Is Online Poker Legal in Florida? (Poker Laws Explained)

Is online poker legal in Florida

We all know Florida is a popular destination in the United States. When it comes to playing poker, it currently ranks alongside Nevada, California, and New Jersey. However, the main question people often wonder about is whether online poker is legal in Florida. The legality of online poker in the United States has been a tricky and developing case. In Florida, the legal terrain of online poker is highly complex, with a blend of state and federal laws shaping the existing environment. In this article, we will be looking at some of the laws and rules that shape the poker world in Florida and also see whether it’s legal, so let’s get to it!


online poker florida

As of 2023, online poker is not explicitly legal in Florida. The state has not passed legislation to regulate and legalise online poker or other forms of online gambling. According to Section 849.08 of the Florida Statutes, unregulated gambling is illegal and considered a second-degree misdemeanour. The law defines illegal gambling as:

“Any person who plays or engages in any gambling activity, such as roulette, cards, keno, faro, or other games of chance, at any place and using any device shall be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanour.”

It is essential to note the distinction between regulated and unregulated gambling. While the state has not legalised online poker, it has not actively enforced laws against individual players participating in online games. The focus has primarily been on operators rather than players.

Also Read: Is Online Poker Legal In Arizona? Things You Must Know


The legal landscape of online poker in Florida is complex, but Florida residents still have options to play online poker. However, these come with varying degrees of legality and potential risks.

As of 2023, Florida has not passed legislation to legalise and regulate online poker within the state. Therefore, no state-licensed online poker sites are available to Florida residents.

Despite the lack of state-regulated online poker, Floridians can play on offshore poker sites that accept US players. These sites are licensed and regulated by jurisdictions outside the United States, such as Panama, Costa Rica, or the Caribbean islands. When considering playing on offshore poker sites, Florida residents should keep the following in mind:

Licensing and Regulation: Players should only consider offshore poker sites licensed and regulated by reputable jurisdictions with a history of enforcing fair gaming practices and protecting player funds.

Site Reputation: Research the poker site’s reputation within the online poker community, looking for a history of fair play, timely payouts, and responsive customer support.

Payment Processing: Due to the UIGEA, players may need alternative payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies or e-wallets, to deposit and withdraw funds from offshore poker sites.

Consumer Protections: Players may have limited recourse in disputes with the operator and may be unable to seek assistance from state authorities.

Taxes: Winnings from offshore poker sites are subject to federal income tax laws, and players are responsible for reporting their gambling winnings and losses on their tax returns.

Florida allows home poker games under certain conditions, as Section 849.085 of the Florida Statutes outlines. These “penny-ante” games must adhere to specific rules, such as limiting winnings to $10 per hand and prohibiting the host from taking a rake or charging fees. Participants must be at least 18, and the games must be in a private dwelling.

Poker is legal at licensed racetracks, pari-mutuel facilities, and tribal casinos in Florida. These venues offer live poker games and tournaments, and the legal age to play is 18.

While Florida residents have options to play online poker, it is crucial to understand the legal landscape and potential risks involved. Until Florida legalises and regulates online poker, players must exercise caution and diligence when choosing where to play. Florida residents can enjoy online poker games while minimising potential risks by selecting reputable, licensed offshore sites and understanding the legal and financial implications.


home poker rooms in Florida

In addition to online poker, Florida residents can legally participate in home poker games, provided they adhere to the state’s guidelines. These guidelines are outlined in Section of the Florida Statutes, which permits “penny-ante” games.

According to the statute, a penny-ante game is defined as:

“A game or series of games of poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mah-jongg in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value.”

To ensure the legality of home poker games, players must follow several key restrictions and conditions:

  • Location: The game must be conducted in a private dwelling, such as a home or apartment. It cannot take place in a public venue or a business establishment.
  • No Rake or Fees: The game host cannot charge an entry fee, buy in, or take a rake from the pot. The host can, however, provide food and drinks to the participants as a form of hospitality.
  • Winnings Limit: As mentioned in the penny-ante definition, the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game cannot exceed $10 in value. This limit ensures that the games remain low-stakes and do not constitute illegal gambling.
  • Age Restriction: All participants in the home poker game must be 18 years or older. This age requirement applies to all forms of gambling in Florida, including poker.
  • Advertising Prohibition: The home poker game cannot be advertised or promoted publicly. This includes posting on social media, distributing flyers, or otherwise publicising the game to individuals outside the private dwelling.

Florida residents can enjoy legal home poker games without fear of violating state gambling laws by adhering to these restrictions and conditions.


The legal gambling age in Florida varies depending on the type of gambling activity:

Gambling ActivityLegal Age
Casino Games21
Pari-Mutuel Betting18

For online gambling, offshore sites typically require players to be at least 18 years old. However, it is essential to note that participating in unregulated online gambling may still be considered illegal under Florida law, regardless of age.

Also Read: Is Poker Legal In New York? Know Current Status And Info


navigating online poker

As we all know, playing poker legally for Florida residents is an intricate matter. So, they need to search for safe and reputable options. When considering offshore platforms, players should always check out sites that have a history of fair play and timely payouts and are licensed by reputable jurisdictions.

Tips for Florida residents:

  • Check out the sites that are licensed and regulated by reputable jurisdictions.
  • Before signing up, search for offshore poker sites entirely. 
  • Confirm the site’s history of timely payouts and fair play.
  • Figure out the terms and conditions, particularly regarding withdrawals and deposits.
  •  Search for security measures and responsive customer support.
  • From poker forums and trusted sources, read all the reviews carefully.

However, it’s also significant to understand the risks connected with unregulated offshore gambling. Players should be conscious of the non-payment, the possibility of fraud, and the lack of legal alternatives in case of conflicts. Furthermore, players should regard the potential tax significance of winnings from offshore sites and consult with a tax expert for guidance.  


In summary, Florida’s present state is intricate and somewhat unclear. While the state has not explicitly legalised and handled online poker, it has also not currently enforced laws against particular players taking part in offshore sites. Florida residents can commit to legal home poker games under specific conditions and on offshore platforms accepting US players. The regulation and legalization of online poker in Florida will probably rely on a blend of factors involving political will, public opinion and the potential for income generation. As more states are heading towards legalising online gambling, Florida may someday follow suit. Need more guidance? Stay tuned with us!

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