Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Pari-mutuel Wagering Regulation

What is the purpose of the division?

The purpose of the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering is to regulate Florida's pari-mutuel, cardroom, and slot gaming industries as well as to collect and safeguard associated revenues to the state. Florida authorizes pari-mutuel waging for cardroom poker games, horse racing, and jai alai games. Additionally, slot machine games at pari-mutuel racing facilities are authorized in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

What pari-mutuel activities are regulated?

For Fiscal Year 2019-20, the division provided oversight to the 5 types of permit holders shown below.
Type of Permit Number of Permits
Greyhound Racing 18
Jai-alai 11
Quarter Horse Racing   6 
Thoroughbred Racing   5 
Harness Racing   1
Total 41

What are the division's responsibilities?

The division's primary responsibilities are ensuring that races and games are conducted fairly and accurately; ensuring the safety and welfare of racing animals; collecting state revenue accurately and timely; and ensuring that Florida's pari-mutuel permit holders, comply with state law. In addition, the division is the statutorily designated State Compliance Agency for the Compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The division does not regulate lottery, bingo, or cruises to nowhere (i.e., ships that dock in Florida ports but conduct their gambling operations at sea). 

How does the division accomplish its purpose?

The division fulfills its statutory responsibilities through seven units.
  • Office of Operations issues occupational licenses to all individuals and businesses that work or conduct business at pari-mutuel facilities, including anyone with access to money wagered, restricted areas, and/or racing animals. In addition, field staff collects urine and blood samples from racing animals, which are analyzed by the University of Florida Racing Laboratory for prohibited substances. The office also monitors each race/game and conducts inquiries and hearings into alleged violations of state pari-mutuel laws and rules.
  • Office of Slot Operations ensures that the integrity of the day-to-day operations at slot machine facilities is maintained by verifying that slot activity is conducted in accordance with statutes, rules, and the facilities' approved internal controls. Office activities include ensuring every slot machine is certified by an independent testing lab.
  • Office of Investigations examines rule and statutory violations that occur in the pari-mutuel wagering, cardrooms, and slot machine industries. Investigative cases can include patron complaints, animal cruelty, and the use of performance altering medications and/or illegal substances during races. Investigators also conduct permit holder background checks and perform inspections of all pari-mutuel, cardrooms, and slot machine facilities prior to opening.
  • Office of Auditing conducts audits to help ensure the integrity of wagering activity and compliance with state laws and rules. Audits cover various issues including cardrooms, slots, greyhound adoption proceeds, and malfunction reports. The office also monitors pari-mutuel wagering pools to ensure proper payouts to pari-mutuel patrons.
  • Office of Revenue & Financial Analysis accounts for state revenues in all wagering activities as well as reconciling monthly remittance reports and conducting charity day and uniform annual report audits. This information is also used to develop revenue projections for the Revenue Estimating Conferences and maintain cash flow statements for the transfer of tax revenue to state funds. The office also develops an annual report and determines fiscal impact of proposed pari-mutuel legislation impacting the industry.
  • State Compliance Agency is responsible for carrying out the state's oversight responsibilities in accordance with the Gaming Compact Between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida, effective April 2021. This oversight includes inspecting tribal gaming facilities.
  • Office of the Director provides the division general oversight and administration. This office plans budgets, promulgates rules, develops policy, analyzes proposed legislation, and enforces administrative actions.

Updates

New Gaming Compact Signed. During the 2021 special session, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-268, Laws of Florida, that ratified the 2021 Gaming Compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The state is guaranteed $2.5 Billion over the first five years and additional funds during later years from a revenue sharing formula. The compact permits the tribe to offer table games such as craps and roulette as well as its previous games. The compact permits betting on professional and college sports as long as the bets are placed in Florida and processed through a sports book operated by the tribe. Under the compact, pari-mutuel permit holders can offer sports betting if it is conducted through the tribe's sports book and can continue to operate card rooms if licensed as of January 1, 2021. The compact also permits the tribe to add three new facilities within it Hollywood Reservation. The compact ends July 31, 2051.

Greyhound Racing Banned in Florida. As of January 1, 2021, betting on dog racing (greyhound racing) in Florida is prohibited per the passage of Amendment 13 to the Florida Constitution.

Does the division meet legislative expectations?

In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the division met or exceeded legislative expectations for six of its seven performance measures. Notably, the performance standard for the division's average activity cost for collecting slot machine revenue is $840 of slot machine tax revenues collected for each dollar spent on collection activities; however, the division exceeded this approved standard by collecting $1,042.75 of tax revenue per dollar of collection activity. The measure not meeting its standard was the percentage of compliance audits conducted; 95% were conducted, but the standard was 100%.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING
PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING
8,963,369
59.00
SLOT MACHINE REGULATION
5,101,744
50.00
TOTAL
14,065,113
109.00

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

Department of Business and Professional Regulation - Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Selected Administrative Activities - Operational Audit, Florida Auditor General Report No. 2018-087, January 2018.

Websites of Interest
National Council of Legislators from Gaming States

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 550, 551, and 849, and ss. 849.086 and 285.710, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, 850-487-1395

Website