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Gambling In Nevada: Full Overview 2020

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Online Casino
Online Poker
(legal since: 02/25/2013)
Online Sports
(legal since: 1949)
Online Lotto
Online DFS
(legal since: since 1949)

As one of the wagering capitals of the world, the word Nevada is more or less synonymous with the words Nevada casinos. This is because the state offers so many opportunities for wagering that it is at the forefront of the industry in America. Nevada gambling includes legal casino gaming to people in the state. Any Nevada casinos list also include legalized sports betting and has become the hub for as much in the country. And it has legalized poker as well, including some of the biggest events in the world. All in all, it is hard to think about gambling in America without Nevada immediately coming to mind.

In this guide to casino gambling in Nevada, find out the answer to the question of are casinos legal along with other important information that bettors should know before they get set to place their bets in casinos, sportsbooks, and everything else that is offered.

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Nevada gambling history and social importance

History: A state born to bet

The betting history in Nevada is one that runs all the way back to the mid-1800s before the United States had even turned 100 years old. The state did a ton to try and ban wagering earlier in the 1860s, before they finally started relaxing laws banning wagering by 1869. In the early 1900s, those laws were loosened to allow players to wager on online-slots and other low-stakes games. Not long after that, card rooms were made legal.

Finally, in the early 1930s, legislation was introduced in the state to allow wagering to be done in a fashion that was far less restricted than anything that was happening in the United States at the time. That update to the laws was a part of the response to the Great Depression, when the United States and its member states were looking to come up with ways to bring in revenue due to the economic collapse of the country. Little did Nevada know it’d be forging its identity with that choice.

Since then, Nevada’s identity as America’s betting capital has only strengthened, with the bright lights and glamor that has become synonymous with wagering in Las Vegas becoming an indelible part of what people think about when they think about the state.

Social importance: The state’s top export

When it comes to online casino gambling Nevada’s identity as a whole is sort of intertwined with it. Even people who know nothing else about the state know that this state has everything to do with wagering, from Vegas casino action to poker to sports betting. Their laws being more friendly toward bettors is a huge part of the social importance of Nevada as a whole, but is even more important to bettors who come from all over the world to take part in the Vegas casino action that it offers.


Legal situation of casinos and online casinos in Nevada 2020

Land-based casinos: Tons of casinos

Land-based casinos have been permitted in Nevada for a very long time, as Nevada's stance on wagering has always been that it should be allowed and it almost always has been allowed. As a result, there are tons of options to be had for bettors in the state from a casino point of view. Players can take on brick and mortar casinos all throughout the state and play casino games at locations that are not casinos as well so long as they are licensed to do so. This typically means that slot games are available at locations like bars, restaurants, and airports which makes Nevada exciting for some from the moment they get there until the moment they leave.

Legal situation for land-based casinos: Legal for decades

Is gambling legal in Nevada at land-based casinos? Yes. In terms of the legal situation surrounding land-based casinos, there is nothing even resembling a challenge to the legal status coming in Nevada given how entrenched wagering is in the state. Land-based Vegas casino action has been permitted in the state since the 1930s, with 1939 marking the beginning of brick and mortar Vegas casino action. If anything, casino wagering in Nevada will only grow in the future, but it certainly doesn't appear to be going anywhere given how many people travel from out of state to play at the various casinos Nevada has to offer in addition to the other activities that have made it famous.

Online casinos: Also an option

As far as online casinos are concerned, the answer to “are Nevada casinos legal?” is a resounding yes. Operators that are also tied to physical casino brands are free to operate in the state, with anyone who is located in the state able to take part in online Vegas casino action while they are there. With Nevada having so many big casino brands that operate physical casinos, it is only natural that many of those same brands also operate online to remain competitive to those who do not have access to Las Vegas where the majority of the big spots to play are on the Nevada casinos map.

Legal situation for online casinos: Formally protected

As far as online casinos are concerned, they are not as free to operate as one would think given the overall status of wagering in the state of Nevada. The answer to the question “can I play Nevada casinos online?” is yes. There has never been any legislation to make online Vegas casino action illegal, and Assembly Bill 114 in the state granted it further protection in a way when that bill legalized online poker, so players can even enjoy Nevada casinos outside Las Vegas. However, the practice of being a standalone operator of an online casino is not permitted at this time. The aforementioned poker bill could be a pathway toward legalizing standalone casino operations online, but the fact that Nevada features so many heavy hitters in the casino industry that operate brick and mortar shops has resulted in minimal buzz around that potential idea.

