Generally, gambling is legal based on US Federal Law. However, there are still restrictions depending on each state as they are free to regulate or not allow any forms of gambling within their borders.
In Florida, all allowed forms of gambling are regulated at the state level. This includes horse-racing, lottery, slot machines, etc.
The legal aspects of sports betting and casinos in Florida are still pretty simple. Sports betting is just really not legal yet, except for horse racing, while only land-based casinos are allowed to operate in the state with certain conditions.
The lottery and other charitable house-based gambling are also legal in the state. People who are only 18 and above can wager on lottery, horse racing, bingo, and poker. Only people who are 21 years old and above can play in local casinos.
Currently, there are already 82 casinos located in Florida. They are found all over the state, including Hollywood, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orange Park, Orange City, and Miami. In fact, 33 cities in Florida have a casino.
Now, when it comes to online gambling, Florida has no laws against it. However, there is also no law that prohibits players from wagering on legally licensed gambling sites situated outside Florida. What’s really only illegal in this state at the moment is to run online casinos that are based within the borders.
When it comes to sports betting, only wagering on horse racing is allowed in this state. It was just in November 2018 when Florida voters approved the Amendment 13 about ending the greyhound racing. However, this will only be illegal starting on January 1, 2021.
The acceptance of sports betting in this state may not really change just yet. It may actually take a while before this completely become legal. Another thing that happened in 2018 is the approval of a ballot measure from voters. This basically stripped the state legislature from allowing any gambling expansion. This includes sports betting and online gambling. In order to make these things legal in Florida, its citizens will have to initiate a campaign.
The campaign is when they should collect as many signatures are possible to place the request or issue to a statewide referendum. This means that voters will have to approve the referendum. However, this shouldn’t really make people think that Florida won’t have a future when it comes to online gambling. While there is still no pending legislation regarding this matter, the US is simply becoming more open to it.
More and more states are allowing wagering on sports like football, soccer, basketball, and even cricket. New York recently legalized sports betting and its local government still sees how it can help their local economy. However, online wagering on sports has yet to be discussed in New York.
It’s possible that Florida will follow how other states work on their gambling laws. This means that there is still hope to improve the legislation about gambling in this state.
Author: Dylan Moran
Dylan has a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has extensive experience in community management, social media consultancy, child safety, and crisis management.