Since an agreement was struck with local Native American tribes in the 1980s, Florida casinos have offered various casino activities, including slot machines and table games to its residents and visitors. Today, there are seven tribal casinos still in operation, six of which are operated by the Seminole Tribe.
These casinos are located throughout the state, and Florida residents and tourists also have additional options through day-cruise boats that head out into international waters. However, the tribe’s exclusive dominion over casino options in the state has led to something of stagnation throughout the local market.
No new retail casinos are being constructed, and the tribe’s iron grip on gambling activities has also stymied the push for legal sports wagering. As a result, Florida has not yet become a very gambling-friendly state, though this may change in the near future.
Let’s take a closer look at Florida’s retail casinos so you know what to check out the next time you come for a visit.
Is Online Gambling And Sports Betting Legal In Florida?
No, not yet. Online gambling in any capacity, including casino games, poker, and sports wagering is flatly illegal. Even though state law is vague and doesn’t directly address internet gambling, no online gambling operator wants to challenge state lawmakers at this time.
Florida allows daily fantasy sports and social or sweepstakes casino sites, as both of these do not count as gambling activities.
Sports betting may be the first online gambling activity to be legalized in this state. Recent deals between the Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis have resulted in a new provisionally thirty-year compact waiting to be approved by the federal government.
If the compact is approved, sports betting will be legalized provided that operators partner with retail Native American casinos. If and when online sports wagering becomes a reality, the Florida legislature may be more open to legalizing other online gambling activities, such as casino games.
Florida Casino List
These seven retail casinos are operating in Florida at this time:
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
This classic casino recently underwent a $32 million expansion that added a lounge and a pair of restaurants. At this time, it offers over 100,000 ft.² of gaming space, a handful of additional restaurants, and a 1,000-room hotel.
Seminole Classic Casino
This Seminole Casino is open 24 hours a day and has 73,500 ft.² of gaming space. Within that space, you’ll find nearly 1,200 slot machines and plenty of table games, including blackjack and several poker varieties. There’s a high-stakes bingo room and a dedicated poker area with 29 tables and tournaments held every Thursday, providing entertainment options for gamblers of all stripes.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
A recent $1.5 billion expansion project was completed in 2019 resulting in a new hotel shaped like a guitar. Also included with the expansion are 14 new restaurants and a live concert venue, along with a nightclub called “Doer.” Beyond the additional space, players will also find 200 table games and 3,100 slot machines spread across nearly 200,000 ft.² of gaming space. Also included is a high-limit slots room and a non-smoking slots room, plus a 45-table poker room.
Seminole Casino Immokalee
This casino opened in 1994 and is in between Miami and Naples. It’s open 24 hours a day, has 75,600 ft.² of gaming space, and 1,200 slot machines with 34 table games. You’ll find blackjack, Spanish 21, and a variety of other table game opportunities. A dedicated poker room includes 10 tables and regular weekend tournaments, though these never become high-stakes. You’ll also find a coffee and pastry bar, a handful of restaurants, and a 10,000 square-foot event pavilion that complements a nearly 100-room hotel.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Located in Tampa, this casino recently underwent a $700 million expansion that added a 16-story hotel and almost 600 new guest rooms alongside a spa and salon. This casino additionally has over 120,000 ft.² of casino gaming space, 5,000 slot machines, and 179 table games with a high limit table room and a 46-table poker room. There’s a smoking-free gaming area available as well, plus a pair of fine dining restaurants and over a dozen other eateries and places to get delicious bites.
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming is the only casino in Florida that isn’t owned by the Seminole Tribe, which makes it unique. It’s open 24 hours a day and features 90 gaming machines in a dedicated high-limit gaming area. In the primary gaming area, you’ll find over 2,000 slot machines, a 32-table poker room that services a variety of poker game types, and a high-stakes bingo hall. Six restaurants including fine dining, a signature eatery, and a snack bar are available alongside a 300-room hotel with 46 suites.
Seminole Casino Brighton
This casino has nearly 25,000 ft.² of gaming space and 400 slot machines to enjoy. It also provides six table games spread between blackjack and three-card poker – the table gaming area is open from 9 AM to 3 AM every day. Also included is a high-stakes bingo hall with bingo sessions running five days out of the week. A paired restaurant and lounge mark this as a decidedly more casual casino experience compared to many of the other resorts described above.
In addition to these retail casinos, Florida runs several cruise boats that reach international waters before allowing table games, poker games, and more. Technically, these don’t count as Florida casinos as the gambling doesn’t take place within Florida state lines.
Live Sports Betting In Florida
As mentioned, live sports betting is not yet a reality in this state. However, the Florida state government is in the process of legalizing sports betting at retail casinos, other retail sportsbooks, and online.
The current provisional compact, which has yet to be approved, would allow the Native American tribe to offer sports betting at any of its retail casinos. In addition, mobile sports betting would be legalized provided that at least some or all of the operators partner with the retail casinos.
There isn’t any current word as to how many skins (licenses) each casino would be provided, although it’s likely that each retail casino would be able to partner with at least a couple of sportsbooks if they wished.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of powerful groups working against gambling legalization efforts, including the Walt Disney Corporation, which has an interest in maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere throughout the state, particularly near its resorts in Orlando. This may delay the political process for sports wagering legalization to some extent.
If and when sports betting is finally legalized, we could see major operators flood the region. Some early likely license-pursuers include William Hill and Bet365, both of which have partnered with the Seminole Tribe in the past.
The Seminole Tribe already owns Hard Rock International and already provides online sports wagering in states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Iowa. As a result, the tribe may decide to use its own sports wagering platform to the exclusion of other operators.
It’s not yet clear whether the Seminole Tribe will enjoy exclusive sports wagering rights in this state or if other operators will be allowed to throw their proverbial hat into the ring. If other operators are allowed to pursue licensure, we expect to see big names like DraftKings and FanDuel jump at the chance to offer sports wagering in this budding market as well.
Florida Gambling FAQs
Florida has a few poker rooms in which adults can play poker legally if they are 18 or older. But 21 is the minimum age of entrance if adults want to gamble at any of the retail casinos. This limit will likely stay in place for any sports wagering that may be legalized in the future.
Many of the retail casinos enforce the 21 years or older rule because they sell alcohol on their premises. In doing this, they lower the likelihood of a legal incident occurring because someone underage took a drink from one of their bars or tables.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations already regulates other gambling activities, such as poker rooms, horse races, and retail casino activities in this state. This organization will also likely be responsible for regulating future legal gambling activities.
It’s also possible that a new regulatory organization or committee will be formed to regulate sports wagering.
Most of the casinos in Florida are owned by the Seminole Tribe. The seventh casino is owned by the Miccosukee Tribe.
Only to provide daily fantasy sports, as sports wagering is not yet legal.
Same as DraftKings: it can only provide daily fantasy sports at this time until sports wagering is legalized.