Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Florida?
Here at captaingambling.com, we understand the frustration at online gambling Florida platforms. Why Florida specifically? Well, because it can be confusing. Florida is one of the few states where legislation isn’t exactly clear, and this can lead to residents scratching their heads.
With many other states moving to legalize online gambling over the last four years, there has been nothing coming from Florida's end. We know that can be somewhat frustrating for some bettors – in most cases, it’s hard to know where to look! But, we’re here to settle all the chaos, and provide you with all the information you need for a great gambling experience in Florida.
The legal status quo in Florida – is online gambling legal in Florida?
Online gambling Florida has always been reserved in regards to online gambling. In fact, gambling in Florida as a whole has always been more strict when it comes to online gambling. They first legalized gambling in 1988 – which was quite a few years after most of their Eastern neighbour states.
Since then, gambling in Florida slowly but surely grew – from parimutuel games, and tribal casinos opening up and establishing themselves across the state. It wouldn’t be long before the topic of online gambling Florida would be broached to the State Council.
Online gambling Florida, as of 2021, has yet to see any kind of headway. It’s still illegal to use online casinos and sportsbooks – Florida gambling laws are strict on restricting any kind of online gambling activity. So as it stands at this moment in time, the best Florida online casino sites are only available as social casinos. There you'll get the full casino experience, but play with virtual tokens rather than real money.
But, here’s where the loopholes come in. While it’s illegal to partake in any online gambling Florida platforms that provide services – it’s not exactly illegal for the player to play with an online casino. There is nothing in Florida law that restricts you from playing with online casinos based outside of Florida.
You won’t be breaking any laws if you search for regulated casinos based outside of Florida state– and that is what most Florida players do. In fact, if you look at which states have legalized gambling, you’d see that’s what many bettors do for states in a similar position as Florida.
Now you know your limits, and the answer to that dreaded question ‘Is online gambling legal in Florida?’ So, you might be wondering: what are your options for online gambling Florida sportsbooks? Where can you look?
Regulated casinos based outside of Florida state are not nearly as strict as you think. Florida gambling laws have often clamped down on sports betting more than any other kind of gambling activity – sports betting was only legalized in 2018.
So, it’s natural to assume your access to online sportsbooks outside of Florida will be limited, given how Florida has operated in the past.
The only way currently you can place a sports bet is through the Seminole Tribal Casino, so you have very little options land based too. And, we know that online gambling Florida would be a much better option for most bettors, than crossing state lines.
That’s not true at all. If you know where to look, you’ll see some of the absolute best online sportsbooks lending their hands as Florida gambling sites. There’s some great odds and great opportunity with the likes of DraftKings and Fanduel throwing their hat into the state.
But, it’s essential you make sure you’re playing at a fully regulated online sportsbook, no matter which state it is based.
First off, make sure the website itself is secure. You can do this by looking at the URL, and checking if there is a lock beside the bar. Once that’s finished, you need to know if the casino is regulated.
If you look at the bottom of their page, you should see a regulatory authority approving the casino – the Malta Gaming Association (MGA), and the United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) are the biggest international casino regulatory boards.
The most important thing you can check is the payment options. If the sportsbook only offers a deposit and withdrawal methods that are cryptocurrency, chances are they are trying to scam you.
We know what you’re thinking. After the difficulty you may have come across with sports betting, you’re thinking about asking ‘Is online gambling legal in Florida?’ Well, we can promise you that while it's tough, it’s not like sports betting.
As we’ve covered before, online gambling Florida is yet to make substantial headway in terms of turning legal. And, unfortunately, this does also apply for online gambling Florida casinos.
Online casinos in Florida are considered completely illegal, and you are subject to prosecution if you are playing at an online gambling Florida platform.
Despite these laws though, you again have that great loophole to work through. There’s no law that specifies Florida residents playing with online casinos that are based outside the state, or outside the country. So, you’re fully within your rights to go to many other online casinos, and many still do welcome Florida customers with open arms.
Again, we always do tell you to be very cautious about your funds, and to make sure the out of state casino is secure. Gambling in Florida is different from gambling out of state; there’s certain measures that the state simply can’t protect you from.
Online poker in Florida is often lumped in with online casinos in Florida. They are all considered online Florida gambling platforms, so there’s no real need to ask ‘is online gambling legal in Florida?’ in regards to online poker.
It’s as legal as online casinos are – which means it’s really not. Any online poker platforms that get set up in the state of Florida are breaking countless gaming and Florida gambling laws.
But, there’s no real need to panic for poker. Just like with online casinos, there’s a brilliant set of online poker platforms that will gladly accept Florida bettors. Many of the gambling friendly states, like Louisiana and Nevada, hold no bias against Floridians. We, again, try to recommend you put your safety first.
Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s so easy to lose a large chunk of your money just by signing up to the wrong online poker platform. Online gambling Florida residents should always just keep our safety guidelines in mind – no matter what form of gambling you are searching for. We also said it frequently when we looked at online gambling Illinois – your safety is always a priority.
Fantasy Sports in Florida – a booming vertical
Any fantasy sports Floridians are in for some good news. Fantasy sports platforms are considered completely legal under Florida law – which means, there are plenty of Florida gambling sites that provide some great fantasy sports platforms for you Floridian players.
The most popular form of fantasy sports in Florida is daily fantasy sports. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are essentially short term versions of longer fantasy sports games. This means you play for one game, or a weekend tournament, rather than a longer period of time. We mentioned this a few times on our Indiana gambling sites page, but DFS is by far and away the most popular site for fantasy sports betting.
DraftKings and FanDuel rule the roost when it comes to online gambling Florida DFS platforms. But, when it comes to DFS in Florida, the market is there for the taking.
