Florida flagA Guide to Gambling in Florida

Renowned for its beaches, swamps, and sunny weather, Florida is also the flattest state in America. While gambling laws are being relaxed across much of the country, Florida, like its Southern neighbors, unfortunately still has a lot of strict laws relating to gambling. Betting is permitted at dog racing and horse racecourses and casinos are allowed to operate on tribal land. There are also card rooms across the state where Poker can be played for real money. However, when it comes to online gambling and sports betting, Floridians, and visitors to the sunshine state have fewer options.

In this guide, you’ll be able to learn more about gambling in Florida including the options available to you and the rules and regulations of the state. The laws apply to both residents and visitors, so you can use this guide to learn more about gambling in Florida and how to take part. The guide will cover both online gambling and gambling in person and will detail the rules involved in each. You’ll learn about the potential punishments for gambling in Florida and what types of gambling are legal in the state. This will include details on sweepstakes, social casinos, land-based casinos, and sportsbooks plus tribal casinos.

Getting involved in gambling can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to know all the laws before you play. While it’s unlikely that you can get in any trouble from breaking the rules, it’s a good idea to only gamble at legal sites and venues as this way, you can be sure your money is safe. Find out everything you need to know about gambling in the Sunshine State below so you can focus on having fun.

Online Gambling and Florida Law

In recent years, online gambling has become a lot more accessible over much of the United States. States have been given more control over whether or not they can legalize things like online casinos sportsbooks and Poker sites. Now many states across the US have made online gambling legal or semi-legal, giving people more freedom over how they choose to play.

In Florida, however, there hasn’t been much progress made on the topic of online gambling. It’s not illegal to gamble online in Florida but there are no licensed gambling sites that can operate within the state either.

For now, online casinos, Poker sites, and online sportsbooks are all unable to operate legally in the state but that doesn’t mean that things can’t change over time, It’s expected that in the coming years, changes to state legislation will mean that Floridians and visitors to the state can join in on the action.

Despite online gambling being unregulated in Florida, it is still possible for people to sign up and play at sweepstake sites and social casinos. These sites give players the opportunity to either play for fun or to play for coins. Coins can be bought with real money and just like chips at the casino, you can cash out any additional coins you win, giving you real cash prizes.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Florida?

As of 2020, all forms of online gambling are unregulated in Florida and as such, aren’t permitted. However, there are still ways to get around this and players can still enjoy casino games online at certain sites.

Sweepstake sites are the main way that people in Florida can gamble online. Players can sign up to a sweepstake site and purchase coins which they’ll then use to place wagers on games. Just like at a regular online casino, there are slots, Blackjack, Roulette, and plenty of other games to play. Any wins that the player makes can then be exchanged for real cash, essentially providing the same experience as a standard online casino.

There are also sweepstake Poker sites that operate in the same way, giving Florida residents and visitors to the state the option of playing Poker online for real cash prizes. When it comes to online gambling, these Poker sites operate in more or less the same way as a traditional online Poker site. However, the use of coins means that the site avoids any legal issues and ensures players can enjoy Poker online.

Online sportsbooks are also unable to operate legally in Florida but fantasy sports sites are still accessible. While it’s not quite the same as betting on sports, fantasy sports give you the chance to win real cash prizes in loads of different competitions.

Can I get Arrested for Gambling Online in Florida?

No, although Florida might not have legalized online gambling, it’s not illegal to gamble online. The law itself doesn’t mention online gambling at all so residents are free to gamble at offshore or unregulated sites if they wish. There’s no danger of arrest or prosecution and the only thing you have to worry about is whether the site you’re playing at is safe.

While Florida doesn’t have any legal online gambling platforms, the fact that there’s no official law against online gambling means those living or visiting the state have much more freedom over where they can bet or play casino games. Online gambling itself isn’t against the law and there are no punishments that any can face for joining an online gambling site.

What Type of Gambling is Legal in Florida?

There are still lots of restrictions relating to gambling in the state of Florida and it can be confusing for anyone who’s unfamiliar with the rules and what they mean. We’ve made it easier for you to understand by breaking down the types of gambling and going into detail about whether they’re legal or not. If you want to get into gambling, whether online or land-based, this guide will help you understand Florida law.

It’s important to note that in most cases, both online and offline, the minimum legal age for gambling in Florida is 21. Gambling sites and land-based venues will always check your ID before you can place any wagers and this also includes social gambling where real money isn’t involved.


