Florida Online Casinos
Florida offers a rather impressive array of racetrack casinos, casino ships, and tribal casinos, but unfortunately the state isn’t the best place for casino enthusiasts that are fond of online gambling. Florida laws are very strict and don’t even allow for exceptions for games of skill, but fortunately the officials prefer to crack down on illegal gambling operators instead of individual players. Legal forms of gambling available in Florida include greyhound racing, horse racing, slots and other casino games, poker, bingo, and a state-run lottery.
Florida Gambling Laws
Gambling-related matters are covered by Chapter 777 and Chapter 849 of Florida Statutes. The current regulations do not list any specific penalties that would apply to people playing at online casinos, but as is often the case, it would be possible for the authorities to argue that online gambling at offshore sites is illegal according to the laws that have been designed with land-based gaming in mind.
Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
However, it is important to remember that Florida officials aren’t really all that concerned about what casino enthusiasts do in the privacy of their homes. In fact, no online casino customers have been prosecuted so far, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that playing at offshore casino sites isn’t much of a risk despite the rather ambiguous legal status of the real money games offered by them.
Florida doesn’t have a regulated intrastate i-gaming market, so it should come as no surprise that Florida residents have no local online casinos to play on. Nevertheless, Florida-based players are readily accepted by most US-facing offshore casino sites, which allows them to join the international player pool and reach for higher jackpots and better bonuses than in the case of their Nevada or New Jersey-based counterparts. Most of those offshore casinos are perfectly reliable, but it’s worth pointing out that playing on the less popular sites that haven’t been mentioned here always involves some risks.
Offshore Casino Sites That Accept Florida Players
The offshore casinos that accept Florida residents are usually powered by Real Time Gaming software due to the fact that RTG is one of the few companies that have no qualms when it comes to cooperating with businesses that operated on the American market. In addition, some of those sites offer latest BetSoft games, which means that the available casino titles range from modern video slots through classic table games to virtual video poker machines. However, it’s worth pointing out that unlike their Europe-facing counterparts, none of those sites offer Live Dealer services, which means that you’ll be limited to playing 100% digital games.
Keep in mind that while playing at one of the aforementioned casino sites shouldn’t be much of an issue, funding your on-site account is a different story. The availability of some of the most popular deposit methods is extremely limited in the United States due to federal regulations like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the Federal Wire Act, which means that most players have to deposit via Visa/MasterCard credit card payment or via a Western Union/MoneyGram money order. This also means that withdrawals are going to take some time, as most casinos will send you your winnings using a wire transfer or a check by courier.
Developing Legal Scenarios
In 2010, Senator Joseph Abruzzo tried to introduce an online gambling bill that would allow Florida-based businesses to operate online casino sites and poker rooms. However, the attempt wasn’t successful and in 2012 Florida legislators proposed a bill that would introduce even stricter regulations by banning Internet sweepstakes cafes. As you’d expect, the 2012 bill also died, cementing the current status quo. All things considered, unless new federal regulations are passed, both Florida tribal casino operators and state officials simply aren’t likely to get involved in introducing any new regulations pertaining specifically to online gambling.