Florida Online Gambling Guide - Legal Insight

USA Friendly FlagThe only official involvement that the state of Florida has had with online gambling took place through a very negative set of circumstances surrounding Internet Cafes. Not only were these types of establishments found to be offering a questionable gambling environment, the state also had a bought with an illegal gambling ring associated with some Internet café locations. Needless to say, there is a bit of a foul taste left concerning online gambling after all that negativity. The state of Florida does not permit the operation of any type of online gambling site within its borders, so you will not find any state licensed or regulated gambling websites available to you in the Sunshine State. Floridians have not yet had the positive experience enjoyed by residents of Nevada and New Jersey who are fortunate enough to have access to state regulated online gambling options. The state continues to have discussions related to online gambling, they just have not developed into anything concrete yet. Other states listed in our state gambling directory appear a little more poised to embrace online gambling, such as California and Pennsylvania.

Despite a lack of approval from lawmakers concerning state based Internet wagering destinations, a significant number of Florida residents participate in online gambling options legally provided by licensed and regulated offshore websites. This guide was designed to provide assistance to Florida gamblers seeking reputable, legal and high quality online gambling opportunities. We will take a look at the legal status of participating in this type of entertainment, what types of gambling sites are legally available to Florida gamblers, and conclude with a Florida online gambling FAQ section.


Florida Online Gambling Laws

Law BookFlorida permits multiple land based gambling options, including Indian tribal casinos (commercial casinos are not permitted in the state), card rooms and pari-mutuel racetracks. Lottery and bingo are also regulated forms of gambling in Florida. However, there are no state laws in place that regulate online gambling in the Sunshine State. At this time, it is illegal to own and/or operate any type of online gambling site within the state of Florida. The law created to ban the Internet cafes, HB155, went a bit awry through overly generalized restrictions that invited confusion on several levels as the bill inadvertently banned all cell phones and computers. Challenges to the language of the bill are presently in legal dispute.

There has been formal discussion and some effort to legalize online poker in the state. HB77 failed to pass and though there has been a lot of talk, no other bills have seen the light of day. Most of the laws associated with online gambling in Florida target those individuals operating an illegal gambling business and not the players or participants. The penalties for operating any type of illegal gambling activities are very stiff as this is seen as a serious crime in Florida.

Florida Legal Gambling Age – The legal gambling age in Florida ranges from 18 – 21 depending on the type of gambling in question. For bingo, lottery, pari-mutuel and poker, players must be 18. To play casino games at any of the land based casinos in FL, players must be 21 or older. Most of the Florida online gambling sites allow players to join and gamble for real money at 18 years old and up.

Is Online Gambling Legal In Florida?

There are no state laws or federal laws which prohibit Floridians from engaging in Internet gambling at legally licensed and regulated online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks. The reach of local, state or federal legislation stops at US borders, and hence has no bearing on the legally sanctioned and legitimate offshore gambling sites that accept US players. So while you will not find any state regulated options at this time, Florida residents and tourists do still have the option of engaging in legal online gambling that is offered by licensed destinations located outside of the United States. We anticipate that Florida may venture into state regulated online poker before any other platform, and that it could possibly happen in the future based on increasing interest from residents and the fact that it could provide some much needed tax revenue for the state's budget. The sitting Governor however is openly opposed to the concept.

FL State Facts & Quick Jump Menu

State Facts Quick Jump
State Motto: In God We Trust Top Rated Site
State Population: 19.89 Million Florida Casinos
Land Casinos: 5+ Florida Sportsbooks
Land Poker Rooms: 30+ Florida Poker
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Frequently Asked Questions
Projected Year For Legalization: 2020 Florida Gambling News

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Are Online Casinos Legal in Florida?

Casino IconOn a state regulated level the answer to this question would be no. It is illegal to operate an online casino within the state of Florida. It is not illegal, however, to participate in online casino gambling from an Internet destination that is based outside of the United States and is licensed, regulated and legally approved to provide their gaming services to players around the world, including players in Florida. We do not anticipate the legal climate concerning online casino gambling to change anytime soon. Thus far, the only efforts to legalize online gambling in Florida have all centered around online poker. For the time being, legally sanctioned offshore Internet casinos are the best option for engaging in legal Florida online casino gambling.

