Florida Legal Poker 2017

Florida

Poker is big business in Florida, with dozens of great land-based casinos and cardrooms, and a long tradition of legal gambling.

When it comes to online gaming, however, things get a little hazier. In 2017, there is no law regulating - or specifically outlawing - online poker to residents of the Sunshine State. That makes the whole online poker FL legal landscape kind of strange.

Having no regulatory law in place governing poker on the web doesn't mean Floridians can't enjoy great games online, though, and there are plenty of legal poker sites in Florida residents can play.

Is Online Poker Legal in Florida?
Is Online Poker Legal in Florida?

The online poker FL legal situation remains in something of a legal gray area - as in many American states. Although Florida law allows live poker play at licensed cardrooms, no such law exists regulating legal poker Florida sites.

That is not to say attempts have not been made to create an online poker FL framework.

In 2010, HB 77 was introduced by State Rep. Joe Abruzzo, and sought to provide intrastate poker on the net to Florida residents for real US dollars. However, since being filed and being referred to various committees, it finally died at the hands of the Business & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee in 2011.

Healthy Live Poker Scene
Healthy Live Poker Scene

No such issues surround live poker in the Sunshine State, however. While the state debates regulating online poker Florida residents playing at live poker rooms are good to go.

Land-based poker games have been a reality in Florida for decades, both in cardrooms and in legal home games (which can be played for money, as long as the organizers don't make a profit).

The Seminole tribe opened the first high-stakes gambling establishment in 1979, and Statute 849.086 allows licensed cardrooms to operate in the state, but with a stipulation that they offer, "parimutuel style games and not casino gaming because the participants play against each other instead of against the house."

Florida lawmakers are considering further expansion of gambling in the state to include big casino resorts, but plans are meeting strong resistance - most notably from Disney – which may fear an impact on their business and the state's reputation as a family-friendly holiday destination. That could actually benefit the push for an online poker Florida law. While Disney controls a lot of the tourism, they don't really have a say on what happens on the Internet.

Are Any Legit Online Poker Bills Likely?

As the Seminoles control much of the legalized poker in Florida, they are seen as the key to any regulation being implemented.

No other state bills have been introduced as of October 2017, and as with many other US states, it could well be a case of “wait-and-see” in lieu of any federal laws that are passed.

The Future of Legal Poker In Florida
The Future of Legal Poker In Florida

While Florida is often cited as one of the states “most likely to regulate,” as of 2017 nothing has been put on the statute books.

The state does have a healthy and booming live poker scene, however, and this could prove key to opening the doors to any new regulation.

For online Texas Hold'em players in the Gulf State, it's a case of wait-and-see, and perhaps taking off for a few days at the Seminole Hard Rock or trying one of the online poker FL sites that are based offshore but currently serve Floridians.

FAQ

Can I Play Online Poker Legally in Florida?

There is currently no law in the Sunshine State that explicitly outlaws or regulates the playing of online poker. FL players are free to enjoy the online experience. Additionally, no one has ever been prosecuted for playing poker online for real money.

What Age Do You Have to be To Gamble In Florida?

You have to be 21 and over to play poker at live cardrooms in the state. Should legal poker sites in Florida open up, the state law will also require that players are at least 21.

Are There Any Live Casinos in Florida?

Yes. Currently tribal casino resorts can offer gaming and around-the-clock poker for no limits.

Can I Make Real Cash Deposits In Florida?

As long as your method of payment is permitted at US-facing poker websites of your choice, there is nothing to stop you making a real-cash deposit online.