Introduction to Casino Gambling in Florida
Florida has off-shore casino boats cruising in international waters, eight Native American casinos, and electronic gaming machines at pari-mutuels in Broward County in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
A complete list of boats and ships that have gambling casinos cruising out of Miami and other parts of FL are listed HERE.
Of the eight Native American casinos in Florida, seven are operated by the Seminole Tribe while the eight is operated by the Miccosukee Tribe. Florida hosts more pari-mutuel facilities than those found in Broward County. However, those in Broward County are the only pari-mutuel facilities allowed to have electronic gaming machines.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The legal age for gambling in Florida is 18 for pari-mutuel casino betting or poker and 21 for electronic gaming machines.
Florida gaming regulations do not allow pari-mutuel casinos to provide free alcoholic beverages.
All casinos except the Seminole Tribe-Brighton Casino are open 24 hours a day, every day. Brighton is open only 6 days a week.
A summary of Florida Gambling Statues can be found HERE.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
In FL it is legal to privately own a slot machine if it is at least 20 years old.
State Gaming Commission
FL has three state regulatory offices related to gambling:
- State of FL Sweepstakes Registration under the FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- FL Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering under the FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- FL State Lottery
In addition, the Seminole Tribe have signed a state-tribal compact allowing them to offer both Class II (bingo) and Class III (slots) as well as several card games.The Miccosukee Tribe has not signed a state-tribal compact, which limits them to offering only Class II gaming machines at their casino. Note that their gaming machines are specialized electronic bingo games where the spinning reels are for “entertainment purposes only.”
Florida gaming regulations require a minimum payback of 85% on all gaming machines. However, the American Casino Guide website reports payout statistics on gaming machines from July 2015 through June 2016 to be:
- Magic City: 93.87%
- Casino Miami: 93.80%
- Hialeah Park: 93.49%
- Dania Casino: 92.21%
- Gulfstream Park: 92.39%
- Mardi Gras: 91.95%
- The Isle: 90.98%
- Calder: 90.89%
A complete and up-to-date list of all FL casinos can be found HERE.
The state of FL has a long history of gambling, starting 100 years before it became legal. At his first hotel, the Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine in 1888, Henry Flagler created the exclusive and famous Bacchus Club Casino.
Florida currently has casino boats cruising in international waters, eight Native American casinos, and pari-mutuel racing facilities across the state. However, only the pari-mutuels in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale have electronic gaming machines.
The eight Indian casinos have Class II competition-style bingo games and Class III electronic gaming machines. The Miccosukee Tribe only has Class II games, so all gaming machines play bingo, wherein the spinning reels are for entertainment purposes only.
- “Gambling in Florida”, Miami and South Florida for Visitors Travel Guide by Kathie Fry, Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Steve Bourie, Florida, American Casino Guide 2017 Ed., Casino Vacations Press, Inc., ©2017, ISBN: 978-1-883768-26-3.
- “United States state slot machine ownership regulations”, Wikipedia Online, Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- “Florida Gambling Laws”, Gambling-Law-US.com, Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- “Florida Casinos”, World Casino Directory, Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- “Gambling’s long history in Florida” by Mary Ellen Klas, Tampa Bay Times, Published November 24, 2009.
- “Gambling Questions Answered: State-By-State”, ProfessorSlots.com, Published May 13, 2017.
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