World Casino Directory

Florida Gambling Law

Gaming laws are a set of Federal and State laws that regulate casinos, horseracing and lotteries. In regards to Native Nations, casinos are a result of sovereignty where Native Nations establish their own laws to regulate their citizens. This stemmed from treaty rights acknowledged by US Courts and those actions of the government. If regular State law says gaming is against the law, it is not supposed to restrict that for Native Lands.

Florida Statues Chapter 849 regulates which forms and variations of gaming are approvable by the Florida Legislature. Excluded in Chapter 849 is licensed pari-mutuel wagering facilities that operate cardrooms, charity games, amusement arcades and game promotions.

Much controversy surrounds the amount of money that Indian Tribes profit from tribal casinos. There are 557 federal recognized reservations and out of that approximately 33% utilize commercial gaming for revenue. Reservations that are far from populated areas those reservations are not successful and only the smaller sized ones actually benefit. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is one of those. For Indian reservations, having a casino is primarily the only successful business they have ever achieved and is beneficial to them because they have the ability to give entertainment value to non-Indian citizens and earn a good streamline of revenue. They are most beneficial to smaller tribes located in a populated or tourist area. Of course there are accusations of corruption, theft and increase in crime rates but that has always surrounded native issues regarding Indian Land and Indian treaty payments.

In Florida, operating hours for casinos have extended to 16 hours a day (up from 12) during the weekdays and its 24 hours on the weekends. Slot machines in casinos have grown from 1,500 to 2,000
Poker rooms having higher betting limits and pari-mutuels offer tournament jackpots now. Pari-mutuels are suppose to reduce illegal betting and are a common form of betting for sports events like horseracing. This group betting is a way of people putting their money together with odds and potential returns continuously calculated on a machine so the gamblers know where they are winning wise. A percentage of this pooled money goes to the “house” and a percentage goes for taxes with the rest of the money sitting in the pool until then end of the gaming event.

In competition with the Seminole Tribe are non-Indian racino operators (casino and racetracks) which are not actually true competitions. Non-Indian racino operators have to pay a 53.5% prohibited gaming tax rate. The Seminole Tribe are not taxed and they are able to reinvest their money into grow as a result of it.

The anticipation of legalized full gaming has Florida excited especially since it is considered the seventh US gambling state. Tribal gaming is an important part of that because if they are allowed to have the full spectrum of gaming at their casinos they could very well become the top casino. Last year alone Florida generated $1 Billion plus in revenue.