Florida has been allowing various Indian Tribes to operate land based casinos, such as the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, for some time with Florida Gambling Laws in effect providing regulatory oversight. While the last few years have seen some controversy and issues arise regarding the agreements between the Tribes and the States of FL, Floridians are still able to enjoy land based casino gambling when they are in the vicinity of a licensed casino. While these establishments are sprinkled throughout the state, there do not provide enough of a presence to provide regular access to gambling entertainment for the majority of FL residents, driving increased interested in Florida Online Gambling Laws and a greater push for access to legal Florida online casinos as well.
Another form of gambling in FL that has been springing up is the ‘Internet Cafe’, which often offers slot machines and other types of gambling devices. However, players are cautioned to be leery and highly skeptical of these types of operations as a large number of them have been found to be unethical and to entertain various ‘scams’. In fact, recent legislation has outlawed most of these types of establishments due to the illegal activity taking place within these operations. Players looking for high quality and safe gaming activity are much better off visiting a licensed land based casino or giving Florida Online Gambling a shot. Before you can consider participating in Internet gambling, we suggest you review the information concerning Florida online gambling laws.
Florida online gambling laws are a little bit complex and can be rather confusing. With the recent crackdown on illegal, unregulated online gambling rings and attempts to prohibit this type of activity, lawmakers have hastily made things even more confusing. Below we address the details of Florida law as it pertains to gambling and online gambling. The key to understanding the portions of the law that prohibit some gambling activity is realizing that these sections address unregulated gambling activity. Participating in any type of unregulated land based or online gambling is dangerous and can make players vulnerable to becoming victims of fraud, identity theft, and good old fashioned swindling. We cannot stress to you enough how unwise it is to participate in any type of unregulated gambling.
Other Florida Gambling Pages
Where Does Florida Stand On Legal Online Poker Gaming?
Online poker is becoming increasingly popular in FL. The Sunshine State does not specifically prohibit online poker. There is no law in the State of Florida that makes playing online poker illegal. It is important to understand that the State of Florida has not yet legalized state based and regulated online poker, however attempts are being made to legalize poker in FL. There are a number of legal Florida online poker rooms which operate and are regulated outside of the United States, but that welcome player from the US and from Florida. At the moment, playing poker is not prohibited in Florida. It is only restricted.
- It is a penny ante game. The definition of penny-ante game includes poker.
- The pot size does not exceed $10
- Person under 18 years of age are not allowed to take part in the game
- The payers are not charged to play or rake the pot
Playing poker in Florida is legal as long as it is played in a non-banking way. If the house is a participant in the game, the game is a banking game and will be illegal. Florida gambling laws specifically prohibit wagering using money or any other negotiable currency. However games can be conducted using a wagering system where the players’ money is converted into chips or tokens by the house and used for playing at that specific card room. Card rooms can be open up to 18 hours on week days and 24 hours on weekends and holidays. The amount of bet or wager in any game or series of games can be limited by the card room operator. There are currently no FL gambling laws or Federal gambling laws that prohibit Florida players from participating in legal, regulated online poker gaming as long as it is based outside of the United States. We do stress that being selective in choosing the brands to which you will bring your business is paramount in accessing a safe and secure online gambling experience.
Where Does Florida Stand On Legal Online Sports Betting?
Bookmaking is a serious offense under Florida law. Playing or taking part in an unregulated gambling event is not the same as book making. Book making refers to the receiving or taking of any bet or wager while engaged in the profession or business of gambling. The bet or wager must be on the result of
- any contest or trial of skill, power, speed or endurance of any human being, animal or machine OR
- any casualty, chance, contingent or unknown event
The following acts will be considered as book making under Florida law:
- Making a profit for a book maker by taking advantage of betting odds
- Charging a cut on accepted bets or wagers
- Placing any accepted bet or wager with other book makers to cut the chances of financial loss
- Receiving or taking more than five bets or wagers in a day
- Receiving or taking bets or wagers exceeding $500 in a day
- Receiving or taking bets or wagers exceeding $1500 in a week
- Taking part with two or more individuals to receive or take bets or wagers
- Receiving and taking bets or wagers on both sides on a contest at the identical point spread
- Receiving or taking bets or wagers as part of a commercial activity
The existing laws surrounding sports betting target bookmakers and not players, and address unregulated gaming specifically. Legally licensed and regulated online sports betting is not prohibited, and there are some high quality, safe, and legitimate Florida Online sportsbooks which provide sports betting options for players in the USA, including Florida residents.
Current Status of Legal Online Gambling In Florida
Florida law makers have made attempts to change the existing laws. In 2010 Representative Joseph Abruzzo introduced HB 1441. This bill sought to authorize and regulate intrastate online poker and tax the operators but the bill died in the House Insurance, Business, & Financial Affairs Policy Committee. Senator Dennis Jones introduced SB 1582. This bill provided legislative intent to review poker laws. This bill died in the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries.
Earlier this year, Florida passed a law that banned slot machines that could be used in a game of chance. The law which was passed to stop illegal gambling at internet cafe defined slot machines as any “system or network of devices” that may be used in a game of chance. A lawsuit has been filed challenging the constitutionality of the law. The lawsuit also claims that computers and smart phones can be considered as slot machines under this law.
The Federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) places stringent regulatory oversight on how online gambling related transactions are processed. The Act however does not apply to anyone who is playing online poker and specifically addresses the operators and not the players. According to a 2011 Department of Justice press release, the Federal Wire Act applies only to sports betting. It is safe to say that online poker is not covered by the Federal Wire Act. There are no Federal laws which prohibit or criminalize online gambling for US residents that is based outside of the United States, and as long as you are playing at an online casino, sportsbook, poker room or bingo hall that is legally licensed, compliance certified, and subject to high level regulatory oversight, you are not participating in illegal gambling.
The online gambling professionals who created this guide consider it critical that FL players have access to accurate and up to date information regarding the online gambling laws in Florida, and throughout this guide we only recommend gambling brands which are legally licensed, certified, and regulated by a respected and legitimate governing jurisdiction. This is true for the online casinos, Florida online bingo halls, and of course the poker rooms and sports betting sites we list in this guide.
**This guide is intended for information purposes only, and does not attempt to provide professional interpretation of any law or statute, nor does it attempt to serve as legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice or professional law interpretation, we suggest you contact a lawyer. We are online gambling consultants, not lawyers.
FL Gambling Laws
To review the official gambling laws for Florida in their original language, you may want to visit the Florida State Legislature Website, which provides the laws and statutes in their entirety. This source does not provide legal interpretation of the laws however. If legal advice or interpretation of the statutes is what you are looking for, then contacting a lawyer is your best option.
With a lawsuit pending concerning recently established online gambling laws in Florida, you may want to check back often for updated information as the proceedings move forward. We will keep this page updated to reflect any changes which take place regarding legislation and the impact it has regarding online gambling opportunities for Florida players.
***The information on this page is intended to reflect our educated opinions based on personal experience as industry professionals. It is not intended in any way to serve as legal advice or services. We do not hold law degrees, have not been to law school, and are not qualified to provide professional legal advice in any capacity.