Florida is home to numerous betting options both online and in the real world. Legal online gambling in Florida now includes horse racing betting, greyhound gambling and everyday fantasy sports. In the physical world, Florida has horse racing betting, bingo, traditional casinos and jai alai betting.
Sports betting in Florida does not seem likely at the moment. The country has long been eyed as a major potential market for sport gambling, but changes to state law have made any upcoming gaming expansions harder as they now require a statewide referendum initiated by request.
Legal Online Betting Options
Let us begin with a quick list of legal Florida betting sites and then dig into every detail below.
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Horse and Greyhound Racing
Online horse racing and greyhound gambling are lawful in Florida for years and a number of big racing websites accept customers from the Sunshine State. BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG all accept Florida clients and are licensed right here in america.
In November 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 13 to end greyhound racing. The amendment created greyhound racing and betting on live greyhound races held in Florida illegal starting on January 1st, 2021.
Present racetracks will still be permitted to offer poker and other games following the amendment takes effect, however they’ll no longer be able to host live greyhound races. This modification also has no impact on internet greyhound racing, which will stay legal because the amendment only attempts to prevent wagers put on races held in the country.
The legal situation for fantasy sports in Florida is complicated and unclear, but many daily fantasy sites have served the state for years with no interference from local officials.
A number of attempts to officially legalize fantasy sports in Florida have failed over the years due to disputes on how the activity ought to be categorized and the intricacy of tribal gambling contracts between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
A 1991 Attorney General opinion lumped season-long dream sports in with gaming and opined that it is probably illegal under state law, but the opinion is outdated and does not hold legal weight. Just as lawmakers would like to explain the legal standing of fantasy sports, progress has been slow. In the meantime, Florida residents are accepted in both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Florida gaming law allows games of ability only if entrance fees do not directly lead to the prize pool. This means is that it’s authorized to pay an entrance fee and compete for a set prize, but to not perform in a contest where all of the entry fees are accumulated to form the decoration pool itself.
For instance, it would be legal to sponsor a paid-entry golf tournament in the event the organizers set fixed prizes which do not change no matter how many men and women enter the tournament. That same tournament would cross the line into illegal land if prizes were decided by pooling entrance charges and paying the winners a proportion of the prize pool.
A 1990 comment 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 competition, where the contestant pays an entry fee, which doesn’t constitute the decoration, for the chance to win a valuable prize by the exercise of skill, does not violate the gaming laws of the state. To the extent that previous views of the office might be inconsistent with the conclusion reached herein, they are modified.”
WorldWinner.com, which is currently the largest skill gaming site, accepts residents of Florida but restricts them from certain contests where the prize pool is not fixed. Follow the link below to read more about WorldWinner:
What about the state lottery?
Florida DOES NOT sell lottery tickets online nor does it offer a subscription service. Obviously, you could always try your luck at unauthorized lottery resellers that you can discover online. I don’t recommend going that path though. It’s still illegal to sell lottery tickets online from Florida so any site included in the company is completely untrue and most likely located overseas.
Nobody really knows how secure or legit overseas lottery resellers are. They claim to have a staff of representatives located around the world whose job it is to go around and purchase lottery tickets on behalf of consumers. The problem is there is no way to confirm how it really works.
If you want to play the lottery, it is ideal to just go buy your tickets in person. You really don’t want to leave the fate of your own $40 million jackpot at the hands of some overseas, quasi-legal website. Countries do have the authority to sell tickets online, but Florida does not yet do this.
Sports Betting at Florida
Sports gambling is illegal for besides two exceptions: jai alai betting and cruise ships which sail to international waters to offer 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 is today. Jai alai arrived to Florida in the 1920s, and eventually the nation became somewhat of an epicenter for jai alai players around the world because of warm weather year-round and effortless accessibility from Spain and Latin America, where jai alai is a favorite.
During its heyday, jai alai was even exempted from state and federal sports gambling prohibitions. Jai alai preserved a strong presence in Florida throughout the 1970s but entered a continuous decline from the 1980s amid rising competition from professional sports teams, the South and lottery Florida casinos.
Nowadays, jai alai is a fairly niche sport and there are just a couple of busy frontons in operation now. For the most part, jai alai survives now primarily due to Florida gaming laws that need card rooms to offer some kind of parimutuel wagering (such as jai alai, greyhound racing or horse racing gambling ). Thus, most jai alai frontons exist chiefly to facilitate different forms of gambling.
The other”exception” into Florida’s sports gambling prohibition happens on the cruise ships operated by Victory Casino Cruises. Victory Casino Cruise ships leave twice each day from Port Canaveral. These ships sail into international waters, open a casino and sportsbook to get a couple hours and then come back to beach later that same day.
So far as a widespread legalization of sports gambling, Florida does not seem likely to expand its gaming choices any time soon. There haven’t been any attempts to introduce sports betting legislation and there haven’t been any recent attempts to legalize sports betting.
A report by Eilers & Krejcik Gambling recorded the 32 countries likely to legalize sports gambling within five decades of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal prohibition of sports betting. Florida was not contained in that listing, but it was included in a supplemental collection of 12 additional states inclined to legalize sports betting within seven decades of such a judgment.
Can Sports Betting Ever Be Legalized in Florida?
Apart from the exceptions mentioned previously, sports gambling remains prohibited in Florida and that is not likely to change any time soon. Florida has a complex mix of competing interests involving lawmakers, Tribal concerns as well as the Disney company that have their own comments on the growth of gambling.
The odds of Florida legalizing sports betting any time soon took a 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 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 percent to earn sports betting legal. It is possible, but not very likely at this moment.
Is it lawful to bet 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, dream and ability ). It’s clearly illegal to run an internet casino, card room or some other company that accepts 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 from Florida’s gambling laws reads as follows:
“849.08 Gambling. Whoever plays or engages in any sport , keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for cash or other item of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree…”
It appears fairly clear that this law makes it a misdemeanor offense to take part in obvious gambling games such as slot machines, slots, blackjack, craps and so on. The part that says”by any device whatever” is readily translated to incorporate the world wide web. However, the state hasn’t prosecuted one person for the mere act of placing bets online. Hunting down people playing blackjack in their computers just isn’t a priority.
Internet 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 — that the term”other game of chance” seems to suggest that just games of chance have been prohibited. If poker isn’t a game of chance, this law doesn’t apply.
It doesn’t end there, folks. You and that I may not consider poker a game of chance, but sure federal and state laws most definitely do specify poker as exactly that. Florida law does not define games of chance nor does it mention 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 situation of poker being skill or fortune. This likely won’t happen anytime soon because nobody is hunting down poker players either.
What the Future Holds for Internet Gambling at Florida
An increasing number of states are in the process of legalizing online casino and poker games after a federal judge ruled in 2011 that the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports gambling. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized internet poker, casino games or even both. State legislators in Florida have not yet moved to change anything. No legislation is pending at this moment.
It does not seem like anything will probably be changing in Florida any time soon either. The country is largely opposed to the growth of online gambling. Back in April of 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott expressed his opposition to enlarging online betting at the national level with a letter led to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
In the years since, there haven’t been any real efforts to alter Florida gaming laws. The current status quo appears quite likely to remain as it is for the near future.
Read more: attworldnews.com