Market prediction for the future

As far as Nevada online casino play is concerned, the future could be brighter. One day, it should be expected that more support will be given to the full legalization of online casino play, including the ability for brands that are not tied to a physical casino to operate in Nevada. As far as physical casinos are concerned, there isn't much more that can be done in the state, but the online casino realm should see at least a push for more competition to come into the state even if the old money currently there would like to maintain the status quo that has worked so well for them.

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Legal situation of sports betting and online betting in Nevada 2020

Land-based betting operators/racetracks: Sports betting heaven

Nevada, and more specifically Las Vegas, has been the home of sports betting in America for many years. There have been brick and mortar sportsbooks in the state for decades, and that level of experience has made it so this state stands out way above the rest in terms of what they can offer. Serious bettors often travel to Las Vegas in order to shop between several sportsbooks for the best betting lines, while the football handicapping contests in Nevada often require large buy-ins to participate in with the winners taking home six and sometimes seven figures for coming out on top.

Legal situation for land-based betting operators/racetracks: Always legal

Regarding the legality of land-based sports betting in Nevada, that is another facet of their wagering portfolio that isn't being challenged anytime soon. Sports betting has been legal in the state since the late 1940s, and the state is still able to take in wagers on sporting events to this day. The Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board both work to oversee the sports betting operations in the state, which see the biggest handle of any in the country at this point thanks to the head start Nevada had in maintaining a legal status before just about any other state.

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetMGMBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Caesars SportsbookBally's Atlantic City
Golden Nugget SportsbookGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
William HillMonmouth Park & Ocean Resort Casino
playMGM SportsbookBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Online sports betting: In-state action

Given the legality of sports betting in Nevada, online sports betting has also found a home in the state. And the status of sports wagering in Nevada runs parallel to that of online casino gaming, as several big brands have lent their name to online sports wagering the same way that they have casino gaming on desktop and mobile devices. The first new online gambling Nevada casino app for sports was launched in 2010, and the new online sports betting industry has only grown from there as anyone located in the state of Nevada has been able to get in on the Vegas casino action from their devices in addition to being able to bet in casinos in person.

Legal situation for betting sites: Legal via app

Just like online casino Nevada gaming, the situation surrounding online sports betting in Nevada might not be as convenient as some players might like. Only casinos that have put down roots in Nevada are able to offer online sports betting in the state, which means that many big name brands and new brands that do not have physical properties have been left out in the cold. However, there are still tons of options for bettors in the state between those who offer both physical and new online sports wagering, including big name brands in the industry such as the Westgate, William Hill, and many others.

Market prediction for the future

The future of sports betting in Nevada is an interesting thing to think about, as the pressure from other states legalizing could see the state try some new things to keep up with the competition that is emerging. Where this should be the most noticeable is in the number of betting markets that are being pushed out by Nevada sportsbooks. Many new sports betting options around the country are offering creative prop bets and other types of wagers that had never caught on in Nevada, which could prompt Nevada sportsbooks to start really thinking outside of the box when it comes to what players can do in an effort to keep them betting in the state.

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Legal situation of poker rooms and online poker in Nevada 2020

Land-based poker rooms: High level poker

The poker rooms in Nevada are the stuff of legend, both in real life and in popular culture. Movies about poker playing have seen fictional characters taking their shot at winning big in Las Vegas, but real-life Vegas casino action at land-based poker rooms at casinos is just as possible and just as exciting. These poker rooms play host to some of the biggest tournaments in the world, with events like the World Series of Poker being hosted in Nevada due to the fact that there are so many options as far as places to play poker are concerned at land-based locations within the state.

Legal situation for land-based poker rooms: Legal poker rooms

The legal status of land-based poker rooms in Nevada is not questioned in any way, as players are able to take part in poker games and tournaments in an in person setting without any worries about the legality of the games. This ties into the similar legal status of land-based casino gaming in the state, where decades have gone by without any sort of challenge or intervention to try and impact whether or not players are able to play the hands they are dealt. Given this fully legal land-based poker status, many poker pros are frequently based out of Las Vegas as they ply their craft in a setting where it is fully legal to do so.

