Online Tampa Poker Rooms, FL
Though one of the US’s most populated and visited states, Florida doesn’t have the richest gaming market.
Nevertheless, it boasts a vibrant poker history. Tampa, Sunshine State’s third largest city, has been home to reputable land-based poker rooms.
That number significantly rose after the state authorized card rooms to host no-limit games.
Regrettably, we can’t say the same for online poker. Florida hasn’t launched an online gaming market yet, so there are no state-sanctioned online poker sites in Tampa. Still, the lack of online gaming regulations allows players to join offshore poker rooms. The following article sheds light on these platforms and the legality of poker in Tampa.
Best Online Poker Sites in TampaFL is one of a handful of southern US states that haven’t legalized iGaming, including online poker. Its legislation comprises no provisions that define or address this category. Many players use this omission as a loophole to play this popular game on offshore-based sites that accept players from the US.
If you’d like to do the same — the world is your oyster. The iGaming sector continues to grow in popularity, and foreign online casino companies are thriving. As a Tampa resident, you’ll be able to join a ton of them, but be cautious.
For a rounded gaming experience, we recommend poker sites with tight security, several thousand-dollar promotions, and regular poker freebies, knockouts, and bounties. You can find examples in the list below.
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2023:
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- ACR Poker
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
Is Online Poker Legal in Tampa, FL?Gambling first entered Florida’s law books with horse and dog racing and jai alai in the 1930s. However, the state was never keen on pursuing further expansion. Land-based gaming was restricted to lottery and bingo halls until IGRA, which authorized tribal casinos across the country. Sunshine State hasn’t approved any other gaming-related categories, with one exception — poker.
For some reason, this popular casino game always received special treatment from Florida authorities. The trend of FL’s poker-friendly laws started with the low-stakes home poker legalization in 1989.
- Broward County legalized it in card rooms in 1994; the rest followed in 1996.
- The 2003 gaming amendment changed card room statutory restrictions, removing the $10 pot limit and raising the maximum single bets to $2.
- The rules changed again in 2007, removing the limit on pot sizes and allowing NHL but adding a $100 maximum buy-in restriction.
- Florida removed all limits on land-based poker in 2010, authorizing all licensed gaming sites to offer any variants of this game.
Driven by the 2010 poker limits amendment, the authorities pursued two online poker bills the following year. House Rep. Joseph Abruzzo filed the Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act and Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla SB 812. Unfortunately, they went up against a formidable opponent — Rick Scott.
Scott made his support for the ban on internet gaming in Florida public in 2014. He also signed HB 155 — legislation prohibiting “internet sweepstakes cafes” and petitioned for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to be extended to all online gaming categories shortly after.
While his last two endeavors weren’t successful, Scott remains committed to his core principles. So, online poker legalization doesn’t seem to be in the cards in the near future for Tampa residents. The only options online poker fans have are sweepstakes and offshore poker rooms.
If you’re not into modified, free-play poker games, you’ll likely prefer the latter option. The above top Tampa poker sites list features plenty of platforms worth exploring. You can avoid potential legal problems by getting expert advice before joining your favorite.
Tampa, FL Poker Laws
Check out the following list for a comprehensive overview of the legal status of poker in Tampa.
It includes all the relevant laws mentioned above.
- Florida statutes, Section 849.085
- Indian Regulatory Gaming Act
- Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2011 (House Bill 77)
- SB 812 (2011) — Internet Poker
- Florida Code, 849.01 et seq.; 550.001, et. seq.
How to Pick the Best Tampa Poker SiteOne of the earlier sections offers a list of the best poker sites for Tampa players. However, it doesn’t detail what makes those gaming platforms stand out from the crowd. To provide insight into our decision-making process, we’ve outlined a set of criteria we use when creating a top list of this nature. Learn more about the art of choosing the best poker sites online below.
TrustworthinessThe world wide web isn’t the safest place on earth, so we check every gaming site’s reliability. We make sure our readers and their data are completely safe at an offshore poker room by learning about its:
- Track record — Our team scours the internet for information about each poker brand’s owners, history in the industry, and reputation with players. Platforms like community portals, forums, and blogs provide unbiased information to help them make informed choices.
- Licensing — We browse the poker room’s official website and talk to customer support and management to learn about its licensing. While it’s not a deal-breaker, this information gives us an indication of whether a gaming operator is legit.
- Security — Our experts learn about each site’s safety protocols, focusing on qualities like firewalls, SSL and TLS encryption technology, independent audit certifications, and so on. Only the best-secured sites make the cut.
