We’re your go-to source for gambling in Florida. Whether you’re interested in sports betting, casino games, poker, bingo, or lotteries, we’ve got you covered with up-to-date information on the state’s gambling laws. We’re also here to answer important questions, like whether online gambling is legal in Florida.
As well as being a trusted source of information, we test and review everything the industry has to offer. From land-based casinos to licensed online gambling sites in Florida, we provide honest overviews of all the state’s betting outlets. So, if you want to enjoy a safe, legal, and high-quality gambling experience, make sure you check out everything we have to offer.
To get you started, we’ve put together a guide that covers everything you need to know about legal offline and online gambling in The Sunshine State. From betting options and regulations to tax rates and revenue, we’ve got all the information you need to stay informed about Florida’s thriving gambling industry.
Florida’s Sports Betting Bill
In April 2021, a major development occurred in the world of Florida gambling: a deal was struck between the state and the Seminole Tribe, making sports betting legal in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the compact into law, providing the framework for a regulated sports betting industry in Florida.
This landmark agreement paved the way for the launch of the state’s first online gambling app, powered by Hard Rock and introduced in November 2021. However, due to disagreements between the state and the Seminole Tribe, the app was taken down a month later. Despite this setback, it is important to note that sports betting is still legal in Florida, and it is expected that further developments will take place in the state’s online gambling industry in the near future.
|02/15/2023: Florida missed out on the opportunity to allow legal sports betting during the Super Bowl, and it is unlikely that a resolution will be reached before March Madness.|
|01/26/2023: Sports betting legislation won’t be addressed until the Seminole Tribe and West Flagler Associates court case is resolved.|
|12/14/2022: Both parties presented their arguments before a panel of judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.|
|10/28/2022: The outcome of the November elections could affect the future of sports betting in Florida.|
|10/06/2022: West Flagler Associates responded to appeals from the federal government and the Seminole Tribe of Florida in a 110-page brief.|
|10/03/2022: The federal government filed its answer to the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s appeal in the 2021 gaming compact litigation.|
|09/06/2022: The ongoing legal battle means that another NFL season will kick off without legal sports betting in Florida.|
|08/17/2022: The Department of Interior and Seminole Indians both filed briefs in the appeal to reinstate the new compact that allows sports betting in Florida.|
|07/12/2022: The Florida sports betting decision was delayed until 2023 based on a timetable released by the DC Circuit court.|
|06/24/2022: Caesars Racebook has launched in Florida and Ohio.|
|06/10/2022: The DC Circuit dismissed one of the appeals in the Florida sports betting compact case, leaving the issue in legal limbo.|
|05/13/2022: Florida is not projected to have widespread online sports betting before 2026.|
|05/06/2022: As the legal case continues, the Seminole Tribe has stopped its payments to the state, agreed as part of the gaming compact amended last year.|
|03/14/2022: Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was suspended for placing bets on NFL games with the Hard Rock Sportsbook.|
|03/04/2022: DraftKings was fined $150,000 for allowing a Florida VIP bettor to bet in New Jersey via proxy.|
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Florida Gambling History
The history of regulated gambling in Florida can be traced back to the Great Depression era. Although legislation surrounding gambling rarely remains static, Florida is moving towards a new era in the world of betting and gaming. The state is on the cusp of establishing a mix of traditional and modern betting options.
A Timeline of Florida’s Gambling History
1931: Florida legislature approved horse racing and dog racing. Governor Doyle Carlton initially vetoed the vote, but it was quickly overturned.
1935: Slot machines and betting on the indoor wall-ball game, jai alai, were legalized.
1937: The law allowing slot machines in Florida was overturned.
1970: Bingo was legalized.
1978: Voters rejected a bill that would make casinos legal across the state, including on tribal land.
1979: The Seminole Tribe opens a high-limit bingo hall in Broward County after opposing betting limits on the game.
1986: Lotteries were legalized and, two years later in 1988, ticket sales began.
1988: The federal government passes the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This gave Native American tribes the ability to create their own gambling regulations and host casinos on their land.
1989: Small stakes poker games hosted in homes were legalized.
1996: Small stakes poker games at pari-mutuel venues were legalized.
2003: Betting limits for poker were increased.
2004: Slot machines were authorized at pari-mutuel betting venues.
2007: Poker betting limits are increased again, and No Limit games are authorized.
2010: Governor Charlie Crist agrees to a pact with the Seminole Tribe. This gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to offer slot machines and casino games outside of pari-mutuel facilities.