It’s not regulated, which means any online gambling Florida platform can set up shop without fear of getting prosecuted. The opportunity in DFS for business and players alike is endless.
Our top 5 recommended fantasy sports platforms in Florida are:
Social casinos are always a great option for those who are heavily restricted in a state. Social casinos differ from online casinos because there is no real money at stake. You play with a virtual currency, which leaves out the risk, but keeps the thrill.
The great thing about social casinos is that there’s still an opportunity to win real money. Some social casinos use a ‘sweepstake’ currency, which you can exchange for real money prizes.
The Florida social casino scene is booming. They have some of the best global platforms available for Floridians, which provides some great slots to play for those looking for the thrill. Their tribal casinos also offer social casino play. The Seminole Hard Rock social casino offers a great variety of slots, and table games exclusively for Florida players.
It’s the closest thing you can come to a pure online gambling Florida experience than ever before. And, the best thing is, you only have to link your real Hard Rock casino account to your social casino account to access the sweepstake currency, and be in for the chance to win real money prizes!
There’s several other great social casinos available for Florida customers, though. The best 5 are:
Hard Rock Social Casino
Seminole Coconut Creek Social Casino
Other betting options in Florida – some great niche opportunities
Horse racing is the one form of sports betting that is completely legal in Florida. Similar to Louisiana, there’s a few different horseracing exclusive websites that provide online gambling Florida.
Some of the best horse racing verticals for Floridians are Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park and Tampa Bay Downs.
eSports is a rapidly rising form of betting across the entire US, and it’s only going to grow in Florida. Unfortunately, it is considered a form of online gambling Florida betting, so there are no ‘eSportsbooks’ in Florida.
However, you can still bet on eSports on an offshore platform. Some of the best sportsbooks that offer eSports are Betway eSports, Spin Sports and 22Bet.
As of now, there is no legal online Florida lottery. All the lottery tickets and games have to be bought through retailers at the moment. However, we don’t doubt that this will change in the future.
Until it does, there are some great lottery websites that are completely legal when gambling in Florida. Some of the best include Powerball, and Fantasy 5.
Editors recommendation for the best operator for Florida – JackpotCity Casino ticks all the boxes
When it comes to great all round platforms, look no further than Fanduel. Having officially set up shop in Florida in August 2021, they already have great quality waiting for you Florida bettors. Off the bat, their casino vertical has a 100% risk free bet of up to $1000! This essentially means whatever money you wager on first deposit, you will get it fully refunded if you lose.
Along with this brilliant bonus, they have nothing but variety across their entire site. They have a colossal amount of slots, including popular games like 88 Fortunes and Double Diamonds.
They also have some of the best quality table games you’d find in an online gambling Florida platform. Blackjack, baccarat, roulette and some of the best live poker play you’d find across the whole country. You also know they’re great quality with all the different payment methods they provide.
They have the traditional methods like Visa, Mastercard and their personalised Fanduel prepaid card. But, they also have eWallets like Paypal, and the ability to withdraw quicker using the Fanduel prepaid card. Along with a brilliant customer service that offers 24/7 live chat, a telephone and email, they have absolutely everything you’d need for a great online gambling Florida experience.
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 18+
Get FanDuel Bonus
What does the future hold for betting and gaming in Florida? Patience is key
We think it’s just a matter of time for the legalisation to change in Florida. Florida is a conservative state when it comes to online gambling, but it’s far from the most conservative. After all, the legalisation of sports betting in the state towards the end of 2021 also includes mobile sports betting.
This means any sportsbook that applies and sets up in Florida will be able to set up, essentially, an online sportsbook for their platform. As we’ve seen before, the legalisation of online sports betting in a state is usually the first step towards a full legalisation of all forms of online gambling. And, as we have mentioned, FanDuel and DraftKings are the first to set up excellent platforms in the state.
So, while it may take a little longer for the decisions to be made and legislation to go through, it will happen. We fully believe online gambling will be legalized soon, but it will be in the next 5-7 years.
Conclusion – great when you know where to look
To wrap up, we believe Florida is a better state for gambling than you might believe. While most forms of online gambling are illegal, they don’t have any regulations preventing you from playing with platforms based outside of Florida state.
This opens up great opportunities for sports betting, and online casinos. Along with some great DFS platforms, and some solid horse racing options, you have plenty of opportunity to bet in Florida.
We believe Fanduel is the best operator for Floridians, but that’s just our opinion given the current climate. There’ll be plenty more bookmakers opening soon across the state!
Simply put, this depends. Mobile gambling doesn’t necessarily constitute online gambling, and this goes nationwide, not just for the state of Florida. For example, there are some states that have legalized mobile gambling for certain sportsbooks, but will not allow an online sportsbook to run within the state lines. For a more detailed example of this, check out our Iowa online gambling sites page.
🏈 Can you sports bet at tribal casinos in Florida?
That’s a difficult question to answer, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s important to clarify the difference between commercial casinos and tribal casinos. Commercial casinos are casinos that are licensed by the state to offer multiple different forms of games. Tribal casinos, however, are run by Native American tribes that own the land the casino is based on. Tribal casinos are generally more legal in strict states than commercial casinos. For more information, check out which states have legalized gambling.
❓ Can I bet on Bovada in Florida?
Bovada is a sportsbook that specializes in sports betting, and occasionally, eSports betting. It is one of the best sportsbooks across the entire country, and many states tout it as a reliable addition to their online community. Louisiana is an example of a state that Bovada is popular in, and you’ll find some great bonus offers there. For more information, check out our Louisiana internet gambling pages.