Florida Betting Sites
Florida is home to many gaming choices both on the internet and in the actual 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 does not seem likely at this time. The state 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 require a statewide referendum initiated by petition.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let us start with a fast collection of authorized Florida betting sites and then dig into all the details below.
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Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound gambling are lawful in Florida for decades and a variety of big racing websites accept customers from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida clients and are licensed directly here in the United States.
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The change created greyhound racing and gambling on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal beginning on January 1st, 2021.
Present racetracks will still be allowed to offer poker and other games following the change takes effect, however they’ll no longer be able to sponsor live greyhound races. This amendment also has no effect on internet greyhound racing, which will stay legal because the change only seeks to stop wagers put on races held at the state.
The legal situation for fantasy sports in Florida is complicated and unclear, but many daily dream websites have served the state for years with no hindrance from officials.
Multiple attempts to formally legalize fantasy sports in Florida have failed over the decades due to disputes over how the action 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season-long fantasy sports in with gaming and opined that it is probably illegal under state legislation, but the view is obsolete and does not maintain legal weight. As much as lawmakers would like to explain the legal status of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are approved at both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gaming law permits games of ability only if entrance fees do not directly contribute to the prize pool. This signifies is that it is authorized to pay an entrance fee and compete for a set prize, but not to play at a competition where all of the entry fees are collected to form the prize pool itself.
As an instance, it would be lawful to sponsor a paid-entry golf championship if the organizers set fixed prizes which don’t change regardless of the number of men and women enter the tournament. That same tournament would 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:
“Thus, I am of the opinion that a contest of skill, like a hole-in-one golf contest, where the contestant pays an entrance fee, which doesn’t make up the decoration, for the opportunity to win a valuable prize by the exercise of skill, doesn’t violate the gambling 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 limits them from certain 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 tickets on line nor does it offer a subscription service. Of course, you can always try your luck at unauthorized lottery resellers that you may find online. I don’t recommend going that path though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets online from Florida so any site involved in the company is totally untrue and probably located overseas.
Nobody actually understands how secure or legit foreign lottery resellers are. They claim to have a staff of representatives located around the globe whose job it is to go around and purchase lottery tickets on behalf of customers. The problem is there is no way to verify how it really works.
If you would like to play the lottery, then it’s best to just go buy your tickets in person. You truly don’t want to leave the fate of your $40 million dollar in the hands of a foreign, quasi-legal website. Countries do have the ability to sell tickets on the internet, but Florida does not yet do this.
Sports Betting at Florida
Sports betting is illegal for aside from 2 exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships which sail to international waters to offer sports betting.
The exemption for jai alai betting dates back to a time in Florida during which jai alai was considerably larger than the vague sport it’s today. Jai alai came to Florida in the 1920s, and the state turned into a little of an epicenter for jai alai players across the world because of warm weather yearlong and easy access from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is popular.
During its heyday, jai alai was exempted from state and national sports gambling prohibitions. Jai alai maintained a strong presence in Florida through the 1970s but entered a steady decline in the 1980s amid increasing competition from professional sports teams, the lottery and South Florida casinos.
Today, jai alai is a fairly niche game and there are just a couple of active frontons in operation today. For the most part, jai alai survives today primarily because of Florida gambling laws that require card rooms to offer you some form of parimutuel wagering (such as jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing betting). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist primarily to facilitate other kinds of gaming.
Another”exception” to Florida’s sports gambling prohibition happens on the cruise ships managed by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice each day out of Port Canaveral. These boats sail into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook for a few hours and then return to beach later that same day.
So far as a widespread legalization of sports gambling, Florida does not appear likely to expand its gambling options anytime soon. There have been no attempts to introduce sports gambling legislation and there have been no recent attempts to legalize sports betting.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gambling recorded the 32 countries likely to legalize sports betting within five years of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the national prohibition of sports betting. Florida wasn’t included in that list, but it had been included in a supplemental list of 12 additional states inclined to legalize sports betting within seven decades of such a judgment.
Can Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized at Florida?
Aside from the exceptions detailed above, sports betting remains illegal in Florida and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complicated mix of competing interests between lawmakers, Tribal issues as well as the Disney business that have their own comments on the expansion of gaming.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports gambling anytime soon took a hit in 2018 when voters approved a ballot measure that essentially stripped off the state legislature from authorizing any gambling expansion, such as sports betting.
Formerly, the state legislature could have potentially drafted a law to make Florida sports betting legal. Under the new amendment, Florida taxpayers would have to initiate a campaign to gather signatures to place the issue to a statewide referendum. Then, voters would need to approve that referendum by 60 percent to earn sports gambling legal. It is 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 few kinds of online betting are explicitly legal in Florida (horses, greyhounds, fantasy and ability ). It is clearly illegal to operate an online casino, card room or some other business that takes wagers without the correct licensing.
What isn’t clear is whether or not it is a crime to place bets online at unlicensed gaming sites. The main text in Florida’s gaming laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Betting. Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, anytime, by any device whatever, to get cash or other item of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It seems fairly clear that this law makes it a misdemeanor crime to participate in obvious gaming games like slot machines, blackjack, craps and so on. The part that states”by any device whatever” is easily interpreted to incorporate the internet. On the other hand, the state hasn’t prosecuted one person for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down people playing blackjack on their computers just is not a high priority.
Internet poker is a different issue. The above mentioned law doesn’t explicitly cite”poker” although it does mention”any game .” But — there is always a but — the term”other game of chance” seems to suggest that just games of chance are prohibited. If poker isn’t a game of chance, this law doesn’t apply.
It doesn’t end there, folks. You and I may not consider poker a game of chance, but sure federal and state laws most definitely do specify poker as precisely 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 matter before we ever get Florida’s opinion on the matter 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 countries are in the process of legalizing online casino and poker games after a federal judge ruled in 2011 the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports betting. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized internet poker, casino games or both. State legislators in Florida haven’t yet moved to alter anything. No legislation is pending in this moment.
It doesn’t seem like anything will probably be changing in Florida anytime soon . The state is mostly opposed to the growth of internet gambling. In April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott voiced his opposition to enlarging online betting at the federal level with a letter directed to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there haven’t been any real efforts to alter Florida gambling laws. The current status quo appears quite likely to remain as it is for the near future.