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Florida Gambling Laws

Gambling takes many forms, ranging from playing the ponies at Gulfstream Park to playing some poker with friends at home. Whether visiting the Seminole Hard Rock Casino or putting $100 on the Seminole football team, such activities are considered gambling under Florida law. So how do you make sure you stay on the right side of those laws? Here is a simple overview of Florida gaming and gambling laws.

Gaming Law in Florida

Gambling, whether it's horse-racing or slot machines, is regulated at the state level. Generally speaking, Florida gambling laws limit casinos to Indian reservations and allow betting on horse racing. The amount of wagers and where casinos can be located geographically also incorporates state law.

Each state has its own particular gambling laws. The following table highlights the basics of Florida’s laws pertaining to gambling.

Code Section

849.01 et seq.; 550.001, et. seq.

Gambling

Playing or engaging in any card game or game of chance, at any place, by any device, for money or another thing of value.

Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting

Pari-mutuel wagering meets of thoroughbred racing, quarter horse racing, or harness racing allowed with permit. Off-track and inter-track wagering allowed.

Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting

Pari-mutuel wagering on greyhound dog racing allowed with permit. Off-track and intertrack wagering allowed.

Casinos Allowed?

Pari-mutuel-style, not casino-style card rooms allowed. Tribal gaming pursuant to Indian Gaming Regulatory Act legal. Gambling devices otherwise prohibited.

Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned

Penny-ante games with winnings not exceeding $10 permitted, including poker, pinochle, bridge, dominoes, and mahjongg, if conducted by adults in a dwelling. Cardrooms, bingo, gaming for charitable organizations allowed. Chain letters and pyramid schemes banned. Ja-alai allowed.

Gambling and gaming, including casinos, racetracks, and lotteries, are regulated under a combination of federal and state laws. States that allow such gambling normally have a gaming commission established to oversee the regulation of the industry, such as licensing of those employed in the gaming industry. States that allow casinos and similar forms of gaming often have strict zoning regulations to separate such establishments from schools and residential areas. The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act regulates gaming establishments on Indian reservations and such establishments must be in compliance with any other tribal gaming regulations that may apply.

Related Resources for Florida Gambling Laws

State regulations on gaming can change. If you would like a legal consultation regarding gambling issues, you can contact a Florida gaming law attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s gaming law section for more general information on this topic.

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