May 1, 2023 3 min read


Florida Gambling Regulator Cracks Down Illegal Slots

The gambling regulator in Florida started a crackdown against illegal slots operating within arcades around the state

Two years ago, in May 2021, legislators in Florida inked a new gambling compact with the Tribal operators in the state. This effectively allowed the Tribes to have nearly exclusive rights over the operation of most gambling activities, including slots. Although two years have passed, there are still arcade venues around Florida that offer slots games. Those slots, according to the gambling regulator in the state, the Florida Gaming Control Commission, operate illegally and may be subject to hefty fines.

Under the Gaming Compact signed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, slots gambling is restricted to a list of 15 casinos around the state. The list of venues includes multiple Seminole Casinos, as well as Hard Rock and other properties, that are permitted to allow such gambling games.

On the other hand, greyhound racing, jai alai and card games such as poker can be offered via licensed venues. Other organizations in Florida that can offer drawings, bingos or raffles can include different non-profit organizations, including charities, under the existing regulation. However, the new rules do not allow arcades to offer slot gambling. Despite this, many vendors still offer the activity, some not knowing that it is illegal, while others, simply breaching the rules.

Crackdown on Illegal Slot Machines Is Imminent

Lou Trombetta, the Florida Gaming Control Commission’s executive director, was recently interviewed by Treasure Coast and revealed that the crackdown on illegal gambling in the state has already started. He said that it is unclear how many venues offer illegal slots in the state, but the hunt for those breaching the rules is underway.

Trombetta explained that illegal gambling is a serious offense in Florida. He said that arcade customers that engage in illegal slots gambling can be subject to fines or in some cases even jail time. Not unexpectedly, the vendors that offer illegal slots can also be subject to prison or hefty fines, which may consist of a $10,000 fine per machine.

They don’t play by the same rules. It’s very unfair to the good players in the business.

Lou Trombetta, executive director at the Florida Gaming Control Commission

Trombetta spoke about the arcades that offer illegal slots saying that they do not follow the rules, which in turn creates an unfair advantage when compared to the gambling operators that are licensed to offer such services. Separately, he warned that illegal slots operations may be a part of criminal organizations. This, Trombetta said, puts the people’s money at risk, as unlicensed operators do not need to adhere to anti-money laundering or regulations that seek to ensure fair conditions. In some cases, he said, arcades that offer illegal slots can refuse to payout big wins and the victims cannot change that.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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