Florida's Gaming Landscape in 2023

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Gambling has been a huge part of Florida since before the 20th century. It was legalized in most parts of Florida after the Second World War. Since then, the state has been a hotbed of exciting gaming activities, including video poker games, land-based casinos, and bingo halls.

Now, gaming in Florida has expanded beyond land-based casinos with the emergence of online casinos, and mobile gaming apps. But that's not all; the state is also big on the video gaming scene, with esports also on the rise.

If you want to delve into the thrilling gaming world in Florida, it's essential to understand what is legal and not, what games to play, and how to get started. 

So, consider this your guide to gaming in Florida in 2023. This article provides insight into the Florida gaming landscape, gaming regulations, the various types of games available, and how to get in.

Let's get started!

 

What's the current state of gaming in Florida?

The online gaming landscape in Florida is diverse and filled with various gaming adventures. It is popular for casinos, card rooms, video poker machines, and other exciting games. There are over 20,000 slot machines in Florida, and there is always proposed legislation for more gaming opportunities by lawmakers every year! 

In addition, the bustling gaming landscape in Florida has contributed hugely to its tourist economy, with over 20 million visitors visiting Florida for its gaming experience annually. 

While land-based, tribal casinos are thriving, online gaming uniquely appeals to players looking to experience the thrill from the comfort of their homes. Online casinos offer various slot machines, table games, and live dealer experiences that keep players hooked to their screens. 

In addition, Esports and mobile gaming apps appeal to gamers' fun and competitive spirits, giving the residents of Florida a wide range of gaming options to explore.

 

Gaming Regulations in Florida 

Although Florida is a hub for competitive gaming and gambling, specific laws and regulations guide the industry. 

The minimum legal gambling age in Florida is 18 years. At this age, you'll be allowed to participate in the State Lottery, place legal horse bets, or play Bingo and Poker. To enter licensed casinos, however, you'll need to be 21 years or older (source: https://sportslens.com/florida/online-gambling/).

That covers land-based options, but is online gaming legal in Florida? The only casinos permitted to operate in Florida are tribal casinos. Florida's law prohibits online casinos, although online sports betting is set to become legal in the very near future. 

In the meantime, anyone who wants to enjoy the excitement of blackjack, slots, or roulette can sign up to a social casino site. These social casinos are strictly for entertainment purposes and do not require you to deposit or risk your money to enjoy the games.

 

Which games are legal and available in Florida?

While some games are prohibited in Florida, there are a plethora of acceptable games. They include: 

 

Esports 

Esports is growing in popularity in Florida, drawing in thousands of viewers and players. Meaning electronic sports, it involves competitions using video games. These organized, multi-player competitions take place between professional individuals or team players, and fans can also bet on the outcome.

While multi-player competitions have long existed in the video game landscape, the popularity of online streaming platforms has enabled more professionals to participate in the game. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), First-person Shooter (FPS), and Real Time Strategy (RTS) are popular types of esports games.

How do you participate in esports in Florida? Many Esports academies, with Singularity being the largest, manage competitive teams competing in esports tournaments and events. You can join any of these academies to play your favorite games competitively.

 

Video games 

Residents of Florida widely play video games for fun as well as competition. They offer highly immersive and interactive experiences, allowing you to compete and engage with other gamers. There are many popular video games to explore, including action, sports, adventure, role-playing, and battle royale games. 

You can play these games in the comfort of your home or visit game bars in Florida. Many modern console and arcade games require a single player, although they are customized to allow more than one player. 

Florida was recently ranked as the country's 4th biggest contributor to the video game industry, with around $2.7 billion and creating more than 16,000 jobs in the state.

 

Social casinos 

Social casinos are free games that mimic the gambling experience and are acceptable in Florida! These games are similar to casino games like blackjack, but gamers don't need to pay to play. As such, these games don't offer players a real cash payout, but they can wager virtual bets with the credit they receive after joining to enjoy the game. 

Essentially, these types of casinos operate strictly with virtual in-app currency. The various social casinos available online include poker, bingo, blackjack, and casino table game variants. Unlike real money casinos for which you might require a VPN to access from Florida, these social platforms are widely available.

 

Online sweepstakes

Sweepstakes are contests where the entire prize is awarded to the winner. They are very similar to social casinos. However, while social casinos offer virtual currency that cannot be converted into real money, sweepstake casino participants can win prizes with real monetary value.

In sweepstakes, winners are selected randomly, but players can buy more entries to the contests based on how many virtual coins they've earned while playing. Like social casinos, gamers are not required to pay money to play the games, but they can spend real money on buying more virtual coins to play.

 

Will iGaming be legalized in Florida?

The iGaming industry has experienced remarkable growth in the past years. Its convenience makes it a more desirable option than in-person wagering. As more states in the US embrace iGaming, there is a rising demand for its legalization in Florida. One significant development is renegotiating the gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2021. This renegotiation permitted the tribe to offer wider gambling options for their audience. As a result, this development has created a ray of hope for the possibility of the legalization of iGaming in Florida soon.

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