Online Gambling in Florida: an Expert Guide

If you came here asking “Is gambling legal in Florida?”, then let’s answer the question: online gambling is legal in Florida. Residents who bet online at a casino site, poker room, or sportsbook are neither prosecuted or fined. While United States residents would be prosecuted for launching an online gambling site, they do not face punishment for real money online gambling. No Floridian has ever been prosecuted for gambling online.

Best Florida Online Gambling Casinos, Sportsbooks & Poker Sites 2020

Top Online Casinos
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Ignition Casino
Ignition Casino

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Bovada
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Betonline
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Ignition Poker
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Read this guide to Florida online gambling to learn the history of the state’s gaming laws, along with other pertinent questions about online gambling in Florida.

You also can read our list of site reviews for Florida online casinos, sports betting books, and poker sites that you can play at safely and legally.

Laws That Pertain to Florida Gambling

online gambling Florida

Those who wish to research Florida gambling laws should pay special attention to the following parts of the Florida Constitution. Title XLVI focuses on criminal law, while Chapter 849 focuses on gaming laws and enforcement. We’ve included key excerpts of the law below.

Florida Casino Laws: 849.01 et seq; 550.001, et seq.

Florida bans most forms of unregulated casino gambling. Because of federal regulations passed by the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Native American tribes can host casino gambling on their sovereign reservations if they sign a gaming compact with the state. The Seminole Tribe of Indians holds a virtual monopoly over most forms of casino gambling in the state, such as the Seminole Hard Rock Casino (the largest Seminole Casino in the state), though racinos (a racetrack/casino) exist.

Section 849.08

Whoever plays or engages in any game 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.

Florida does not partake in wagering on unregulated games of skill. Jai-alai is an exception, but most games of skill remain banned under Florida laws.

Florida Online Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling Notes and Restrictions
Online Gambling No, Florida doesn’t regulate online gambling, but you can play at offshore online casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms.
Land-Based Casinos Yes, seven tribal casinos and over a dozen racinos.
Charitable Gaming Yes, there are 38 bingo halls in Florida.
Lottery Betting Yes, the Florida Lottery, Mega Millions and Powerball.
Minimum Gambling Age in Florida Yes, 18 for casinos, lottery, bingo gaming, parimutuel bets, and some poker rooms in Miami. However, you have to be 21 to play slots.

Again, let us reiterate: you will not go to jail for online gambling in the Sunshine State. As long as you are not running your own online poker sites (or any other card game), operating your own online slot machine or other table games, or your own online sports betting book, you are fine in Florida.

What Can You Bet On in Florida?

online gambling Florida

With all the fantastic sports teams in the state of Florida, there is no wonder why it is so popular in the Sunshine State. You are all set to gamble online in Florida with plenty of gambling options from the pros to the college level, and our sports betting reviews will point you to the safest books with the best sports odds from the NFL to soccer, from golf to hockey and everything in between.

Online casinos are also very popular in Florida as it is more convenient than going to a land-based casino. Play your favorite online slots and blackjack variants from the comfort of your own home, or where you are with your mobile phone. Our online casino reviews will show you where to go to play.

Finally, online poker in Florida is booming and you can sign up at all the best sites with the best tournaments, most lucrative jackpots and excellent welcome bonuses. Read our online poker reviews to get the best bang for your buck.

Gambling Age in Florida

While United States residents would be prosecuted for launching an online gambling site, they do not face punishment for real money online gambling. No Floridian has ever been prosecuted for gambling online.

The gambling age in Florida is 18 or older in most places. All land-based tribal casinos set the age limit at 18. Miami poker clubs set their minimum gambling age at 18 or older. If you wish to play at card clubs and poker rooms elsewhere in the state, you’ll need to be 21 or older.

Timeline of Florida Gambling Laws

March 23, 2014 | Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Resigns

Florida newspapers reported that Allied Veterans of the World, a St. Augustine-based charity organization which generated revenues via Internet sweepstakes cafes, collected $300 million in winnings but only paid $6 million to charities. When it was learned that Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll was a paid consultant for Allied Veterans, she resigned from office.

April 10, 2014 | Rick Scott Bans Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 155, a bill which outlawed Internet sweepstakes cafes. HB 155 gained popularity in the wake of the Allied Veterans scandal. To this day, many anti-Internet cafe politicians in Florida continue to equate sweepstakes cafes with online gambling — a tenuous connection.

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April 3, 2014 | Rick Scott Opposes Online Gambling

Gov. Rick Scott openly opposed Florida online gambling in public remarks on April 3, 2014. Scott said, “Although a national ban would be a better approach, I support a ban on internet gaming in Florida.”

Opponents of online gambling like Rick Scott cite the Section 849.08 of the Florida Constitution Section. They specifically cite the term “by any device whatever” in the following comment: “Whoever plays or engages in any game 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.”

September 27, 2018 | Ron DeSantis Opposes Online Gambling

During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, GOP candidate Ron DeSantis opposed gambling expansion, though he declined to say whether he opposed online gambling. Then-Rep. DeSantis said, “Florida must remain a family-friendly state, and I do not advocate for the expansion of gambling.”

At the time, the storyline centered on Ron DeSantis’s opposition to Amendment 3. Florida newspapers reported he took money from opponents of Amendment 3, while he also worked as a paid consultant to Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who opposes online gambling through the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG). Thus, Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a devoted opponent of online gambling in Florida.

November 5, 2018 | Amendment 3: Florida 2018 Elections

In the 2018 midterm elections, Floridians passed Amendment 3, which banned the expansion of gambling without a statewide vote. The Seminole Tribe and the Walt Disney Company paid a combined $10 million to back Amendment 3. Amendment 13 on 2018, which involved greyhound dog track racing, also involved gambling.

February 15, 2019 | Online Sweepstakes Cafe Raids Continue

Local law enforcement raided four sweepstakes cafes: Times Square Internet Sweepstakes Cafe, Lucky You 777, Cafe Gold Mine, and Dragon House. This followed similar raids in February 2018 and October 2018. Editorials in Florida newspapers called for officials to continue to raid Internet sweepstakes cafes and FL Attorney General Ashley Moody should prosecute the owners.

Florida Online Gambling FAQs

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