What types of gambling are legal in Nevada?
Nevada has a massive selection of legalized gambling. Some of the most luxurious casinos in the world are found in Nevada. Gaming establishments are available in nearly every neighborhood. There is also sports betting, horseracing, online poker and charitable gaming.
Nevada is where casinos began in the United States. Gambling was legalized in 1931. It has expanded to most forms. Three exceptions are online casino games, fantasy sports and a state lottery.
Gambling is so important to Nevada that NRS 463.0129 states that “the gaming industry is vitally important to the economy of the State and the general welfare of its inhabitants. Taxes paid by the industry, from gaming taxes to hotel, sales and payroll ones, fund a significant percentage of the state’s general fund.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Nevada and where to find it:
- Horseracing (off-track and mobile)
- Slots and video poker (casinos, taverns, retailers)
- Table games (casinos)
- Poker (live, mobile and online)
- Sports betting (live, mobile and online)
- Bingo and raffles (charities and casinos)
Online Gambling in Nevada
There are three forms of legal online gambling in Nevada. The oldest is off-track betting on horses. Unlike most other states, horseracing bets are not made on national apps and websites. Nevada casinos have a monopoly on off-track betting in the state. These bets are generally on the same app as sports betting. However, it must be funded separately.
Online sports betting is another option. Bettors may make wagers on nearly every sport imaginable, amateur or professional. Most casinos offer a mobile betting app.
Online poker is the latest addition to Nevada online gambling. It launched in 2013. The World Series of Poker site is the only option for Nevada players. It networks with Delaware and New Jersey. Partypoker is licensed in Nevada. However, it has not launched. Real Gaming and Ultimate Poker once operated in Nevada. Both failed, though real Gaming’s license remains valid.
Online Gambling Laws in Nevada
Any form of online gambling requires a license in Nevada. This makes all offshore sites illegal in the state. Horseracing enjoys an exemption from federal law through the Horseracing Act of 1978. Gaming regulators approved the expansion of this gambling to mobile apps in 2010. Gaming approved mobile and online sports betting at the same time.
Online poker required a change in state law. In 2012, the Nevada Legislature created NRS 463.745. This created an interactive gaming license in Nevada that covers online poker. Companies that accepted US players after December 31, 2006 are banned from Nevada. This includes company assets, even after a sale. All online gambling requires players to be at least 21 years old.
Land-based Casinos in Nevada
Nevada has more casinos than any other state. The number is around 440. Types of casinos range from megaresorts to mini ones with a handful of slot machines. There are slot machines in grocery stores, gas stations, taverns, drug stores and other businesses throughout the state.
There are two types of licensed gaming establishments in Nevada. These are restricted and unrestricted. Restricted locations are only permitted up to 15 slot and video poker machines. These are generally the ones you find in stores and taverns. Unrestricted means just that. These casinos may offer slots, video poker and table games like poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow Poker and Tiles, baccarat and nearly any proprietary game that exists. Unrestricted casinos in major cities must offer 24-hour dining, live entertainment and a minimum number of hotel rooms.
Casino Laws in Nevada
Nevada’s casino laws start with NRS 463.010. It is known as the Nevada Gaming Control Act. It allows for nearly all forms of gambling in casinos. It describes the licensing requirements and fees. The gaming tax in Nevada is 6.75% for most unrestricted licensees for slots, video poker, table games, bingo, keno and sports betting. There is a break for smaller operations. Restricted licenses do not pay any gaming taxes beyond machine licensing fees, which tend to be about $2,000 annually per device. Players must be at least 21 years old.
Sports Betting in Nevada
Nevada sports betting began in 1949. It is known as the home of sportsbooks. The most luxurious books in the world are found in Las Vegas. Nevada had a monopoly on single game betting until 2018.
Sports bettors in Nevada will find the widest menu of action in the world. Nearly every professional sport is represented on the boards, including many amateur ones like the Olympics and college football, basketball and baseball. All forms of exotic betting are legal, including teasers, parlays, pleasers, props and futures bets.
