Florida is one of the favorite US states for those who like gambling. Many types of gambling in Florida are legal. This includes horse racing betting, Texas Hold ‘Em poker rooms, and even tribal casinos. Online casinos in Florida are also available, and there are even famous casino brands like the Hard Rock Casino.
Before you think of making a trip to the Sunshine State, or even if you live there and want to gamble, we recommend checking out this guide to gambling in Florida. Here’s all the information that you need to know.
Is Gambling Illegal in Florida?
Florida is considered to be a progressive state in many respects. It has embraced some types of gambling for many years. Horse racing has been a staple of Florida gambling, and in recent years the state has also become known for its vast number of poker rooms.
Florida has a rather extensive gambling code on its books that was crafted to prevent some forms of gambling while allowing others. In general, horse racing tracks, parimutuel wagering, poker, and tribal casinos are allowed. There are also cruise ships which operate out of the area which allow gambling, but only in international waters.
Physical casinos in Florida are only permitted under specific circumstances. They are subject to state law and overseen by a gambling commission.
Florida Gambling History
The history of gambling in Florida is colorful. Many residents of the state might be surprised to know that the first forms of legalized gambling appeared in 1932. This was right during the middle of the Great Depression. Parimutuel wagering allowed individuals to bet among themselves.
Sports such as horse racing and Jai-Alai were well-suited to gambling, and the state became a mecca for both. Casino-style slot machines also became legalized in Florida in 1935. They were popular, but eventually there was opposition to the machines. In 1973, slot machines were once more made illegal in Florida.
The 1970s also saw the legalization of bingo halls that were operated on Native American land. This progressed until tribal casinos were then allowed to offer other types of live casino games. Today, most of these casinos are focused on the operation of poker rooms. Poker has become a very big business in Florida, with many parlors now located within the state.
Some are wondering when online casinos based in Florida will be legalized. If the current US trend holds up, the residents of Florida may soon be able to legally gamble online. At the present time the options for online gambling in Florida are limited to offshore casinos.
Casinos in Florida
From the panhandle to Miami and all the cities in between, there is no shortage of live gambling opportunities for Floridians and visitors to the state. There are 19 casinos or betting facilities in Miami alone. 84 was the number of casinos located in Florida at the time of this writing. That number could surely increase.
Here is a closer look at some of the individual casinos and other betting parlors that you will find on your visit. We will start up north by looking at the best bet casino in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville rests in the area of Florida sometimes referred to as the panhandle.
Bestbet Jacksonville offers players a large number of games to choose from. It is a standard casino that draws a lot of interest from out of state because it is so close to the Florida line. The bestbet casino in Jacksonville, Florida also has another location in Orange Park.
Are you looking for a casino close to Cocoa Beach, Florida? Your best bet is probably going to be Victory Casino Cruises. We’ll talk more about the gambling ships in Florida in another section. If these cruises aren’t your thing, you might want to check out the greyhound racing in Melbourne. It’s just a short drive from Cocoa Beach.
If you are looking for a casino in Bonita Springs, Florida, you might want to check out the Bonita Springs Poker Room. It offers all the games that poker players love, and the atmosphere is laid back.
Perhaps the most famous casino in all of Florida is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. There is also a Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Who owns the Hard Rock casino in Florida? It is owned by the Seminole tribe of Native Americans. Tribal casinos are permitted under Florida law.
Gambling Ships in Florida
A popular type of gambling found in Florida that is not found in some other states is gambling cruises or gambling ships. These ships can be boarded for short trips into international waters where casino gambling is permitted.
Many players like this type of Florida gambling because it offers all of the traditional casino games that you would find in a live casino. There are slot machines, table games, and even video poker machines. You can even play keno on some of the gambling ships in Florida.
Ships are located on the Atlantic side of the state. You can find them in Melbourne, Miami, and other cities along the cost. You pay a fee for the right to board the boat and play the games. Most of these cruises last for a few hours.
Florida Gambling FAQ
Do I have to be a resident of Florida to gamble there?
No. Anyone of legal age with a valid ID can gamble in Florida.
Is there online gambling in Florida?
At the present time there are no online casinos that are based in Florida. This could change in the near future as more US states move to legalize online gambling.
Do tribal casinos in Florida have more than poker?
Many of the tribal casinos in Florida offer all of the games that you would find in a normal live or online casino. Some of them also include horse betting, bingo, and other wagering.