Florida Online Gambling News

Latest news on sports betting, online gambling, and the FL Lottery

Florida is a state with a rapidly growing gambling industry. There are over 30 racinos and tribal casinos in the state, as well as daily fantasy sports and the Florida Lottery.

PlayFL is here to report on all the news related to gambling in Florida, including pushes for gambling expansion, like the 2021 compact agreement between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe that would authorize both retail and online sports betting. Of course, several hurdles still stand in the way before this can become a reality.

With over half the states offering some form of legal sports betting, there are plenty of groups who would love for the more than 21 million Florida residents, as well as tourists to the state, to be able to bet legally on their phones.

Latest updates

Last updated: July 28, 2021

For months, we have known that the Seminole Tribe compact allowing mobile sports betting in Florida could find its way into courts. After all, opponents contend, a tribe allowing mobile gambling off tribal land would violate federal law.

However, legislation introduced by California Rep. Lou Correa and New York Rep. John Katko would allow the Seminole to do as they please.

The bill aims to “remove Federal barriers” regarding mobile wagers on tribal lands. According to the proposal, tribes with gaming compacts could offer statewide online gambling so long as servers are located on tribal land. Because, as the bill clarifies, the location of online wagers occurs at the location of servers.

Legal Gambling Options in Florida

Casinos and Gambling

While Florida is home to a preponderance of land-based casinos, there are no legal online casinos in Florida. There were indications in 2019 that state lawmakers might be considering a move to legalize, but nothing came of it.

Floridians will have to console themselves with a few options that remain open to them. Chief among those is Chumba Casino.

Chumba Casino uses a unique sweepstakes model to remain in compliance with the laws of almost every state. Players across the country are able to take part in the site’s activities for real money prizes, and (technically) do not have to pay a dime to do so.

Online Poker & Card Rooms

Florida is a quiet powerhouse for live poker. There are nearly 30 locations scattered throughout the state, and hundreds of poker tournaments run each week in the Sunshine State.

However, as is the case with online casinos, the choices for online poker remain sparse. No online poker bills appear to be imminent in Florida, and it’s unlikely anything will change soon.

Poker players can take heart in the fact that sweepstakes site Chumba Casino also has a corresponding poker site. Global Poker allows players from across the country to play in the same room, which gives Floridian card sharks the ability to show their countrymen what a great poker state Florida is.

Florida Lottery

At present, the Florida Lottery does not offer any possibilities for online play. All lottery games are required to be purchased through a retail outlet.

With the Lottery possibly facilitating online sports betting, however, anything is possible. So, while there’s nothing particularly encouraging to report, things might be able to change in a year or two.

Retail Sports Betting

Florida is home to many casinos and cardrooms. The sports betting bills under consideration would give the state lottery wide discretion in licensing sportsbook operators, so it stands to reason that sports betting opportunities would pop up at these locations.

Of course, the most powerful gambling entity in the state is the Seminole Tribe, which owns and operates the only full-service casinos in Florida and is a formidable political force. The progress of any gambling expansion likely hinges upon the Seminole’s approval, so there are many details yet to be hashed out in the legislature before retail sportsbooks can begin to open.

Online Sports Betting

Florida’s latest drive into sports betting comes as the result of three bills filed by State Sen. Jeff Brandes. The package of bills, which designates the state lottery as the operator for sports betting, includes provisions for online sports betting.

The bills also allow the lottery to designate licensees to offer sports betting. Without many specifics available yet, the possibility of big-name sportsbooks opening shop in Florida is on the table.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) play in Florida remains in a state of uneasy approval. While there is no law specifically on the books about the practice, there have been statements from officials that at least some of the games might not be in compliance with state law.

As it stands, Floridians can take part in DFS action on several of the top sites, including DraftKings and FanDuel. For the moment, it appears unlikely that anything will change about that fact.

Florida Online Gambling FAQ

How many casinos are in Florida?

Dozens of casinos and pari-mutuel facilities are scattered throughout the state.

This includes eight land-based slot casinos overseen by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering:

  • Gulfstream Park
  • Big Easy Casino
  • The Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park
  • Flagler Dog Track & Magic City Casino
  • Calder Casino & Race Course
  • Miami Jai Alai
  • Hialeah Park
  • The Casino at Dania Beach

In addition, the state features seven tribal casinos. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida operate Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami. The Seminole Tribe, meanwhile, has seven casinos:

  • Seminole Casino Brighton
  • Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
  • Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee
  • Seminole Classic Casino
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Will Florida legalize sports betting in 2021?

It looks like the state legislature will pass sports betting as part of a special legislative session on gambling expansion. The session began on May 17 and runs all week or until action on all the bills is complete.

How many Florida poker rooms are there?

Nearly every casino in Florida offers poker. But the game is not restricted just to those properties. Including other establishments that legally offer poker, more than 30 card rooms exist in the Sunshine State.

All told, players in Florida can find action at more than 800 poker tables at casinos, racetracks and jai alai frontons.

What are the closest sportsbooks Floridians can bet at?

Wherever you live in Florida, a trip to the nearest legal sportsbook is a lengthy one. Simply follow the gulf coast.

Mississippi, namely Biloxi, features several retail sportsbooks regulated by the state. Just to the north, Tennessee features the nation’s lone mobile-only sports betting industry.

Other then those two states, and neighboring Arkansas, Floridians would need to travel farther north to reach state-regulated retail and online sports betting. At least, for the time being.