Florida is home to numerous gaming choices both on the internet and in the actual world. Legal online gaming in Florida now includes horse racing betting, greyhound gambling and everyday fantasy sports. In the physical world, Florida has horse racing gambling, bingo, conventional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports betting in Florida doesn’t appear likely at the moment. The country has long been eyed as a major potential market for sports betting, but changes to state authorities have made any future gaming expansions harder as they currently require a statewide referendum initiated by petition.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let us start with a quick list of legal Florida gaming websites and then dig into every detail below.
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound betting have been lawful in Florida for decades and a variety of big racing sites accept clients from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida customers and are licensed right here in the United States.
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The change created greyhound racing and betting on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal starting on January 1st, 2021.
Present racetracks will nevertheless be allowed to provide poker and other games following the change takes effect, however they’ll no longer be able to host live greyhound races. This amendment also has no effect on internet greyhound racing, which will remain legal because the amendment only attempts to prevent wagers placed on races held at the country.
The legal problem for fantasy sports in Florida is complex and unclear, but many daily fantasy sites have served the nation for years with no interference from officials.
Multiple attempts to formally legalize dream sports in Florida have failed over the decades because of disputes on how the action should be categorized and the intricacy of tribal gaming 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season-long dream sports in with gambling and opined it is probably illegal under state legislation, but the opinion is outdated and does not maintain legal burden. As much as lawmakers would like to explain the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. Meanwhile, Florida residents are approved in both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gaming law allows games of ability only if entry fees do not directly lead to the prize pool. This means is that it’s legal to pay an entry fee and compete for a fixed prize, but to not perform in a competition where all of the entry fees are collected to form the prize pool .
For instance, it would be lawful to host a paid-entry golf championship in the event the organizers place fixed prizes that don’t change regardless of how many people enter the championship. That same tournament would cross the line into illegal territory if prizes were determined by pooling entry charges and paying the winners a percentage of the prize pool.
A 1990 opinion from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
“Thus, I am of the view that a contest of skill, such as a hole-in-one golf competition, where the contestant pays an entrance fee, which does not constitute the decoration, for the chance to win a prized trophy from the exercise of skill, doesn’t violate the gaming laws of this state. To the extent that previous opinions of this office might be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.”
WorldWinner.com, which 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 lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell lottery tickets online nor does it offer a subscription service. Obviously, you can always try your luck at Experienced lottery resellers which you may find online. I don’t suggest going that path though. It is still illegal to sell lottery tickets online from Florida so any site involved in the business is completely untrue and most likely located overseas.
Nobody actually understands how secure or legit overseas lottery resellers are. They claim to have a staff of agents located around the globe whose job it would be to go around and buy lottery tickets on behalf of consumers. The problem is there’s no way to confirm how it really works.
If you want to play the lottery, it’s ideal to just go buy your tickets in person. You really don’t want to leave the destiny of your own $40 million dollar in the hands of a foreign, quasi-legal website. Countries do have the ability to sell tickets online, but Florida does not yet do this.
Sports Betting in Florida
Sports betting is illegal for besides 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships that sail to international waters to offer sports betting.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to some time in Florida through which jai alai was much bigger than the obscure sport it is today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and eventually the state turned into 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.
Through its heyday, jai alai was even exempted from state and federal sports betting prohibitions. Jai alai preserved a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a continuous decrease from the 1980s amid increasing competition from professional sports clubs, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a rather niche game and there are only a handful of active frontons in operation now. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily due to Florida gambling laws that require card rooms to offer some form of parimutuel wagering (for instance, jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing gambling ). Therefore, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate different forms of gaming.
Another”exclusion” to Florida’s sports betting prohibition happens on the cruise ships managed by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice a 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.
As far as a widespread legalization of sport gambling, Florida doesn’t appear likely to expand its gaming choices anytime soon. There have been no attempts to present sports betting legislation and there have been no recent efforts to legalize sports gambling.
A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gambling recorded the 32 countries most likely to legalize sports betting within five decades of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal prohibition of sports betting. Florida wasn’t included in that list, but it had been included in a supplemental list of 12 additional states likely to legalize sports betting within seven years of such a ruling.
Will Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized at Florida?
Apart from the exceptions detailed above, sports gambling remains illegal in Florida and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mix of competing interests involving lawmakers, Tribal concerns as well as the Disney business that have their own opinions on the expansion of gambling.
The chances of Florida legalizing sports gambling any time soon took a further hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that essentially stripped the state legislature from authorizing any gambling expansion, including sports betting.
Previously, the state legislature might have possibly drafted a new law to create Florida sports gambling legal. Under the new amendment, Florida citizens would need to initiate a campaign to collect signatures to put the issue into a statewide referendum. Then, voters would have to accept that referendum by 60 percent to make sports betting legal. It’s possible, but not too likely at this moment.
Is it lawful to wager online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of”legal” is. A couple of kinds of online betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, dream and ability ). It is clearly illegal to operate an internet casino, card room or any other business that accepts wagers without the proper licensing.
What is not clear is whether it is a crime to put bets online at unlicensed betting websites. The key text in Florida’s gaming laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Gambling. Whoever plays or participates in any sport , keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for cash or other thing of value, will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It appears fairly apparent that this legislation makes it a misdemeanor crime to participate in obvious gambling games such as slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so forth. The part that says”by any system whatever” can be readily translated to include the internet. On the other hand, the state has never once prosecuted a single individual for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down people playing blackjack in their computers just isn’t a high priority.
Online poker is a different matter. The above law does not explicitly cite”poker” although it does say”any game at cards.” But — there’s always a but — the phrase”other game of chance” seems to suggest that only games of chance are prohibited. If poker is not a game of chance, this law doesn’t apply.
It does not end there, folks. You and that I might not believe poker a game of chance, but certain state and federal laws most definitely do specify poker as exactly that. Florida law doesn’t specify games of chance nor does it cite poker and there is no case law to fall back on.
Someone would need to push the thing before we ever get Florida’s view on the situation of poker being ability or fortune. This probably will not happen any time soon because nobody is searching down poker players .
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling in Florida
An increasing number of states 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 betting. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized either internet poker, casino games or both. State legislators in Florida have not yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending in this time.
It does not seem like anything will probably be shifting in Florida anytime soon . The state is largely opposed to the growth of online gambling. Back in April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott voiced his opposition to enlarging online betting at the federal level with a letter led to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there have been no real efforts to alter Florida gambling laws. The current status quo looks quite likely to remain as it is for the foreseeable future.
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