Jacksonville Casinos: How to Gamble Online & In-Person in Jacksonville, Florida

If you visit Florida in search of Las Vegas-style casinos, let’s just say Jacksonville may be one of your last destinations due to the landscape of Florida politics and the laws at the county level. Even the seven tribal casinos that are located on tribal lands (such as those in Okeechobee, Coconut Creek, Hollywood and Immokalee, among others) in the state are located rather far away from the northern tip of the state, but that does not mean those in Duval County cannot gamble at their leisure.

Thanks to offshore sportsbooks providing the casino experience at the tip of one’s fingers, you can always get your gambling fix even when living in Jacksonville, Florida. We have put together a guide that will review your best options for online casinos, the largest casinos that you can visit in person in Jacksonville and a retrospective of gambling in Florida.

Land-Based Jacksonville Casinos

Jacksonville Beach is not the only entertainment attraction in Jacksonville as gambling in Jacksonville is allowed at some establishments around the county. Despite the fact that there are limited casino gaming options in Jacksonville, we have collected a list for you of the best places to visit, as well as the closest option to Jacksonville for a tribal casino if you really want to scratch a gambling itch and play a state-licensed online casino game. Below, you’ll find the top traditional casino locations near Jacksonville, Florida:

bestbet Orange Park

bestbet Orange Park is Florida’s largest poker room with 70 tables and it also includes a High Limit Room for high rollers and is located in North Florida in Orange Park. In addition to playing a variety of poker games and tournaments, bestbet offers betting on horse races.

Jacksonville residents are limited in the places they can go gamble that are very close by. But the nice thing about bestbet is that there are two different locations near Jacksonville.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa Bay

If cardrooms and casino cruises are not your speed, then the closest tribal casino that you can drive to from Jacksonville would have to be the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa Bay. Hard Rock, which is one of the biggest casino brands in North America, was the company behind the sportsbook app that went live for a few weeks in 2021 before having to close. But you can enjoy a nice experience here with slots, table games and poker at this Seminole casino.

Victory Casino Cruises (Cape Canaveral)

While not exactly a land-based casino, if you feel like driving a couple of hours down to South Florida, you can go on the Victory Casino Cruise to enjoy a Vegas-style casino experience on a big boat. It’s the closest you can feel to walking on a casino floor if you live in Jacksonville.

Not only can slot players legally play hundreds of slot machines and poker in person on these cruises, but it is technically the only legal sportsbook operating in Florida. So, place your bets and don’t get seasick.

The Best Online Casinos in Jacksonville

Finding the best online casinos in Jacksonville can be a tough process. However, we have gone through many options and narrowed it down to a top 10 list based on the criteria we feel that the top offshore gambling sites and regulated sites should offer:

  1. Bovada – Best online poker in Jacksonville
  2. BetOnline – Over 500 slots
  3. Heritage Sports – Good for scratch card games
  4. BookMaker – Longstanding reputation
  5. BetUS – Best for Jacksonville blackjack players
  6. Everygame – Beautiful site design
  7. BetAnySports – The only site you can play Pick 2/3/4/5 from home
  8. WagerWeb – Over 200 casino games
  9. JustBet – Play tournaments with other Jacksonville users
  10. SportsBetting – 100% cash bonus

Best Online Casino in Jacksonville List Reviewed

We have reviewed our top five online casinos from the list above. These sportsbook reviews cover the qualities that make them among the absolute best choices for online casino players seeking the top-rated casino sites in Jacksonville, such as their variety of card games and other casino games on offer, their bonuses and promotions and the availability of other forms of gambling, such as sports betting and horse racing.

1. Bovada: Best All-Around Choice

Bovada Casino

If you want the busiest online poker room in America, then Bovada is your choice. If you want a deep sportsbook that has an excellent prop builder, then you will be very pleased with Bovada. If you like horse racing, including virtual races, then they have that covered as well. Bovada offers multiple gambling options to its customers in North Florida, including an exciting casino section.

Bovada does everything at a high level as an offshore choice that is kind to newbies and accepts all Jacksonville users. Bovada’s promo code unlocks a 125% crypto match bonus up to $1,250 for its casino games. You can also get reload bonuses up to $1,250 on the second and third deposits, leading to a grand total of $3,750 in bonus funds. Just keep in mind there is a 25x rollover requirement for the first deposit and 50x for the two subsequent bonuses.

Enjoy popular poker variants, such as pai gow poker, Texas Hold’em, video poker games and more in addition to being able to participate in a wide range of poker events and tournaments with Bovada.

Pros:

  • You can bet on anything from darts to snooker
  • Fun lottery-style game
  • Crypto-friendly bonuses
  • Good loyalty program

Cons:

  • Fewer slot games than competitors
  • High rollover requirements (25-50x) for bonus offers

2. BetOnline: The Most Unique Video Slot Games

BetOnline Casino

Based in Costa Rica, BetOnline is an A+ rated online site with over 25 years of pleasing customers. One of their most notable features is opinionated lines on popular markets in the NFL, NBA and MLB that you won’t get elsewhere.