The legal online casino recommendations you find on this page all accept players from Florida, and they have each been carefully reviewed to ensure they deliver the optimal casino gambling environment and performance through a legitimately licensed and regulated business that adheres to compliance, fair gaming and auditing requirements.


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Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Florida?

Sports IconNeither land based or online sports betting is permitted in the state of Florida. Even if lawmakers wanted to pass legislation legalizing these activities on a state level, there are two federal laws which would prevent this. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibits sports betting everywhere in the US except in four specific regions which are exempt from the law. Those regions include Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. The Federal Wire Act prohibits all online sports betting, hence the two laws together make it illegal to offer land based or online sports betting services through a US based destination.

That does not mean that Florida residents don't have any legal options at their disposal. There are no state or federal laws that prohibit residents from participating in online sports betting that is offered through a licensed and regulated sportsbook that is based outside of the United States. These types of operations are legally licensed and can offer their services to players anywhere they choose, including the USA and specifically Florida. Some of our recommended online sportsbooks have been providing their betting services to US players for decades. You will not be breaking any type of state or federal law as long as you restrict your sports betting activity to licensed and regulated sites.

The following recommendations are comprised of the top rated Florida friendly legal online sports betting sites. Each has been examined and reviewed by our team of analysts, and have been found to exceed both licensing requirements and our stringent standards for inclusion in this guide. They all offer an attractive bonus offer of some type as well as a mobile version of their sportsbook application for access from your smartphone or tablet.


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Is Online Poker Legal in Florida?

Poker IconAll we can say is, not yet. Some attempts have been made in Florida to bring up and/or push through some type of legalization concerning state based online poker, however no efforts have been successful as of yet. Only one bill, HB77, has actually made it to formal discussions, though it was eventually shot down. There were subsequent mentions of further efforts to bring legislation forward, though none of them surfaced officially. In 2014 Governor Rick Scott openly denounced online poker gambling, siding with the infamous Sheldon Adelson in his quest to stop the online gambling movement.

Though online poker still garners much interest from Floridians, it is unlikely that we will see any movement on this front while Scott is the Governor. If any of the online gambling platforms is going to become recognized as legal in Florida, it will be poker, we just may have to wait for the right conditions concerning leadership. As with the casino niche, online poker options that are legally licensed, regulated and located outside of the US are available to Florida players. This guide includes a list of recommendations for you to consider. These sites are guaranteed to be licensed, regulated and offer an adequate security profile, reliable and high end gaming performance, and attractive bonus offers.

The following list of legal online poker sites accepting Florida players has been vetted by our team of professionals, and is comprised of industry leading options that deliver a reliable, feature rich and high-end poker gambling experience. Should the state ever embrace state licensed online poker options, we will review each one and include those brands that meet our standards.


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Florida Online Gambling FAQs

Will I get in legal trouble if I participate in offshore online gambling?

As long as you restrict your gambling activity to legally licensed and regulated offshore destinations that are operating legitimately within the industry, then you are not breaking any type of law. Should you become involved in any type of local online gambling operation, then you will be participating in unregulated gambling which is illegal. Florida does not monitor Internet activity of residents in order to try to catch them betting online. Law enforcement is more concerned with curtailing illegal gambling operators than they are players.

If a legal Florida online casino accepts players at age 18, do I still have to wait until I'm 21 to participate?

Absolutely. Because Florida's minimum legal age for participating in casino games is 21, you must adhere to this regulation when considering online casino gambling as well. The same holds true for any other gambling activity that requires participants to be at least 21 years of age. For a situation such as sports betting where the state has no established minimum age due to US based sports betting being banned in Florida through federal laws, players must default to the higher age restrictions of 21 in order to legally participate.

How do I collect my winnings if the online gambling site is in another country?

Most online gambling sites overseas have multiple options for withdrawing your winnings. Usually the most economical option is by requesting a check by courier or Bitcoin. Other options include bank wire transfers or person to person transfers such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Bitcoin has really changed the industry for the better. Nearly all of the big sites have now integrated Bitcoin and offer it as both a deposit and payout option which is streamlining the entire process of both getting money on and off the sites.

When will state licensed online gambling be legal in Florida?

That is hard to say. As mentioned above, online poker legalization actually has some chance in the state, but probably not until the sitting Governor, Rick Scott is out of office as he is openly opposed to state licensed online gambling. Online sports betting in the state would require a change to federal laws that effectively ban both online and offline sports betting throughout the country.

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