Florida Online Casinos
Florida is home to several popular casinos, all owned and operated by the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes including a couple of especially large ones run by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Online casinos are not permitted in the state, although Floridians can play games online at social and sweepstakes casinos, some of which offer chances to redeem prizes for real money.
The Seminoles operate six retail casinos in Florida, and with the Hard Rock International brand in its pocket, the tribe is a significant part of gambling in the Sunshine State. Among those properties, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in particular with its spectacular guitar-shaped hotel is a must-visit attraction. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, which was part of the Seminole nation until the mid-20th century, operates a casino in Miami. It’s the only casino not owned and operated by the Seminoles.
There are numerous racinos in Florida as well, but they lack the gambling options that the tribal properties have. However, some were approved to operate slot machines and operate a poker room as well.
Here’s an overview of casinos in Florida, including information about retail casinos and racinos and a discussion of the past, present and future legal debates over online casinos.
Are online casinos legal in Florida?
No, real money online gambling of any kind, including online casinos, is illegal in the state of Florida.
In 2021, efforts to expand gambling in the state were highlighted by a new compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe. Besides potentially authorizing retail sports betting and mobile betting apps in Florida, the new compact also would authorize additional casino games such as craps and roulette in Seminole retail casinos. However, the new compact would not authorize online casinos at this time.
That said, the new compact is currently in limbo despite being approved by lawmakers and the federal government (read on for details).
Will Florida legalize online casinos?
The immediate answer to this question is no. At least not any time soon. But online casinos have been discussed in the past. With other forms of gambling expansion on the table, lawmakers will almost certainly debate the issue again in the future.
The newly negotiated tribal-state compact that added sports betting and other casino games did at one point include mention of online gambling. A provision in the original draft had included a section potentially opening the door to Seminole-operated online casinos in the future. That section began:
“The State and the Tribe agree to engage in good faith negotiations within thirty-six (36) months after the Effective Date of this Compact to consider an amendment to authorize the Tribe to offer all types of Covered Games online or via mobile devices to players physically located in the state, where such wagers made using a mobile device or online shall be deemed to take place exclusively where received at the location of the servers or other devices used to conduct such wagering activity at a Facility on Indian Lands.”
In other words, the provision would allow the possibility of later adding online casinos to the online sportsbooks already authorized by the new compact. However, some lawmakers objected. One was House Speaker Chris Sprowles who along with other House members believed “some language in the compact could be construed to lead to the backdoor expansion of online gaming.” According to Sprowles, “Even the mere possibility of this was unacceptable.” Therefore, lawmakers removed the mention of online casinos before voting in favor of the compact.
Basically, the Florida legislature is on board with online sports betting. But it’s going to take a few years after its brought to market before the political appetite to legalize online casinos is there
In August 2021, the Bureau of Indian Affairs chose not to approve or deny the new compact, which meant it was approved by default. However, in Nov. 2021 a federal judge ruled the new compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, in part because of its use of a “hub-and-spoke” model allowing the tribe to offer online sports betting all over the state as long as the servers were located on Seminole lands. Such would have potentially been the similar model followed for Seminole-run online casinos.
The ruling vacated the new compact, reverting Florida and the Seminole Tribe back to the earlier one. Both the tribe and the US Department of Interior, which is the larger regulatory body that includes the BIA, have since appealed the ruling.
If the new compact is reinstated, that won’t necessarily directly affect whether or not online casinos will come to Florida. However, should sports betting (and especially online sports betting) become legal in the state, and should the Seminole casinos be able to add craps and roulette to their offerings (as the new compact allows), that could at least help create more favorable conditions for online gambling to be considered going forward.
Social casinos offered by Seminole Tribe
While real money online casino gaming remains illegal in Florida, the Seminole Tribe has dipped its toes into the social casino waters with two platforms.
Seminole Social Casino
Available via desktop and on mobile devices for Android and iOS users, Seminole Social Casino features a variety of progressive jackpot and classic slots as well as popular table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat.
Players can earn free coins each day, and they can link their Seminole Wild Card account to begin accumulating casino rewards.