But the online experience at BetOnline is a full one with a great casino loaded with a range of slot games, high limits on live poker tables, video poker and tournaments. You also get a racebook with a 9% rebate on horse races, an esports section with plenty of favorites (League of Legends, Age of Empires II, Overwatch) and fun contests that are free to enter like a $100,000 prize for a perfect parlay. There are also contests with entry fees with huge prizes available if you win.

Those interested in sign-up bonuses will be pleased to know that BetOnline offers many choices for its various features. These BetOnline promo codes offer 100% first-deposit bonuses for crypto, casino and poker, as well as reload bonuses for sports (25%) and crypto (35%). You can also get a 50% sports welcome bonus up to $1,000 (10x rollover requirement).

Pros:

  • Some of the fastest payouts using crypto
  • Slick mobile design
  • Reliable customer service
  • Generous welcome bonus up to $3,000

Cons:

  • Less traffic in poker room compared to Bovada
  • 6% fees on card deposits (credit cards and debit cards)

3. Heritage Sports: Play Keno and Scratch Card Games 

Heritage Sports Casino

Costa Rica is home to some of the best online casinos in the world and the Heritage Sports Casino is another fine addition to that list. It has been around since 2001, but new users used to have to get an invite to join. Those days are over and anyone in Jacksonville can sign up now.

One of the first things you’ll notice upon joining Heritage Sports is the reduced juice lines that are advertised on the site. You can get -108 odds instead of the standard -110 on game sides and totals, which is a nice boost over the competition.

Live betting and table games are a big part of Heritage’s appeal and you also get a quality racebook and an improving esports hub. The casino has scratch cards, which are not always easy to find on these offshore betting sites.

Heritage Sports offers a smaller sign-up bonus than most (50% up to $250), but it really does want users to join the reduced juice-cash back loyalty program to continue earning rewards. You also will find some of the most unique perks and daily promotions in the business at Heritage, including a free parlay on your birthday (valued up to $500) and you can get every eighth deposit for free, based on the average of your last seven deposits.

Pros:

  • Reduced juice cash back program is ideal for sports bettors
  • Some of the most unique perks in the business like a free birthday parlay
  • Good mobile site design
  • One of the best live dealer table experiences

Cons:

  • Sign-up bonus has one of the highest minimum deposits ($300)
  • Not as many sports markets as Bovada or Everygame

4. BookMaker: Fair for Bettors of All Experience Levels 

Bookmaker.eu Casino

If you’re looking to play at a casino online, you cannot go wrong with the A+ rated BookMaker, which has been operating out of Costa Rica since 1996. Their reputation for “where the line originates” is legitimate as sharp bettors love seeing the early lines on sports that BookMaker always offers.

Jacksonville users will be impressed with the wide variety of casino options, including live dealer games and demo versions of slots and more. The Vegas section has 3D slot games that are very fun to play with no lag on the site and there is a robust racebook to explore as well.

The welcome bonus is up to $500 for all new users making their first deposit. For crypto users, the flexibility offered by BookMaker is unmatched. In addition to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and other popular crypto options, BookMaker accepts transactions using Kraken, Bitquick, Liberty X, Gemini, Paxful, Coinbase, Coinbase Pro and more.

Pros:

  • Great reputation for early betting lines
  • Offers the most crypto options 
  • Demo versions of casino games available
  • Helpful guides for how to use crypto options

Cons:

  • Disappointing shortage of player prop bets
  • BetOnline has a much nicer casino section

5. BetUS: Largest Jacksonville Casino Selection of Blackjack Games

BetUS homepage

BetUS differs from many of our top-rated casino choices by offering its own TV service with shows featuring expert analysis, picks and predictions for NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NBA, NHL, soccer and much more. They also have some of the most informative guides and betting tips for those who may be new to online gambling or just looking to get better.

BetUS is a great choice for blackjack players, as it offers many different variants at their multiple blackjack tables. BetUS also has slots, video poker, live dealer games, tournaments, keno and scratchcards. There is also a horse-racing section where you can get up to $10 back when the horse you bet to Win finishes second or third.

New users can get a 10% cash bonus and a 20% casino bonus up to $250 on their first deposit with their ongoing promotion. The casino bonus has a 30x rollover requirement. The rollover on the cash bonus is just 3x.

Pros:

  • BetUS TV offers expert picks and predictions
  • Nearly three decades in the industry
  • VIP loyalty program
  • Trustworthy live betting site

Cons:

  • Poker options pale in comparison to Bovada and BetOnline
  • Fewer payment methods
  • You cannot play craps, roulette games or live dealer games with bonus funds

Anything related to gambling in Jacksonville, which is part of Duval County in North Florida, is regulated by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. It is impossible to give a one-word answer to the question of whether gambling is legal in Florida. The short answer is that gambling legislation in Florida is complicated and the gambling scene in the state is more limited than some other states.