Sweepstake sites are a way for those living in states with restrictions on gambling to get around the rules. In Florida and a lot of other countries in the US, online gambling is restricted or unregulated, meaning there are no legal sites to gamble at. When it comes to casino games and Poker, sweepstake sites offer a great alternative.

These sites work in a similar way to a traditional land-based casino where players buy chips that are then used to place wagers on games. When a player leaves the casino, they cash out their chips, exchanging them for cash at the same rate they bought them for.

When you sign up to a sweepstake casino or Poker site, you can buy a set number of coins, with discounts usually provided for big purchases. You use these coins to place wagers on a game and once you win, you can cash them out for real money. These sites aren’t regulated by the state but there are lots of highly trusted sweepstake casinos and Poker sites that players from all over the USA use.

Social Casinos

Social casinos are another alternative for Florida residents and visitors to the state. These sites operate in a similar way to online casinos only here, you won’t be playing for real money. A social casino brings all the fun of the casino without the risky aspect, which is great if you’re new to the world of casinos or feel like a more relaxing session.

There are lots of different social casinos open to Florida players and you can find lots of different games available including slots, table games, and more. While the games might not be as exciting when there’s no chance of winning real cash, social casinos are still a lot of fun and some sites reward players with loyalty points. These points can then be exchanged at land-based casinos, giving players some nice rewards for playing.

Off-Shore Casinos

Florida, being surrounded by sea and so close to the Caribbean, is an ideal spot for a cruise holiday. There are loads of cruise boats available that give you a close look at some of the sights around Florida and the surrounding areas. There are also several offshore cruise ships that provide entertainment in the form of gambling. Because these ships sit off the coast of Florida, they’re not bound by state law and can legally offer casino games and other forms of gambling to anyone onboard.

These offshore cruises offer all forms of gambling including slots, table games, sports betting video Poker and much more. Anyone can book a trip on one of these cruises provided they’re over the age of 21 and they provide a great way to relax and enjoy your holiday while also potentially winning some cash rewards.

Tribal Casinos

Thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, casinos can be legally built and operated on tribal land. Even in states where gambling at land-based casinos isn’t allowed, tribal casinos are free to operate as normal, giving people in the state the option of an authentic casino experience.

In Florida, all but one of these Native American tribal casinos are run by the Seminole tribe. There are quite a few different options with eight in total spread out across multiple cities. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa is the biggest casino in the state, offering an incredible 4,000 slot machines plus lots of table casino games too. Other cities that contain a tribal casino include Coconut Creek, Hollywood, Miami, Immokalee, Hollywood, Okeechobee, and Clewiston. All of these casinos in Florida offer lots of slot machines plus plenty of table casino games too.


In Florida, standard land-based casinos may not be allowed to freely operate, but card rooms that offer Poker games can be found across the state. There are estimated to be more than eight hundred different Poker tables in card rooms across Florida, giving those living in the Sunshine State plenty of chances to play some hands of Poker. Whether it’s Draw Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, or Stud Poker, you can play just about any variation of Poker for real money.

Florida gambling may be restrictive compared to some states, but access to Poker is good. Although there are no online Poker sites, barry sweepstake Poker, the game isn’t illegal in Florida and Poker can be enjoyed by players from across the state. Florida casinos may not offer Poker, but the presence of Poker rooms means that anyone over the age of 21 can play.


Like in many states, Florida offers a state lottery and also allows residents to play in several multi-state lotteries. The Florida lottery features lots of different games that give players the opportunity to win big prizes each week. There are also fairly draws and scratchcards that offer instant winners if you don’t want to wait. For the biggest jackpots, you’ll need to play multi-state lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball.

History of Gambling in Florida

Despite its fairly restrictive laws today, Florida was actually one of the first US states to legalize sports betting, allowing pari mutuel betting on certain sports back in 1932. Since then, the laws and customs of the state have changed a lot, and the options available to Florida bettors have too.

When Florida introduced legalized sports betting back in 1932, it helped to kickstart the tourism industry that still exists in the state today. In 1935, Florida also legalized betting on Jai Alai and introduced legal slot machines. However, the law allowing slot machines was repealed in 1973, making slots illegal in the state.

In the 1980s, companies started offering what became known as “cruises to nowhere”, allowing tourists visiting the state to enjoy offshore gambling on luxurious cruise ships. Around the same time, Florida also introduced the state lottery, giving yet more gambling options to Floridians.