Hard Rock Blackjack & Casino
The Seminole Tribe also operates Hard Rock Blackjack & Casino, another social casino with similar game selection, features and the same perks as the Seminole Social Casino app.
Online sweepstakes and social casinos in Florida
Players won’t find real money online gambling in Florida, but online social and sweepstakes casinos such as Pulsz, Chumba Casino, LuckyLand Slots and Funzpoints do provide a way to enjoy casino games online. These sites use virtual currencies rather than real money, and in some cases offer chances to redeem prizes for cash.
Pulsz is a fast-growing social casino that features over 200 slots titles. The site also has a decent selection of table games that include blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Like the slot games, these table games are offered strictly for fun and entertainment.
With over 80 casino games available, as well as blackjack and video poker, Chumba Casino has become one of the most popular sweepstakes-based online casinos. The site offers plenty of incentives to players, including offering chances to redeem prizes for real money.
As simple as it sounds, the name says it all. LuckyLand Slots serves as a slots-centric social online casino with roughly 40 slots games that are exclusive to its site. Like Chumba, LuckyLand also offers opportunities to redeem prizes for cash.
Players at Funzpoints will find around 30 different slots games and a keno game. The site also features daily jackpot drawings that afford another way to win. Like Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots, Funzpoints also offers ways to play that enable players to redeem prizes for real money.
Retail casinos in Florida
There are seven retail casinos in Florida, all tribe-owned. One belongs to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, a Class II gaming facility that only offers slots-like electronic bingo and no house-banked games.
Meanwhile, the Seminole Tribe has a compact with the state to offer limited Class III gaming, which means their six casinos can offer a wider range of Vegas-style casino games, although you won’t find craps or roulette among the available choices. In essence, the compact allows tribal casinos to spread house-backed card games like Blackjack.
Here’s a quick rundown of each of the seven Florida casinos:
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming Center
- City: Miami
- Phone: 305-222-4600
- Number of Slots: 2,000-plus electronic bingo machines
- Live Poker? No
- Features:: As a Class II gaming facility, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming features the popular electronic bingo games that closely resemble regular slots. There are also high-limit gaming rooms and regular bingo games (including for high stakes). The property has a 300-room hotel, a salon, a spa, a pool, six restaurants and two bars.
Seminole Casino Brighton
- City: Okeechobee (southcentral FL, a little over an hour west of West Palm Beach)
- Phone: 863-467-9998
- Number of Slots: 400
- Live Poker? No
- Features: With 27,000 feet of gaming space, Seminole Casino Brighton is a modest-sized facility offering slots, blackjack, high-stakes bingo and a few other table games. There is no hotel on the property, but the site does host outdoor concerts and live entertainment on an inside stage.
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
- City: Coconut Creek (southeastern FL, about 40 minutes north of Miami)
- Phone: 954-977-6700
- Number of Slots: nearly 2,200
- Live Poker? Yes
- Features: Besides slots, the 100,000 square-foot gaming space includes 70 table games featuring blackjack, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker and other favorites. There is also a popular 23-table poker room and an outdoor concert venue plus entertainment inside at the Legends Lounge. There are no accommodations on-site, although the tribe is currently planning the construction of a 1,000-room, 20-floor hotel.
Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee
- City: Immokalee (south FL, between Miami and Naples)
- Phone: 239-658-1313
- Number of Slots: 1,400
- Live Poker? No
- Features: The casino has about 75,000 square feet of gaming space featuring slot machines and 38 table games including blackjack, baccarat and Pai Gow Poker. The hotel has about 100 rooms and suites and there are a couple of small restaurants and bars. Other amenities include a 750-seat, 10,000-square-foot Event Pavilion and the Zig Zag Lounge.
Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood
- City: Hollywood (located between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami)
- Phone: 954-961-3220
- Number of Slots: over 1,000
- Live Poker? No
- Features: The casino has nearly 75,000 square feet of gaming space. In addition to slots, there are table games (blackjack, baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and more). There is no hotel, but there are four restaurants and two bars. It is located right next to the larger Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
- City: Hollywood
- Phone: 866-502-7529
- Number of Slots: over 3,000
- Live Poker? Yes
- Features: Home of the spectacular guitar-shaped hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood has 140,000 square feet of gaming space for its many slots, nearly 200 table games, high-limit slots and high-limit table games rooms, plus a popular 45-table poker room that hosts many major tournaments and tournament series. The hotel has nearly 640 rooms and suites, there are nearly 20 restaurants and numerous bars, and the famous Hard Rock Live venue hosts major concerts.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
- City: Tampa
- Phone: 866-388-4263
- Number of Slots: 5,000
- Live Poker? Yes
- Features: The casino features 190,000 square feet of gaming space for its huge number of slots and nearly 180 table games. There is also a big 46-table poker room that like the Hollywood location runs many big tournament series. The hotel has around 800 rooms and suites, and the property features five restaurants, three bars, three pools, and tons of shopping. Meanwhile, the Hard Rock Event Center is another hot spot for concerts.
Games available in Florida casinos
As noted, Florida casinos feature a wide variety of games, particularly in the Seminole-owned properties. Note that neither craps nor roulette are among the allowed games in the state’s casinos. That said, you may find electronic roulette games among the options.
The new tribal-state compact signed and published in 2021 does allow expanded gaming options, including craps, roulette and even sports betting. However, the new compact is currently on hold after a federal judge ruled it violated the IGRA. Both the Seminole Tribe and the Department of Interior have appealed the ruling.
Even so, there remains a large selection of casino games available in Florida casinos, including:
- Slots (including Progressive Slots)
- Casino War
- Criss Cross Poker
- Electronic Bingo
- Electronic Roulette
- I Luv Suits Poker
- Let It Ride
- Mini Baccarat
- Mississippi Stud
- Pai Gow Poker
- Pai Gow Tiles
- Spanish 21
- Three Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Florida’s two most-populated counties, Broward and Miami-Dade, offer more casino game options for gamblers in the state.
In 2004, Florida voters approved an amendment authorizing residents of those two counties to decide whether or not to allow slots in pari-mutuel facilities. In Broward voters were on board right away, and the first slots were introduced at facilities there in 2006. Miami-Dade voters initially rejected the idea before deciding later to approve slots in 2008.
Today there are eight pari-mutuel locations in those two counties that offer slot machines. All are essentially considered “racinos,” although in some cases the adjacent tracks no longer offer racing, particularly at the greyhound tracks as dog racing became prohibited at the end of 2020. Those locations are:
- The Big Easy Casino (Hallandale Beach)
- Calder Casino (Miami Gardens)
- Casino Miami (Miami)
- The Casino @ Dania Beach (Dania Beach)
- Gulfstream Park Casino (Hallandale Beach)
- Hialeah Park Racing & Casino (Hialeah)
- Isle Casino Pompano (Pompano Beach)
- Magic City Casino (Miami)
Most of those locations additionally feature card rooms to go along with the slots, with some of the most popular poker rooms in Florida among them.
Outside of Broward and Miami-Dade there are a number of other gambling establishments that feature poker rooms, many of which are also connected to racetracks. Such establishments are technically still thought of as racinos by many, even if they no longer host races. Several do, however, offer off-track betting on simulcast races. These locations include:
- bestbet Jacksonville (Jacksonville)
- bestbet Orange Park (Orange Park)
- Bonita Springs Poker Room (Bonita Springs)
- Casino Fort Pierce (Fort Pierce)
- Creek Entertainment Gretna (Gretna)
- Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club (Daytona Beach)
- Derby Lane (St. Petersburg)
- Ebro Poker Room (Ebro)
- Club 52 Melbourne (Melbourne)
- Ocala Gainesville Poker & Jai-Alai (Reddick)
- One-Eyed Jack’s Poker Room (Sarasota)
- Orange City Racing & Card Club (Orange City)
- Oxford Downs Poker Room (Summerfield)
- Palm Beach Kennel Club (West Palm Beach)
- Pensacola Poker Room (Pensacola)
- Tampa Bay Downs (Tampa)
- TGT Poker & Racebook (Tampa)