What types of gambling are legal in Utah?
There are no forms of legalized gambling in Utah. There has never been a serious effort to change that. Charities may not even hold bingo games. Native American tribes have been unable to negotiate gaming pacts with any Utah governors. The state is among the most conservative in the country, so it is unlikely there will be any legalized gambling in the state in the coming years.
Daily fantasy sports contests are as close to legalized gambling that exists in Utah. The games appear to fall under skill-based exceptions to gambling restrictions. There are no laws that regulate the contests and no opinion from a state attorney general on the topic.
Utah residents do not need to travel far to find casinos. Nevada borders it to the west. Residents in the Salt Lake City area drive to West Wendover, Nevada to play casino games. Those closer to the southern border drive to Mesquite or Las Vegas.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Utah and where to find it:
- Daily fantasy sports (online only)
Online Gambling in Utah
Daily fantasy sports contests are the only form of legalized online gambling in Utah. All major companies accept players from the state. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo. Online poker, casino games, sports betting and horse racing are all illegal in Utah, even if the site is offshore.
Online Gambling Laws in Utah
Utah Code § 76-10-1102 makes all forms of online gambling illegal in the state. A person that offers online gambling in Utah is guilty of a third-degree felony. Participating in online gambling, including players, class B misdemeanor. Subsequent convictions become class A misdemeanor.
In the late 2000’s, there was a push to legalize online gambling in the United States. The most likely federal bill would have required states to opt out or be automatically included. Utah preemptively opted out through this same law, though it never passed Congress.
Land-based Casinos in Utah
There are no casinos in Utah. These are deemed illegal in the state constitution. Utah residents looking to gamble must go to commercial casinos in Nevada or tribal ones in Idaho and Wyoming.
Casino Laws in Utah
Utah Code § 76-10-1102 makes all forms of live gambling illegal in the state. A person that provides gambling in Utah is guilty of a third-degree felony. Participants commit a class B misdemeanor on the first offense and a class A misdemeanor on subsequent offenses.
Sports Betting in Utah
Sports betting is illegal in Utah. This includes online and live sportsbooks.
Sports Betting Laws in Utah
Utah Code § 76-10-1101 defines gambling, in part, as “risking anything of value for a return or risking anything of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device.” Betting on a sporting event qualifies as a contest or game. A person that operates a sportsbook in Utah is guilty of a third-degree felony. Players are guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Future offenses become class A misdemeanors.
Poker in Utah
There are no commercial poker rooms in Utah. That is illegal.
Poker Laws in Utah
Poker is illegal in the state under Utah Code § 76-10-1101. The game involves an element of chance, which is one of the gambling definitions under state law.
Home Poker Games
There is no social gaming exception in Utah. Home poker games are just as illegal as commercial ones, even if the game is fair and no rake is taken by the house.
Fantasy Sports in Utah
Fantasy sports contests appear to be legal in Utah. The games have never been challenged in court in the state. All major daily fantasy sports operators accept players from the state. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo. Players must be at least 18 years old.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Utah
There are no laws that specifically address fantasy sports in Utah. The games are believed to be legal. However, the operators are not regulated.
Utah is one of five states without a lottery. The others are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada. Players looking to buy a lottery ticket will need to drive to Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming or Idaho for it.
Utah Lottery Laws
Utah Code § 76-10-1101, as well as the state constitution, forbid lotteries of any form. Article VI, Section 27, of the Utah Constitution states, “The Legislature shall not authorize any game of chance, lottery or gift enterprise under any pretense or for any purpose.”
Utah Horse Racing
Betting on any form of racing is illegal in Utah.
Utah Racing Betting Laws
Utah Code § 76-10-1101 makes betting on any contest or game a class B misdemeanor. Subsequent convictions become a class A misdemeanor. Booking bets on racing is a third-degree felony.
Utah Skill-based Gaming Laws
Utah bans any gambling situation if there is an element of chance. This narrows the forms of legal gaming to games that are entirely skill. A bowling, pool or contest of strength or skill is permitted for wagering purposes. Any contest that uses cards, numbers, or anything else that has an element of chance, is illegal.
There are no laws on the books in Utah that address eSports. Presumably, participants in a contest could place a wager with each other, while participants would be committing a class B misdemeanor by violating the state’s gambling laws.
Traditional Games of Skill
Traditional games of skill are legal in Utah. This includes sites like Worldwinner and any popular mobile apps.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines are legal if there is no luck involved at all. These games are typically found in arcades and taverns.
Utah Charity Gambling Law
All forms of gambling are illegal in Utah. This includes the types of games offered by charities in most other states, like bingo and raffles.