Game and Tournament OfferTampa poker sites that pass the reliability check proceed to the game and tournament testing phase. Here, we create online accounts and explore the cash game and tournament selection these operators offer. We single out platforms with:
- New and popular titles from operators like Evolution and Ezugi
- Multiple famous and niche poker variants, from Texas Hold’em to Stud
- Regular poker competitions, including daily and weekly tourneys
- Various tournament formats, such as bounties, knockouts, and SNGs
- High-quality software and crisp, lag-free streams
Traffic Volumes and QualityHand in hand with game and tournament variety, we research offshore poker rooms’ traffic. Our experts play and participate in as many live dealer games and tournaments as possible. They gather data about the platforms’ peak hours and field volume and strength. Poker sites that end up on our top list have enough traffic to keep you entertained whenever you wish to play, maintain a healthy, competitive playing field, and feature tournaments with generous guaranteed prize pools.
Promotional ValueBonuses are another prominent metric on our Tampa poker room checklist. We seek sites with a well-founded and extensive promotional offer. Besides the welcome bonus, which has become a standard for the sector, these providers must include valuable ongoing promotions and fair bonus terms and conditions.
For a better idea of what that looks like, feel free to visit one of the top-rated poker sites above and check its Promo section. They provide up to $5,000 signup packages, weekly cashback and rebates, $200-worth referrals, and more. Plus, they have reasonable validity periods, fair wagering requirements, and solid betting and withdrawal limits.
Payment SystemAn offshore poker room wouldn’t be complete without a good payment processing service. To ensure that’s the case, we comb through the Cashier section and T&C pages and test the systems firsthand. We settle on the brands that:
- Work with US-famous payment processors like Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, MoneyOrder, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and so on
- Accept traditional and modern payment solutions to cater to players with various preferences
- Feature optimal processing times — up to a few business days
- Incur small or no transactional fees
Customer SupportDuring our poker site research, our team contacts and communicates with each platform’s customer support on multiple occasions. These interactions give them enough insight into how responsive and efficient the team is. They also learn what their office hours are, whether their communication channels are fully functional, and if users can rely on the providers’ Info and FAQ sections. Each of these aspects influences their final choice of Tampa poker sites.
Benefits of Playing Online Poker in Tampa, FloridaWhile there’s no denying Tampa’s land-based poker rooms offer great entertainment, the many benefits of online poker still prevail:
- Offshore poker rooms are more accessible than Tampa’s brick-and-mortar gaming venues. You don’t have to dress up or drive across town for a game of poker. Rich gaming lineups will be at your disposal, whether you’re relaxing at home, waiting in line at the supermarket, or taking a break from work.
- Land-based poker sites in Tampa host few poker variants, with most tables dedicated to Hold’em. Offshore poker sites’ gaming selections are much more diverse. Besides popular Hold’em and Omaha versions, our top Tampa poker rooms feature various Stud, Draw, and Razz titles.
- Tampa’s state-licensed poker rooms have an impressive number of tables, but they still lag behind their online counterparts. Join any operator in our top list, and you’ll have a chance to play against hundreds of players worldwide. You can even maximize your payout potential by multi-tabling, a feature no land-based gaming venue offers.
- The number and size of poker promotions are also features that brick-and-mortar poker establishments can’t match. Foreign poker sites we recommend provide up to $5,000 in welcome bonuses, 10% cashbacks, 5-figure bad beat jackpots, $200 referrals, and more.
Famous Poker Players From Tampa, FloridaWith a poker history as rich as Florida’s, it’s no wonder Tampa is home to many professional players. You can read about the most successful ones in the list below:
Andrew Kelsall has been Tampa’s most prominent player for a couple of years. His live tournament track record dates back to 2001, when he entered the World Poker Open in Tunica. Since then, This Floridian has amassed over $2.6 million and nine tournament wins.
Not far behind Kelsall is Tampa native Manelic Minaya, with 159 tournament total cashes. This 71-year-old’s most significant wins include the 2008 No-Limit Hold’em Borgata WPT and 2006 WSOP Circuit Tunica events that bagged him $222,575 and $160,557, respectively.
Jared Okun, whose poker tournament earnings equal over a quarter of a million, is Big Guava’s third-best poker player. During his career, Okun managed to score two top showings and 36 total cashes. However, he’s not been active since Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza in 2009.
Top Land-Based Poker Rooms in Tampa, FLAs the intro notes, Tampa boasts three land-based poker rooms. They all run regular tournaments and have at least a dozen tables, so players don’t have to drive to Miami or Lauderdale to enjoy a competitive poker game. Find out where they are in the table below.
|Poker room||Address||Number of tables||Tournaments|
|Seminole Hard Rock Tampa||5223 N. Orient Rd., Tampa, FL 33610||46||Yes|
|Silks at Tampa Bay Downs||11225 Race Track Rd., Tampa, FL 33626||23||Yes|
|TGT Poker and Racebook||8300 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33609||14||Yes|
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Poker Sites by US States
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