Gambling in Florida
You can say that Florida is rich with features revolving around entertainment. Within the state, you have several different ways to win big while enjoying a classy, sophisticated atmosphere. Here, you have several different ways to play. Some of the options are different than those found throughout the states.
Florida is one of the older states but its stance on gaming like the others has been up and down over the years, but lately, the state has become a favorite destination also because of gambling, and not only because of their beaches.
Gambling History and Scenario
Legalized gambling in Florida happens since 1931. It all started with horse and dog racing in the 1930s, followed by jai alai, and the three sports are still operating these days and allowing onsite betting.
Today the race tracks offer slots and poker rooms, being for this reason called racinos, while the jai alai frontons also offer gambling amenities. This didn’t happen overnight though. In 1935 slots were legal, but only for two years, as in 1937, they were banned.
In 1988 the slots were back in a limited way thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and in 2004 slots were allowed back to the racetracks and jai alai venues with no limitations.
In the 1980s tribal casinos arrived at Florida, and their offer includes slots and table games. Currently, we can find 8 tribal casinos and a few cruise ships casinos offshore. As poker is legal too, the residents of the state also have a few card rooms available.
The casinos in Florida are exclusively tribal and this is explained by the many tribal lands existing on the state. The relation with the tribes allowed the expansion of gambling, with the particularity that many casinos are inside major cities, unlike what happens in other states.
The Seminole tribe has been a gambling operator in Florida since 1981 with bingo in Tampa, but now owns seven casinos, including the Seminole Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa. These casinos, along with the casino cruise boats, have available over 25.000 slots and close to 800 table games.
And as if this wasn’t enough, Florida citizens can also find around 800 poker tables in racinos and cardrooms throughout the state.
The Seminole tribe isn’t the only one in Florida, as the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida owns the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Center in Miami, a facility with 56.000 square foot that offers bingo, poker, and more than 1.700 slots, as well as three restaurants and entertainment space with 1.200 seats.
Summing up the Types of Gambling Found in Florida
Florida offers casino boats, Indian casinos as well as electronic machines at pari-mutuel racetracks. Players will have gaming in two of the counties here, and they can play the lottery too, including games like Mega Millions and Powerball.
Within the boats, players will have Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Slots and Video Poker with some other variation games as well. Some prefer the boats over typical casinos because they are in an on-going party environment.
Players are picked up at a certain time, sailed into a certain area of the ocean where they can expect to return at a specific time. Aboard the ships, players will have cocktails as well as eateries to look forward to.
There are eight total land-based casinos which are offered by the Native American tribes of their region. Some land-based facilities will have Class II gaming machines and others will have class III. Since 2005, players have been able to use gaming at pari-mutuel racetracks. This will only offer about a handful of different electronic gaming choices.
Players will need to be 18 or 21 depending on two different factors; Where they are playing and what type of gaming they are utilizing. As a rule, 21 is necessary to play at the casinos and 18 for the lottery, poker rooms, bingo or horse racing.
As for online gambling, it hasn’t arrived in Florida yet, but the possibility is currently under debate as a favorable legislative environment might make it happen soon enough. The budget shortfall of the state along with a favorable gaming opinion can open the doors to iGaming in Florida.