Florida Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Florida
Florida law allows for two forms of casinos. Tribal casinos in Florida can have table games and slot machines. Casinos that are not tribally owned can have video gambling machines like slots or video poker. You’ll find a great mix of options within the state, and if you simply don’t want to head out to the nearest casino, online casinos in Florida are easy to find. While the state itself doesn’t have state-run online casinos, there are many U.S.-friendly casinos for Floridians to join.
History of Gambling in Florida
Henry Flagler is probably the first person to really introduce Florida’s residents and visitors to casinos. He opened Bacchus Club Casino, an illegal venue, shortly after opening his Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine. By 1926, church groups were pushing to stop gambling. While one racetrack was shut down, it reopened illegally and pushed to have the law changed. In 191, horseracing was legalized but quickly vetoed by the current governor. The birth of gambling in Florida was still underway as the governor’s veto was overridden.
Almost 10 years later, the state legalized slot machines in hopes of bringing back a revenue flow following the Great Depression. As mobs took over the gambling industry, the Crime Commission of Greater Miami was born to get it under control. Still governors, church groups, and even Walt Disney World fought hard to keep casinos from becoming legal. It wasn’t until 2004 that voters opted to allow slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. With that vote, the Seminole Tribe began operating casinos. They were also given permission to add Blackjack, under the requirement that they pay the state $150 million or more to the state each year.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Florida
Anyone wishing to play in a Florida casino must be 21 years of age or older. State lottery games and scratch offs are available to anyone 18 or older.
Florida’s Casino Gambling Outlook
In April 2015, a bill that would have legalized casinos in South Florida was ditched. Plans are to instead extend agreements between the state and the Seminole Tribe to allow them to continue operating casinos and Blackjack tables. The Senate also voted to stop requiring horse racing and dog racing tracks to hold live races if they also wanted to have gambling machines on-site. Destination resort casinos were another topic that is still being debated. If this passes and voters agree, full-service resort casinos could open in Broward and Miami Dade counties.
Almost three dozen casinos are found in Florida. From cruise ship casinos, to racetrack casinos, to tribal casinos, there is a good mix for players. Here are a few of the favorites.
Casino Miami – There are more than 1,000 slot machines, a poker room, and even domino games in this Miami, Florida, casino.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker Room – In addition to greyhound racing, this club is home to a 55-table poker room that has many tournaments throughout the year.
Gulfstream Park – Gulfstream Park is a county-approved casino with live horseracing. Slots machines and poker are both found within the establishment.
Hialeah Park – Home to a historic thoroughbred race track, Hialeah Park also offers more than 880 slot machines and a poker room that overlook the racetrack and gardens.
Mardi Gras Casino – Originally the Hollywood Kennel Club, this long-running casino and racetrack has been around since the 1930s. In 2006, more than 1,000 video slots and a poker room were added.
Seminole Casino – Multiple Seminole casinos are found throughout Florida. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has two locations and is a favorite with players. The casino itself spans more than 145,000 square feet and includes video slots, table games, and poker.