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Understanding Florida’s gambling laws


By David

In the US, gambling laws differ from state to state and are regulated by their own bodies. In this article, we look at Florida and their stance on this favorite pastime — and how other regions in the country compare.

Land-based casinos and gambling

Florida isn’t so different from other states where there are some fairly significant restrictions in place when it comes to land-based gambling. In Florida, the only places where casinos can operate legally are lands belonging to Native American tribes, with the most significant concentration of these found in the Seminole tribe. This is where Floridians need to go to visit regulated casinos. There’s a loophole to this, though, too.

To get around this regulation, people in Florida were taking cruise ships out from Miami and into international waters. But since 2016 these have been banned as well, meaning that locals and visitors to Miami have to make-do with several pseudo-casinos.

There’s also been a ban on greyhound racing in recent years; horse racing, however, is still legal. But only if bets are placed onsite. Participating in the state lottery is also legal with over 13,000 lottery retailers located across the state, initially approved back in 1986. Customers can choose from multi-state favorites or local games, as well as terminal games or scratch off tickets.

But what about social gambling? That’s legal, as long as its in your residence, but there are still some stipulations as the game must be penny-ante. The games must be played in residences that are rented or owned by one of the participants. Players are limited to winning $10 per player per hand or entire game, which is pretty restrictive compared to other states.

Gambling at online casinos

Gambling at online casinos in Florida is a bit of a tricky one. It’s not expressly prohibited for people to play at online casinos in Canada or other overseas territory. But it’s definitely not permitted either.

Running an online casino that is based in the state of Florida, however, is completely illegal. If players want to play online using their tablet or smartphone, they must play on casinos that get the tick of approval that are hosted in other parts of the world.

Gambling in the future in Florida

There are many changes that will come for gamblers into the future. A ruling from the Supreme Court in 2018 meant that the outright ban on sports betting was not something that could be enforced at a federal level which gave states the power to decide for themselves whether or not they should open things up and let visitors to the state or their citizens place wagers on the outcome of events in sport.

Florida however, along with several other states in the south, haven’t been too keen on this ruling. There is some ideological opposition to sports betting in these states, but there’s also some business reasons too. Gambling is regulated in Florida in a very specific way, and any changes to these regulations would upset some of the existing operators, especially those on tribal lands. There’s also an argument that making these changes would lead to a domino effect towards state-wide legalization, which would also potentially contribute to social problems that are associated with gambling, even if there are some taxation benefits.

But things could be shifting. The Seminole Tribe is currently discussing with state legislators that may draft proposals on regulating mobile sports betting to make up for budget shortfalls. It’s a move for Florida that’s precedented by the state of New Jersey that allows online gambling to players of legal age. The Seminole Tribe of Florida are the owners of the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino – and they’re looking to pay for exclusive rights to sports betting online. This include $500 million for the first year and then another $700 million for every year thereafter for this exclusivity right.

So will online gambling become fully legal in Florida?

Time will tell. But the more people that enjoy gambling and online gaming [such as with 20free100 casino bonus] on their mobile phones and devices will certainly be pushing for this move for the lightening of gambling regulations in the state; especially as younger generations are getting into casino games both at land-based casinos and online.

It’s likely we’ll see some moves in the future towards gambling legalization. There’s still a lot to do in terms of changing legislation – and perspectives – in the state. But the precedent in other states are there for Florida to follow.

florida, Future, Gambling Laws, Land-based Casinos, Legal Questions, Online Casinos


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