Sports Betting Laws in Nevada
Sports betting is covered under the Nevada Casino Control Act. It allows for wagers on sports approved by Nevada regulators. Nearly any form of sports wager may be made in Nevada. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Poker in Nevada
Poker is available at many Nevada casinos. Any bet limit or game is allowed. There are 31 poker rooms in Las Vegas with about as many throughout the remainder of the state. Bellagio is the largest poker room in Nevada. It has 37 tables.
Online poker is available in Nevada. The only site available is WSOP.com. It is operated through a partnership between Caesars Entertainment and 888, an online gaming company.
Players may choose between Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud and Seven card Stud Hi/Lo. Some World Series of Poker events and satellites are dealt on the poker site. Nevada WSOP.com players connect with those in Delaware and New Jersey.
Poker Laws in Nevada
The Nevada Casino Control Act covers live poker. It permits any licensed gaming establishment to deal the games. Players must be at least 21 years old.
Online poker was created by NRS 463.745 in 2012. The first hand was dealt on April 29, 2013 by Ultimate Poker. It was the first hand of legal online poker in the country. The company was later joined by WSOP.com and Real Gaming. WSOP.com is the only one still open today. Nevada poker sites may network with other states upon a signed compact between governors. Online poker players must be at least 21 years old.
Home Poker Games
Nevada has a social gaming exemption under NRS 463.0152. Gambling crimes cannot be committed in a private residence if the house does not take a cut of the action and the game is fair.
Fantasy Sports in Nevada
Fantasy sports contests are considered illegal in Nevada if not licensed and approved by regulators. No daily fantasy sports companies have ever applied for a license. Bettors may enter pools or bet on fantasy stats at sportsbooks. However, there are no national contests like in most other states.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Nevada
Fantasy sports contests are considered a sports pool in Nevada, according to gaming regulators. All daily fantasy sports companies left the state immediately upon this directive. None have returned. The only ways to play anything that resembles fantasy sports is through sportsbook polls and betting or with friends.
Nevada is one of just five states without a lottery. The others are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii and Utah. Lottery players must drive to California, Arizona or Idaho for lottery tickets. The California Lottery store closest to Las Vegas is the busiest retailer in terms of ticket sales in its entire system. The Arizona Lottery store between Utah and Nevada along Interstate 10 is the busiest in that state.
Nevada Lottery Laws
Article 4 Section 24 of the Nevada Constitution forbids lotteries. There has never been a serious effort to change it. Casinos mostly oppose it as it would put the state in competition with the casinos. Keno is the closest it gets to a state lottery in Nevada.
Nevada Horse Racing
Live horseracing is legal in Nevada. However, there are no open racetracks. Off-track betting is legal at race books and on mobile apps. Nearly all casinos offer these options for horse bettors. The typical off-track betting apps like TVG and TwinSpires do not operate in Nevada. Racing action is booked by the sportsbooks.
Nevada Horse Racing Betting Laws
Nevada racing is covered under the Nevada Casino Control Act. It allows for cashless transactions needed for remote simulcast betting. This permits casinos to offer mobile betting apps for horses. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Nevada Skill-based Gaming Laws
Nevada is an element of chance state, meaning that games that are luck-based require casino licensing. However, players may still make bets on games of pure skill, like checker or chess tournaments. Social gaming is also legal, so friends may theoretically bet on almost anything amongst themselves.
Nevada sportsbooks may take action on eSports games. The event must the approved by gaming regulators before hitting the boards. eSports players may make wagers between each other. Friends can do it through a sportsbook or between each other.
Traditional Games of Skill
Games of skill are permitted in Nevada. This includes sites like Worldwinner and competitive mobile apps that deal games like duplicate cards or trivia.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines may be played for cash in Nevada casinos. The game must be approved by gaming regulators. Machines that pay prizes or free play, as opposed to cash, may be used in arcades and taverns.
Nevada Charity Gambling Law
Charities are exempted from the Nevada Casino Control Act. Raffles may be offered to those at least 18 years old. Bingo, poker and blackjack tournaments are permitted if participants are at least 21 years old. Charities must be registered in Nevada for at least two years. Online sales of raffle tickets or admissions require Nevada Gaming Commission approval. Charitable gaming was approved in 1993.