Florida is home to numerous gaming choices both online and in the actual 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 betting in Florida does not appear likely at the moment. The state has long been eyed as a significant potential market for sports betting, but modifications to state authorities have made any future gaming expansions harder as they currently take a statewide referendum initiated by request.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let us begin with a fast list of legal Florida betting sites and dig into every detail below.
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound gambling have been lawful in Florida for years and a number of big racing sites accept clients 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 nevertheless be allowed to offer poker and other games after the amendment takes effect, however they’ll no longer be in a position to host live greyhound races. This modification has no effect on online greyhound racing, which will remain legal because the change only seeks to prevent wagers placed on races held at the country.
The legal situation for fantasy sports in Florida is complicated and unclear, but many daily fantasy websites have served the nation for years with no interference from officials.
A number of attempts to officially legalize dream sports in Florida have failed over the decades due to disputes on how the action ought to be categorized and the intricacy of tribal gambling contracts between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
A 1991 Attorney General opinion lumped season-long dream sports in with gambling and opined that it is probably illegal under state law, but the opinion is obsolete and doesn’t hold legal weight. Just as lawmakers would like to clarify the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are accepted in both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gambling law permits games of ability only if entry fees don’t directly contribute to the prize pool. What this means is that it’s legal to pay an entry fee and compete for a fixed prize, but not to play at a contest where all of the entrance fees are accumulated to form the decoration pool itself.
For instance, it would be lawful to sponsor a paid-entry golf tournament in the event the organizers place fixed prizes that do not change regardless of the number of men and women enter the tournament. The exact same tournament would cross the line into illegal territory if prizes were determined by pooling entry fees and paying the winners a percentage of the prize pool.
A 1990 comment from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
“Thus, I am of the view that a competition of skill, such as a hole-in-one golf competition, where the contestant pays an entry fee, which does not constitute the prize, for the chance to win a prized trophy from the practice of skill, doesn’t violate the gambling laws of the nation. To the extent that previous views of the office may be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.”
WorldWinner.com, that is now the largest skill gaming website, accepts residents of Florida but limits them from certain contests in which the prize pool isn’t fixed. Follow the link below to read more about WorldWinner:
What about the lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell lottery tickets online 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 suggest going that route though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets online from Florida so any site included in the company is totally unregulated and most likely located overseas.
Nobody actually understands how secure 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 issue is there’s no way to verify how it actually works.
If you want to play the lottery, then it is ideal to just go buy your tickets in person. You truly don’t want to leave the fate of your own $40 million dollar in the hands of a overseas, quasi-legal website. States do have the authority to sell tickets online, but Florida does not yet do that.
Sports Betting at Florida
Sports gambling is illegal for aside from 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships that sail to international waters to provide sports betting.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to a time in Florida through which jai alai was considerably bigger than the vague sport it’s today. Jai alai came to Florida in the 1920s, and eventually the state became a little of an epicenter for jai alai players around the world because of warm weather year-round and easy access from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is a favorite.
Through its heyday, jai alai was even exempted from state and federal sports gambling prohibitions. Jai alai preserved a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a steady decline from the 1980s amid increasing competition from professional sports teams, the lottery and South Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a rather niche game and there are just a couple of busy frontons in operation now. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily because of Florida gambling laws that require card rooms to offer you some kind of parimutuel wagering (for instance, jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing betting). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist chiefly to facilitate different kinds of gaming.
The other”exclusion” into Florida’s sports betting prohibition occurs on the cruise ships operated by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice each day from Port Canaveral. These boats sail into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook to get a couple hours and then come back to shore later that same day.
So far as a widespread legalization of sport gambling, Florida doesn’t appear likely to expand its gaming options anytime soon. There haven’t been any efforts to present sports betting legislation and there have been no recent efforts to legalize sports gambling.
A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gambling listed the 32 states most likely to legalize sports gambling within five decades of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the national prohibition of sports betting. Florida wasn’t contained in that list, but it had been contained in a supplemental list of 12 additional states likely to legalize sports betting within seven decades of such a judgment.
Can Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized at Florida?
Apart from the exceptions detailed above, sports betting remains illegal in Florida and that is not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mixture of competing interests between lawmakers, Tribal issues and even the Disney business that all have their own comments on the expansion of gaming.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports gambling any time soon took a further hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that basically stripped the state legislature from authorizing any gambling expansion, including sports gambling.
Previously, the state legislature could 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 into a statewide referendum. Then, voters would need to approve that referendum by 60 percent to make sports betting legal. It’s possible, but not very likely at this moment.
Is it lawful to bet online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of”lawful” is. A few forms of internet betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, dream and ability ). It’s clearly illegal to operate an internet casino, card room or any other business that accepts wagers without the correct licensing.
What isn’t clear is whether or not it is a crime to put bets online at unlicensed gaming websites. The main text in Florida’s gambling laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Betting. Whoever plays or engages in any sport , 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 level…”
It appears fairly apparent that this law makes it a misdemeanor crime to take part in obvious gaming games like slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so on. The part that states”by any system whatever” can be readily interpreted to incorporate the internet. On the other hand, the country hasn’t once prosecuted a single person for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down individuals playing blackjack in their computers just isn’t a high priority.
Internet poker is a different issue. The above law does not explicitly cite”poker” although it does say”any game at cards.” But — there is always a however — the phrase”other game of chance” seems to imply that only games of chance are prohibited. If poker is not a game of chance, this legislation does not apply.
It doesn’t end there, folks. You and I might not consider poker a game of chance, but sure federal and state laws most certainly do specify poker as exactly that. Florida law doesn’t specify 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 get Florida’s opinion on the situation of poker being skill or luck. This likely will not happen anytime soon because nobody is searching down poker players either.
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling at Florida
An increasing number of countries are in the process of legalizing online casino and poker games following 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 either internet poker, casino games or even both. State legislators in Florida have not yet moved to alter anything. No legislation is pending at this time.
It doesn’t seem like anything will probably be shifting in Florida anytime soon either. The state is largely opposed to the expansion of internet gambling. In April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott voiced his opposition to expanding online gambling at the national level with a letter led to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there have been no real attempts to change Florida gaming legislation. The current status quo looks quite likely to stay as it is for the near future.
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