2021: The state agreed to a compact with the Seminole Tribe to bring regulated sports betting to all parts of Florida in November. This compact not only facilitated the expansion of in-person sports betting but also the launch of online sportsbooks in Florida
Gambling Laws in Florida
Type “online gambling sites Florida” into any search engine and you’ll find a selection of results. That looks like a good thing, right? Wrong. Unless a Florida online gambling site is licensed by the local regulator, it’s not legal. Therefore, you have to make sure you only use sportsbooks, casinos, and poker sites with a Florida online gambling license.
If you stick to the legal online gambling sites Florida has on offer, you’ll always be on the right side of the law. Moreover, you’ll have the protection of these regulations:
- The minimum legal age for casino and sports betting in Florida is 21. The legal minimum age to buy lottery tickets is 18.
- Customers have to be within state lines to make bets. This includes online gambling in Florida.
- All operators have to provide fair odds and casino games.
Florida Gambling Revenues and Statistics
Florida’s gambling economy is strong, despite embracing online sports betting later than most. The state’s 15 tribal casinos employ over 54,000 people and have an economic impact of more than $7.5 billion. The annual gross gaming revenue for these casinos is $3.21 billion, and they contribute $1.56 billion in tax to the state.
Current forecasts also predict that online gambling in Florida will add more than 20,000 jobs and over $1 billion to the economy. It’s also assumed that tax revenue from the online gambling sites Florida licenses will be in excess of $260 million per year.
Florida Gambling Tax Laws
Florida’s online sports betting compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe sets out three different tax rates for operators. As per the agreement, the Seminole Tribe would pay 13.5% of its sports betting revenue to the state.
The deal also gives pari-mutuel operators the ability to offer online sports betting in partnership with Seminole. Under this model, pari-mutuels would keep 40% of their sports betting revenue, with the rest going to the Seminole Tribe.
For bettors in Florida, the federal tax on gambling winnings over $5,000 is 24%. It’s possible to deduct losses up to the amount of your total gross profit. However, the important point to note here is that gambling profits in Florida are taxable if you win a certain amount.
Types of Gambling Available in Florida
Florida offers various forms of gambling opportunities, from horse racing to tribal casinos, poker, and bingo. While the state is making progress towards legalizing online gambling, it’s still in its early stages. Therefore, it’s important to look at each sector of the gambling industry in isolation to fully understand what’s currently available.
In 1931, pari-mutuel betting on horse racing was legalized in Florida. This law allowed betting on horse racing events within and outside the state. Pari-mutuel betting is different from standard sports bets in that the payouts are determined by the amount of money in the prize pool and the number of bettors who made the right pick.
It was the only way to legally bet on sports in Florida until the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed a Gaming Compact in November 2021, paving the way for sports betting inside tribal casinos and online. The Seminole Tribe launched an online sports betting app in November 2021, but it was taken offline in December 2021 due to the tribe being pulled out of the Gaming Compact.
Pari-mutuel laws in Florida have made casino gaming possible for many years, and the state’s seven tribal casinos have been offering live gaming since 1981. Although online casinos were not legal in 2021, online gambling companies are looking to leverage Florida’s long history of live gaming into a thriving digital economy.
Sweepstakes sites offer slots and table games under a federal sweepstakes law, and although you cannot deposit, bet, or withdraw cash in the same way as real-money online casinos in other states, you can exchange onsite credits/points for prizes, including cash vouchers.
Poker is not only legal in Florida’s tribal casinos but is also hugely popular. The state has over 800 poker tables, and the legal minimum age to play at these venues, including Seminole Hard Rock, is 18. Sweepstakes poker online follows the same system as casino games and offers another way to enjoy online gambling in Florida without real-money poker rooms.
Bingo is available to play at tribal casinos in Florida, and online gambling companies are looking to make it a hit on the internet. However, there were no online gambling sites in Florida offering bingo in 2021.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) betting operates in a legal gray area in Florida, with a 1991 opinion from the Attorney General at the time stating that fantasy sports contests with a cash buy-in were illegal. However, DFS wasn’t invented back in 1991, and there are no laws that state it’s illegal within the state. Therefore, DFS operates in Florida, and customers are largely unaffected by these political issues because major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are available in the state.
Gambling Options in Florida
Florida is a state of emergent ideas and regulations when it comes to online gambling. However, when it comes to live betting, Florida offers various options from pari-mutuel bets on horse racing to tribal casinos, poker, bingo, and lottery tickets. If you’re 21 or older, you can play casino games at racinos and tribal venues. And, if you’re 18 or older in Florida, you can buy lottery tickets, bet on horse and dog racing, play bingo and poker. These provisions form the foundation on which online gambling sites in Florida will build their products.
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