In May 2021, two years ago, Florida legislators signed a new gambling agreement with Tribal operators. The Tribes were granted almost exclusive rights to operate most gambling activities including slot machines. Despite the fact that it has been two years, arcades in Florida still offer slot games. According to the gambling regulator of the state, The Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGC), these slots are illegal and could be subjected to heavy fines.
Slots gambling is limited to 15 casinos in the state under the Gaming Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This list includes several Seminole Casinos as well as Hard Rock, and other properties that are allowed to offer such gambling games.
Greyhound racing, card games like poker, and jai alai can also be played in licensed venues. Under the current regulation, other organizations in Florida can also offer raffles, bingos, or drawings. This includes charities. The new rules, however, do not permit arcades to provide slot gambling. Many vendors continue to offer this activity, some unaware that it’s illegal and others simply breaking the rules.
The crackdown on illegal slot machines is imminent
Lou Trombetta was interviewed recently by Treasure Coast. He revealed that the crackdown against illegal gambling has already begun. He stated that it was unclear how many places in Florida offer illegal slot machines, but that the search for those who are breaking the law is already underway.
Trombetta said that illegal gambling in Florida is a serious crime. He explained that arcade players who engage in illegal slot gambling could face fines, or even jail time. Vendors who offer illegal slot machines can be punished with prison time or heavy fines.
They don’t follow the same rules. “It’s unfair to the best players in the industry.”
Lou Trombetta is the executive director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission
Trombetta said that arcades offering illegal slots do not adhere to the rules and that this creates an unfair disadvantage when compared with gambling operators who are licensed to provide such services. He also warned that illegal slot operations could be part of criminal groups. Trombetta warned that this puts people’s money in danger, since unlicensed operators are not required to follow regulations aimed at ensuring fair conditions or anti-money laundering. He said that in some cases, arcades offering illegal slots may refuse to pay out big winnings, and that the victims have no power to change this.