matter how many men and women enter the championship. The exact same tournament would cross the line into illegal land if prizes were determined by pooling entrance fees and paying the winners a percentage of the prize pool.
A 1990 comment from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
“Accordingly, I am of the view that a competition of skill, such as a hole-in-one golf contest, where the contestant pays an entrance fee, which doesn’t make up the prize, for the chance to win a valuable prize by the exercise of skill, does not violate the gaming laws of this state. To the extent that previous views of the office might be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.”
WorldWinner.com, which is currently the largest skill gaming website, accepts residents of Florida but limits them from particular contests in which the prize pool is not fixed. Follow the link below to read more about WorldWinner:
What about the state lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell tickets online nor does it offer a subscription service. Obviously, you could always try your luck at Experienced lottery resellers which you may discover online. I don’t recommend going that route though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets on the internet from Florida so any site included in the business is completely untrue and most likely located abroad.
Nobody really knows how safe or legit foreign lottery resellers are. They claim to have a team of agents located around the world whose job it is to go about and purchase lottery tickets on behalf of customers. The problem is there is no way to confirm how it actually works.
If you would like to play the lottery, then it is best to just go buy your tickets in person. You truly don’t want to leave the destiny of your $40 million dollar at the hands of some overseas, quasi-legal site. Countries do have the authority to sell tickets on the internet, but Florida doesn’t yet do this.
Sports Betting in Florida
Sports gambling is illegal for aside from two exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships which sail into international waters to provide sports betting.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to some time in Florida during which jai alai was considerably bigger than the obscure sport it’s today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and the state became somewhat of an epicenter for jai alai players across the world because of warm weather year-round and easy accessibility from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is a favorite.
During its heyday, jai alai was even exempted from state and federal sports betting prohibitions. Jai alai maintained a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a continuous decline in the 1980s amid rising competition from professional sports clubs, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a fairly niche game and there are only a handful of busy frontons in operation today. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily because of Florida gambling laws that need card rooms to offer you some kind of parimutuel wagering (such as jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing gambling ). Therefore, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate other kinds of gaming.
The other”exclusion” into Florida’s sports betting prohibition happens on the cruise ships managed by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice each day out of Port Canaveral. These boats sail out into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook to get a few hours and then come back to beach later the same day.
As far as a widespread legalization of sport betting, Florida does not seem likely to expand its gambling choices anytime soon. There haven’t been any efforts to introduce sports gambling legislation and there haven’t been any recent efforts to legalize sports gambling.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gambling recorded the 32 states likely to legalize sports betting within five decades of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal prohibition of sports betting. Florida was not included in that list, but it had been contained in a supplemental collection of all 12 additional states inclined to legalize sports betting within seven years of such a judgment.
Will Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized at Florida?
Apart from the exceptions mentioned previously, sports gambling remains illegal in Florida and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mixture of competing interests involving lawmakers, Tribal concerns as well as the Disney business that have their own opinions on the growth of gambling.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports gambling any time soon took a further hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that essentially stripped off the state legislature from authorizing any gaming expansion, including sports betting.
Formerly, the state legislature could have potentially drafted a law to create Florida sports betting legal. Under the new amendment, Florida citizens would need to initiate a campaign to collect signatures to place the issue to a statewide referendum. Then, voters would have to approve that referendum by 60 percent to earn sports betting legal. It’s possible, but not very likely at this time.
Is it lawful to wager online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of”legal” is. A couple of forms of online betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, fantasy and ability ). It is clearly illegal to run an online casino, card room or any other company that accepts wagers without the correct licensing.
What isn’t clear is whether it is a crime to put bets online at unlicensed betting websites. The key text in Florida’s gambling laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Gambling. Whoever plays or participates in any sport at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for cash or other item of value, will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It seems pretty clear that this law makes it a misdemeanor offense to take part in obvious gaming games like slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so on. The part that states”by any device whatever” is easily translated to incorporate the world wide web. However, the country hasn’t prosecuted a single person for the mere act of putting bets online. Hunting down people playing blackjack on their computers just is not a high priority.
Online poker is a different matter. The above mentioned law doesn’t explicitly cite”poker” but it does say”any game .” But — there’s always a however — that the phrase”other game of chance” seems to imply that just games of chance have been forbidden. If poker isn’t a game of chance, this legislation does not apply.
It does not end there, folks. You and I might not believe poker a sport of chance, but sure federal and state laws most definitely do specify poker as exactly that. Florida law doesn’t define games of chance nor does it cite poker and there is no case law to fall back on.
Someone would need to push the matter before we get Florida’s opinion on the situation of poker being skill or luck. This likely won’t happen anytime soon because nobody is searching down poker players either.
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling in Florida
An increasing number of countries are in the process of legalizing online casino and poker games after a federal judge ruled in 2011 the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports gambling. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized internet poker, casino games or even both. State legislators in Florida haven’t yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending in this moment.
It does not look like anything will probably be changing in Florida anytime soon . The state is largely opposed to the expansion of online gambling. Back in April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott voiced his opposition to enlarging online betting at the national level with a letter directed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there haven’t been any real attempts to alter Florida gaming laws. The present status quo appears quite likely to remain as it is for the foreseeable future.
Read more here: http://shostka-rada.gov.ua