Prior to making your first bet, it’s always a good idea to double-check the legality aspect of it. At the moment, it can be said that Florida’s gambling framework is going through turbulent times and that the general situation is rather complicated. Overall, things are moving in the right direction, with the government working on making it accessible to more people.
But let’s jump straight to the topic at hand: is gambling legal in Florida? Here’s what you need to know:
The general answer: It’s complicated
The funny thing about gambling in Florida is the fact that land-based betting is completely legal. Online betting, on the other hand, can be a tricky subject. Although, for the most part, the answer is “no”, people have been using trusted resources to search for offshore gambling operators that are not governed by the state’s laws (Source: https://sportslens.com/us/fl/). You should have no trouble finding your favorite titles there, right along with broad coverage of genres such as poker, blackjack, slots, and so forth. Keep in mind that’s only the casino section. With sports betting, expect to see plenty of opportunities to bet on NHL, NBA, tennis, MLB, and more. The beauty of offshore gambling platforms is the fact that you have everything at your fingertips, so you can bet away to your heart’s desire without the worries of stepping on anyone’s toes.
Land-based casinos in Florida
Many bettors who are based in Florida often get confused about the ongoing situation due to the fact that online gambling is severely restricted in the state, yet land-based gambling is completely fine in the eyes of the law. In Florida, you will find several tribal casinos and racetracks that await the visitor, luring you in with a vast selection of sports and casino games, including all-time favorites such as slot machines and poker tables. The reason why Florida does not oppose land-based gambling is that the government gets to collect a flat rate of 24% on gambling-sourced income. The funds then go towards supporting the local infrastructure.
Land-based casinos are one of Florida’s staples.
Horse racing in Florida
Alongside land-based casinos, betting on horse racing is one of the favorite past-time activities in Florida and it’s another form of gambling that’s considered legal in the state. Due to this, it’s no wonder why the state houses several racetracks – some examples are Tampa Bay Downs, Hialeah Park, and Pompano Park. Inside, you will be able to place a bet on various disciplines, including harness racing, dirt track racing, thoroughbred racing, etc.
Daily fantasy sports in Florida
The way the state’s legislators view it, daily fantasy sports fall into the same category as sports betting. This differs from the viewpoint of other states, but for now, this is how things stand in Florida. So what does this mean for the bettors? Until things get clearer as we move into 2022 and beyond, you’re better off placing your daily fantasy sports bets on offshore platforms.
Online casinos in Florida
At the moment, no online casino can have a legal presence in Florida. However, in 2022 and beyond, this is likely to change, and the government has already demonstrated a favorable view of online gambling activities by tasking the Florida Gaming Control Commission to oversee this type of operations. For the time being, there is nothing stopping you from seeking out an offshore casino that allows you to bet with no restrictions.
Taxation of gambling in Florida</h2>
It’s no secret that legal forms of gambling are in the government’s interest. When tax is collected, the proceeds go towards improving Florida’s infrastructure, and both online and land-based gambling platforms contribute to the total sum. We’ve already mentioned that in Florida, your winnings will be taxed at a flat rate of 24%. However, there is more to the story. If you win $5000 or more, you will be subject to tax withholding. In certain cases, you can use your losses for the purpose of tax deduction.
The future of gambling in Florida
So what does the future have in store for the legality of gambling in Florida? For starters, note that DraftKings and FanDuel, two established brands in the daily fantasy sports space, are putting their energy into a ballot initiative. If successful, it could pave the way to the rise of sports betting come 2023. With that said, there are still some roadblocks on the way forward. In November 2021, the court overturned an important law that legalized online sports betting in Florida. Allegedly, it was in violation of the federal Indian gambling law as well as the state constitution. Although the appeal has already been filed, as of right now, the future of gambling in Florida remains unclear.
To sum it up, the legality of gambling in Florida is somewhat complicated, but offshore casinos and sportsbooks make it incredibly easy to place a bet from anywhere. Until things get more crystallized at some point in 2022-23, this remains the best one-stop-shop solution for all your online gambling needs.