There is no legal way to place a bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars this season that would be recognized by the state of Florida because there is no such thing as state-regulated, legal Florida sports betting just yet despite the push by many for gambling expansion laws to be passed. But it has had horse racing for decades and that is legal whether you do it in person or online including simulcast wagering (where you place bets at one racetrack on a horse race being held at a different track). In Duval County, slot machines and other slot-style gaming machines are specifically banned at places like adult arcades, but you can still play them at a tribal casino in the state. You can play poker for free, but once real money gets involved, that is not considered legal.

These logical inconsistencies can make it very hard to understand gambling laws in Florida and the future of gaming expansion laws in the state is still in question. But the main thing to understand is that there is no specific law preventing you from joining one of the offshore casinos, such as the five we reviewed and placing your real-money wagers there.

Online gambling in a very limited form is legal in Jacksonville. Legal forms include free poker games, horse racing bets and daily fantasy sports (DFS) at well-advertised sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Online gambling that is not legal in Florida includes anything involving sportsbooks, poker with real money, buying lottery tickets, online casino games and just about anything else that’s fun and people want to do.

But notice that we are saying “not legal” rather than “illegal.” There is no law prohibiting you from joining offshore sites such as Bovada and BetOnline and making bets with money on sports, slot machines and playing in poker tournaments. Since these are happening with offshore sites, they only have to operate under the laws of their jurisdictions and not Florida’s laws. Take advantage of this and join an offshore site like the ones in our top five list if you want to gamble online in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida.

History of Online Casinos in Jacksonville

November 2018: Amendment 3, also known as the Voter Control of Gambling amendment, is passed with 71% of the vote. This amendment requires any future expansion of casino gambling in Florida to be approved by a statewide vote of the people rather than by the legislature.
2015: State Senator Joe Negron proposes a bill that would allow two Las Vegas-style casinos to be built in South Florida. The bill fails to gain traction and is not passed.
2012: Genting, a Malaysian casino operator, proposes a $3.8 billion casino resort on the site of the former Miami Herald building in downtown Miami. The proposal is met with significant opposition from community leaders and local politicians and ultimately fails to gain approval.
2010: Governor Charlie Crist negotiates a compact with the Seminole Tribe that would allow them to operate blackjack and other table games at their casinos in exchange for $1 billion in revenue sharing with the state. The compact is challenged in court and ultimately declared invalid by a federal judge.
2004: Governor Jeb Bush negotiates a compact with the Seminole Tribe that would allow them to operate slot machines at their casinos. The compact is challenged in court and ultimately upheld by the Florida Supreme Court in 2006.
1994: Governor Lawton Chiles negotiates a compact with the Seminole Tribe that would allow them to operate bingo games on their reservations. The compact is challenged in court and ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996.

The Future of Online Casinos in Jacksonville

Like all residents in Florida, Jacksonville natives are waiting to see what happens in the appeals process for the Seminole Tribe. In 2021, the Seminoles made a deal with Governor Ron DeSantis to legalize online sports betting in Florida. It was a compact deal worth $2.5 billion that would energize the state financially.

But just weeks after a sportsbook was taking bets in Florida, a federal judge ruled the compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The sportsbook was shut down almost immediately and has not been allowed to reopen since. Worse, there won’t even be a gambling initiative on the November ballot for voters since an amendment backed by FanDuel and DraftKings failed to garner the 900,000 required signatures in time earlier this year.

The Seminoles appealed the judge’s decision, but it could be another 10-to-12 months before anything happens in that process to move things along for online gambling in Florida. 

Even then, it may take more years to get online gambling fully legalized and operational in the Sunshine State. Therefore, if you want to place sports bets, play poker for money, or play games like keno and video slots, you should just join an offshore site such as Heritage Sports, Bovada or BetOnline. It is not illegal for you to join and play there as a Jacksonville resident.

How do I stay safe playing casino games online in Jacksonville?

Safety is important, so here are some tips for staying safe while you play casino games online in Jacksonville:

  • Research, research, research. Does the site have good reviews at established sources like Bookmakers Review?
  • Are there any negative reviews by customers on message boards or forums like Reddit?
  • Make sure to check if the site you’re using is a licensed operator.
  • Always make sure your password is tough to crack.
  • Do not share your account details with anyone.
  • Never bet more than beyond your means.

FAQs – Jacksonville Online Casinos

Does Jacksonville have slot machines?

No, Duval County is specifically not a place where slot machines are legal in Florida.

Does Jacksonville, Florida have a casino?

No, the closest casinos are in South Florida, in the Miami-Dade and Broward county areas. In Daytona Beach, there is a kennel club and card room that hosts a variety of poker tables.

Can I play casino games online if I live in Jacksonville?

Offshore websites are located across international waters and do not operate under the jurisdiction of the United States, which allows them to offer online casino gaming and online sports betting to residents of Florida.

What is the most legitimate online casino?

The offshore sites we cover have been offering online casino gambling for decades. We thoroughly test each operator to help you make a good casino choice but also to ensure they are safe. We would never recommend a site to you if it did not pay and play fairly.

What casino games can I play online for real money?

The Jacksonville online casinos we have recommended offer online slots and table games like such as no-limit Omaha, roulette games, blackjack and other popular dealer table games. You can also enjoy unique gaming opportunities like video blackjack or slot tournaments.

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