OperatorLandbased Partner
WSOP PokerBally's Atlantic City

Online poker: WSOP action

Online poker is also legal in Nevada, which is very convenient for poker enthusiasts who may not be able to get to Las Vegas but are still located within the state. With both web browsers and mobile devices able to track users' locations effectively these days, the requirement that players be located in Nevada to play online poker is easy to enforce and players are easily able to verify where they are to make sure that they are able to play the games that they want to when they want to play them. With the availability of online ring games and tournaments, online poker is often just as good an option as land-based games in Nevada.

Legal situation for online poker: No legal problems

Online poker became legal in Nevada in February of 2013, as Assembly Bill 114 brought about its approval. There are not nearly as many online poker operators in the state of Nevada as there are online casino and online sportsbook options. The World Series of Poker, or WSOP, website serves as the online poker operator for Nevada. And while that lack of similar choices may irk some, the WSOP does a fine job of providing online poker to those who want it in this state. As a part of an interstate player pool with New Jersey and Delaware, players need not worry about a lack of players to compete with either.

Market prediction for the future

Looking toward the future, poker in Nevada doesn't appear to be changing due to the fact that the World Series of Poker is such a big brand there. Both the WSOP and the casinos that offer land-based Vegas casino action in the state will likely mean that more online options will not be coming to compete with the WSOP. However, with states legalizing more options, there is always the faint possibility that Nevada takes a second look at its current online poker situation and gives thought to allowing outside entities to come in. At the very least, the potential for operators of land-based casinos jumping in would be a plus.

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Legal situation of lotteries and online lottery in Nevada 2020

While there are so many ways to wager on things in Nevada, it is perhaps shocking that the ability to play the lottery is not one of those ways. In fact, both traditional and online lottery action are expressly illegal in the state of Nevada as a part of the state's constitution. Given that there are so many other forms of wagering in the state, it isn't like there are too many voices crying out for lottery action. But the fact that people are forbidden from taking part in any sort of lottery and that there isn't a state lottery at all is somewhat surprising given the climate and attitude about betting in the rest of the state. That could always change one day, but for now anyone who wants to put in a small bet with the hope of a huge payout will have to look at some of the other options that the state currently presents.

Legal situation of daily fantasy sports in Nevada 2020

Daily fantasy sports in Nevada is one of the more interesting looks at the constantly changing landscape of gambling in America. Despite debates as to whether DFS was considered gambling or a game of skill, the state of Nevada ruled that it constituted gambling and was to be regulated as such. When that determination was made, it was required that daily fantasy sports operators in the state obtain a license to offer their products to the people of Nevada. Upon hearing that ruling, daily fantasy sports operators made it clear that they would not be doing business in the state of Nevada. With so many other sports betting options to be had in the state, it isn't as if daily fantasy sports are being missed too badly. However, the lack of an option to play these games is something fantasy sports enthusiasts have to deal with.

Nevada Gambling

Legal situation of social casino in Nevada 2020

Social casino play is popular, as it allows players the ability to take part in casino games without having to risk any of their own money. In Nevada, players are allowed to take part in these games legally, as they are not gambling given that they do not require the risk of any funds. Granted, even if these types of games were considered to be gambling, they would only be illegal because they were not tied to a land-based casino operator. And even that might have disappeared as a hurdle if it was something that would have prevented social casino gaming. That is because some casino brands are buying up social casino offerings due to their enormous popularity among those who want to play games without having to spend on them. With all of the real money Vegas casino action available in Nevada, though, this isn't a huge market in the state.

Conclusion: The ultimate wagering hub

Nevada certainly lives up to its reputation as a haven for bettors. From the ability to wager on casino games to sports to poker and plenty of other choices, bettors are likely to find more to wager on in this state than nearly any other. Of course, Nevada isn't without its gambling shortcomings, as the lack of state lottery support and the inability to play daily fantasy sports just feel out of place in a state where there are so many things that players can do to try and win. But those are only small complaints to have about a state where there are enough things to do to keep the attention of even the most change-hungry bettor. And with outside competition likely to bring additional betting options to the sportsbook operations in Nevada, don’t miss your chance to bet in Nevada. Get started with a bonus today!

Gambling typeLegal status
Land-based casinosLegal
Online gambling in NevadaLegal statewide
Sports bettingOnline, mobile, and land-based
LotteryIllegal per state constitution
Daily fantasy sportsNo licensed operators
Minimum gambling age21