Florida does not play around when it comes to conductors of, ‘Unlawful Gambling,’ which can simply be described as any form of gambling not authorized by the state. Those who keep illegal gambling houses, or really, those who contribute to them knowingly in any way (including as an employee) are subject to Class 3 Felonies. The laws treat owners and employees of illegal gambling houses the same in that regard.
Florida law also is unambiguous as pertains to illegal gambling as a mere player pursuant to Section 849.08:
Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
It is clear and unambiguous that this law refers to mere players and, ‘By any device whatsoever,’ would clearly include computers used for the purpose of online gambling.
In the State of Florida, Second Degree Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $500 as well as up to sixty days in a county jail, so the punishment for mere players at unlawful gambling is very strict compared to other states.
With respect to the recovery of any monies or property lost in the State of Florida as a result of unlawful wagering, all such laws are essentially a carbon-copy of those of the State of Connecticut and do not bear repeating here.
It should come as no surprise that, much like other states, none of the arrests I could find actually targeted or involved people who were merely playing the games, and that was also true for physical locations that were raided...much less people simply playing on the computer at home.
In conclusion, while it is doubtful that someone acting as a mere player at online gambling will ever be arrested in the State of Florida, the fact remains that the law itself is heavily restrictive and provides penalties for mere players gambling online that are harsher than those found in other states in which gambling online is patently illegal.
The only thing that keeps me from saying, ‘Banned,’ is because Florida is one state that has many other legal and regulated forms of wagering, and furthermore, while the law leaves little room for doubt...it does not specifically use the words, ‘Online Gambling,’ or, ‘Internet Gambling.’
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