Florida Casinos

by Steve Bourie  Learn more about the author 

Florida has three forms of casino gambling: casino boats, Indian casinos and gaming machines at pari-mutuels in two south Florida counties.

The casino boats offer gamblers the opportunity to board ships that cruise offshore where casino gambling is legal. From the west coast the boats travel nine miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. From the East coast they travel 3 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Unless otherwise noted, all Florida casino boats offer: blackjack, craps, roulette, slots and video poker. Some casinos also offer: mini-baccarat (MB), poker (P), pai gow poker (PGP), three-card poker (TCP), Caribbean stud poker (CSP), let it ride (LIR), big 6 wheel (B6) bingo (BG) and sports book (SB).

The minimum drinking age on all boats is 21. Due to security restrictions, you must present a photo ID at all casino boats or you will not be allowed to board.

For Florida visitor information call (888) 735-2872 or visit their website at: www.visitflorida.com.

INDIAN CASINOS

Florida has eight Indian gaming locations. The Seminole Tribe has seven and the eighth is on the Miccosukee Tribe’s reservation.

The Seminoles signed a compact with the state that allows them to offer traditional Class III gaming machines. As part of their compact, five Seminole casinos are also allowed to offer blackjack (BJ), baccarat (B), mini-baccarat (MB), three card poker (TCP), let it ride (LIR) and pai gow poker (PGP).
 
The Miccosukee Tribe has not signed a compact and they only offer Class II gaming machines at their casino. Class II video gaming devices look like slot machines, but are actually bingo games and the spinning reels are for “entertainment purposes only.” No public information is available concerning the payback percentages on any gaming machines in Florida’s Indian casinos.
 
The other games allowed in all Indian casinos are: high-stakes bingo, video pull tabs and poker. All of the  casinos are open 24 hours (except Big Cypress) and all offer bingo except for both Seminole Hard Rock Casinos and the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. The minimum gambling age is 18 at all Indian casinos for bingo or poker and 21 for electronic gaming machines.

PARI-MUTUELS

In early 2005 voters in Broward County (home county of Fort Lauderdale) passed a referendum to allow slot machines at four pari-mutuel facilities within that county.

The first slot facility opened in late 2006 and two others followed within six months. The fourth facility, Dania Jai-Alai, has indefinitely postponed the installation of its slot machines.

In January 2008 voters in Miami-Dade County also passed a referendum permitting slot machines at four pari-mutuel facilities. Three are open and the fourth, Hialeah Park, is expected to have their slots in operation by mid-2013.

Click here to see a list of Florida casino slot machine payback statistics.

South Florida’s pari-mutuel facilities (as well as most pari-mutuels throughout the state), also offer poker. Admission to all casinos is free and they are allowed to be open a maximum of 18 hours per day during the week and 24 hours on the weekends and some holidays.

If you want to order a drink while playing, be aware that Florida gaming regulations do not allow pari-mutuel casinos to provide free alcoholic beverages.

The minimum gambling age is 18 for pari-mutuel betting or poker and 21 for gaming machines.

Shown below is a list of all Florida casinos. Click on a name to see a page of detailed information about that particular casino.

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