Gambling establishments are no strangers to the state of Florida. As it currently stands, Florida allows numerous online gambling and betting options such as horse racing, fantasy sports, and greyhound betting, amongst others.
Out of these three, horse betting is seen as a tradition in the state, with numerous casinos, both physical and online offering the chance to place your bet.
As it currently stands, sports betting is illegal but changes are being made for a push. Just last year, the Supreme Court made a decision that allowed states to legalize sports betting, and the first one to do so was New Jersey.
The Sunshine State is targeted for a major push in sports betting, but nothing concrete stands as of currently.
Back in 2024, just a few months ago, Florida state lawmakers introduced potential legislation that allows online and mobile sports betting to be legal. However, the fate of this legislation will be known later in 2024 where the future of sports betting in Florida will also be determined.
What Are Your Legal Options?
As we mentioned, horse and greyhound racing are very much legal in the Sunshine State. Fantasy football is also legal, with Monkey Knife Fight, Draft Kings, and Fanduel bringing the service to millions of Floridians.
Both greyhound and horse racing are available to the public in an online format, and this is the most popular way people gamble on. Online gambling has been around Florida for quite some time now, and people have been pushing for other means of online gambling, such as sports.
Both horse and greyhound racing is, however, regulated by an official body called Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. This division also oversees numerous other types of entertainment options such as jai alai, poker, and many more.
Online Betting and Gambling in Florida
Determining whether online betting is legal or not is closely tied to how you determine the world “legal”. Florida law allows online betting on horses, greyhounds, and fantasy games, as well as few others including games of skill.
Online betting is considered anything that you can place an online wager on and that is neither legal nor prohibited in the law.
Without any licensing, operating a gambling establishment that accepts any form of the wager is considered illegal by state law.
But what about visiting one? Well, if the establishment doesn’t own a license, then you’re definitely in hot waters. However, there is no way for you to know this, so the area is quite gray.
What we can say is that the state does forbid any wagers being placed on card games, roulette, keno, or games of chance, through any device what so ever. This means that the state prohibits using the internet, your phone, or your computer to place bets on any of the before mentioned. Some of the games, just to clarify, which are illegal to place an online wager are blackjack, craps, slot machines and many more.
With all that said, illegal online gambling has never been the cause of a single arrest in the state of Florida. While it is illegal to wager on those specific games, the state doesn’t waste its efforts on arresting a guy sitting in front of his laptop playing a game of blackjack.
The matter also doesn’t specify exactly what concludes as games or chance or card games. We mentioned that card games can be played if the establishment has a proper license for it.
Poker, as an example, is both a card game and a game of chance. But poker is never mentioned specifically. While we can force our way and ask for clarifications, this simply isn’t necessary since the state also doesn’t arrest poker players.
So with all that said, how would we know which is legal and which isn’t? Well, for that, you can visit Gambling Pedia as a great source for betting and gambling in the USA.
What Does the Future Hold?
We mentioned earlier that the Supreme Court passed a bill that will make both sports betting and online casino games legal nationwide. Following the decision, many states started legalizing sports betting and made it possible for people to place wagers on their favorite sports such as football, soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, and more. New Jersey was one of the first to do so. The decision was so popular that people from New York and Pennsylvania were regularly visiting the state to place a wager on their favorite sports teams.
However, with all that said, efforts to legalize both online gambling and sports betting seems to be constantly hitting dead ends. Lawmakers and establishments find it hard to be on the same page, resulting in an end in talks every single time.
The main problem is that each new gambling effort and legalizing each form of online gambling must be put before a referendum for the people to vote on.
As of currently, it will be some time before sports betting is put to a referendum, while there has been chat regarding online casino gambling and games. Also, mobile platforms seem to be a priority for lawmakers in regards to online gambling, so chances are we will see that before sports betting.
What About the Lottery?
The state lottery is considered by many as a game of chance. The lottery in the Sunshine State is run by the state itself. You can purchase lottery tickets at any licensed vendor, but purchasing online is prohibited.
This is because the state is the only legal seller of the tickets, and they choose who can distribute them. Online purchasing on lottery tickets is illegal, and very few sell them.
Those that do are mostly foreign services, and no one can reach vouch for them or know exactly how legal these services are. No one also recommends you purchase lottery tickets from an online vendor in the Sunshine State.
This is not only because you have no idea how legit the seller is, but would you leave your potential millions of dollars in their hands, especially since there is a 180-day time limit to claim your prize?