Can You Play Online Poker in Florida?
No. You cannot play online poker legally in Florida. The state does not have any state-sanctioned online poker rooms, and the online gambling industry remains largely unregulated within its borders. There have been a few efforts to legalize Florida online poker in the past, but these have been largely unsuccessful.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Florida?
Florida is one of the most famous poker destinations in the United States. The state has tons of brick-and-mortar casinos and poker rooms offering an exciting poker experience for in-person gamers. Interestingly, online poker is still largely illegal in the state despite being one of the biggest poker markets in the country.
Unlike in other places where online poker is outrightly outlawed, the law in Florida does not mention online gambling at all. This leaves the fate of online poker in the state uncertain, and without proper regulation, online poker remains illegal within the state. There have been a few attempts to change this in the past, but these have been widely unsuccessful.
But poker fans living in Florida are not completely cut off. Players can still access several offshore poker sites to play. However, doing so carries inherent risks.
Offshore poker sites are not registered in the United States. While these sites are not under the jurisdiction of federal and local authorities, they’re registered in other countries like the Caribbean, South America, Central America and other locations.
Offshore sites like Ignition and ACR Poker accept many US-based players, including those from Florida. Although it is possible to sign up and deposit to play online poker for real money on these sites, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing online poker on these sites.
Offshore sites are generally unsafe because they operate outside the control of authorities in the United States. Consequently, there’s no guarantee of the safety of your deposits and winnings. These sites may also not help recover your money or respond properly to reports of fraud and other illegal activities, which makes them unsafe for poker players in the United States, especially when you’re playing for real money.
Potential Florida Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Florida for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in FL will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in FL, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Florida
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker FL will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, FL is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Florida would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third FL poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.