Florida Betting Sites
Florida is home to numerous betting options both on the internet and in the real world. Legal online gaming in Florida now includes horse racing betting, greyhound betting and everyday fantasy sports. In the physical realm, Florida has horse racing gambling, bingo, conventional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports betting in Florida doesn’t seem likely at the moment. The country has long been eyed as a major potential market for sport gambling, but modifications to state authorities have made any future gaming expansions more difficult as they currently take a statewide referendum initiated by request.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let’s start with a quick collection of legal Florida gaming websites and dig into every detail below.
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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Wager $500, Get $100
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound betting have been legal in Florida for years and a variety of major racing sites accept customers from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida customers and are licensed directly here in the United States.
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.
Present racetracks will nevertheless be allowed to provide poker and other games after the change takes effect, however they’ll no longer be in a position to sponsor live greyhound races. This modification has no effect on online greyhound racing, which will stay legal because the amendment only attempts to prevent wagers put on races held at the state.
The legal problem for fantasy sports in Florida is complex and unclear, but most daily dream websites have served the nation for decades with no hindrance from local officials.
A number of attempts to formally legalize dream sports in Florida have failed over the years due to disputes on how the activity should be categorized and the intricacy of tribal gambling contracts between the nation and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
A 1991 Attorney General opinion lumped season-long fantasy sports in with gaming and opined it is most likely illegal under state legislation, but the opinion is obsolete and doesn’t maintain legal weight. As much as lawmakers want to clarify the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are accepted at both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gaming law allows games of ability only if entrance fees don’t directly lead to the prize pool. This means is that it’s legal to pay an entrance fee and compete for a set prize, but to not perform in a competition where all of the entry fees are collected to form the prize pool .
For example, it would be legal to sponsor a paid-entry golf tournament in the event the organizers set fixed prizes that do not change no matter how many men and women enter the championship. The exact same tournament could 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 opinion from the Attorney General summed it up as follows:
“Accordingly, I am of the view that a competition of skill, like a hole-in-one golf competition, in which the contestant pays an entrance fee, which doesn’t constitute the decoration, for the chance to win a prized trophy from the practice of skill, does not violate the gaming laws of the state. To the extent that previous views of the office may be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.”
WorldWinner.com, which is currently the largest skill gaming site, accepts citizens of Florida but limits them from certain contests in which 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. Of course, you can always try your luck at unauthorized lottery resellers which you can discover 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 business is totally unregulated and most likely located overseas.
Nobody really knows how safe or legit foreign lottery resellers are. They claim to have a team of agents located around the globe whose job it is to go around and buy lottery tickets on behalf of consumers. The issue is there’s no way to confirm how it really works.
If you would like to play the lottery, it’s best to just go buy your tickets in person. You truly don’t wish to leave the destiny of your own $40 million jackpot in the hands of a overseas, quasi-legal site. Countries do have the authority to sell tickets online, but Florida does not yet do this.
Sports Betting in Florida
Sports gambling is illegal for aside from 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships that sail to international waters to provide sports gambling.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to a time in Florida through which jai alai was much larger than the obscure sport it’s today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and eventually the state turned into somewhat of an epicenter for jai alai players across the world because of warm weather yearlong and easy accessibility from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is popular.
During its heyday, jai alai was exempted from state and national sports betting prohibitions. Jai alai maintained a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a continuous decrease from the 1980s amid rising competition from professional sports teams, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a rather niche sport and there are just a couple of active frontons in operation today. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily because of Florida gambling laws that require card rooms to offer you some form of parimutuel wagering (for instance, jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing gambling ). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate other kinds of gaming.
Another”exception” to Florida’s sports gambling prohibition occurs on the cruise ships managed by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships depart twice a day from Port Canaveral. These boats sail out into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook to get a few hours and then return to beach later the same day.
So far as a widespread legalization of sport betting, Florida does not seem likely to expand its gaming choices anytime soon. There haven’t been any attempts to introduce sports betting legislation and there have been no recent efforts to legalize sports gambling.
A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming listed the 32 countries likely to legalize sports gambling within five years of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the national prohibition of sports betting. Florida was not contained in that list, but it was contained in a supplemental collection of all 12 additional states likely to legalize sports betting within seven years of such a judgment.
Will Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized in Florida?
Aside from the exceptions detailed above, sports betting remains illegal in Florida and that is not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complicated mixture of competing interests between lawmakers, Tribal issues as well as the Disney company that all have their own comments on the expansion of gaming.
The chances of Florida legalizing sports betting anytime soon took a hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that essentially stripped off the state legislature from authorizing any gaming expansion, such as sports betting.
Formerly, the state legislature might have possibly drafted a new law to create Florida sports gambling legal. Under the new amendment, Florida taxpayers would have to initiate a campaign to collect signatures to put the issue to a statewide referendum. Subsequently, Republicans would need to accept that referendum by 60% to earn sports betting legal. It is possible, but not too likely at this moment.
Is it legal to wager online in Florida?
It depends on what your definition of”legal” is. A couple of forms of internet betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, fantasy and ability ). It’s clearly illegal to operate an online casino, card room or some other business that takes wagers without the proper licensing.
What isn’t clear is whether it is a crime to place bets online at unlicensed betting sites. The key text in Florida’s gaming laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Gambling. Whoever plays or engages in any sport at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It seems pretty clear that this law makes it a misdemeanor crime to take part in obvious gambling games like slot machines, blackjack, craps and so on. The part that states”by any device whatever” is readily translated to include the world wide web. On the other hand, the state has never prosecuted a single person for the mere act of putting bets online. Hunting down individuals playing blackjack on their computers just is not a high priority.
Online poker is a different issue. The above mentioned law does not explicitly mention”poker” although it does say”any game at cards.” But — there’s always a but — the term”other game of chance” appears to suggest that just games of chance have been forbidden. If poker isn’t a game of chance, this law does not apply.
It doesn’t end there, folks. You and that I may not consider poker a sport of chance, but sure federal and state laws most definitely do define poker as exactly that. Florida law doesn’t define games of chance nor does it mention poker and there is no case law to fall back on.
Someone would have to push the thing before we get Florida’s view on the situation of poker being ability or luck. This probably won’t happen anytime soon because nobody is searching down poker players .
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling at Florida
An increasing number of countries are in the process of legalizing online poker and casino 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 internet poker, casino games or even both. State legislators in Florida haven’t yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending at this time.
It does not look like anything will probably be changing in Florida anytime soon . The state is mostly opposed to the growth of online gambling. In April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott expressed his opposition to expanding 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 attempts to alter Florida gaming legislation. The present status quo looks quite likely to stay as it is for the foreseeable future.