Online Gambling in Nevada: An Expert Guide

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Gambling in Nevada

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Online Gambling in Nevada: an Expert Guide

Nevada gambling laws set the trend for gaming laws across the United States. Because Nevada has so much experience designing gaming laws, many lawmakers from other states look to Nevada statutes when writing their own laws. If a gaming operator is licensed in Nevada, regulators throughout the U.S. and around the globe are more likely to license that same company. Nevada’s vetting process is considered among the best in the world.

Often, Nevada leads the industry in gambling laws. Recently, Nevada was the first to legalize new forms of gambling, like esports betting, virtual sports betting, and skill-based slots. When regulatory scrutiny of daily fantasy sports began, it started in Nevada. If you want a preview of where American gambling is headed, a review of Nevada gambling laws is a good place to start.

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Nevada Online Gambling FAQ

Nevada Gambling Laws

Nevada has a strict definition of gambling, though many forms of gaming are legal and licensed. The usual question of “skill vs. chance” does not matter under Nevada gaming law. Unless regulated by the Nevada Gaming Commission or Nevada Gaming Control Board, almost any form of gambling is illegal.

For instance, despite its reputation for permissive gambling, Nevada is one of only six U.S. states without a lottery. It is thought that a Nevada state lottery would divert money away from the casinos.

Does Nevada Have Land-Based Casinos?

Yes, Nevada has over 150 land-based casinos. Most are located in Las Vegas, but some are found in the northern part of Nevada, such as Reno, Sparks, and Lake Tahoe.

Nevada casino developers began turning Las Vegas into a gambling capital in the 1930s and 1940s, when Los Angeles began to grow into the massive population center it is today. Las Vegas, a desert city made feasible by the Hoover Dam, was placed as close to Los Angeles as possible, so it could draw visitors from “The City of Angels”. Reno was placed as close to San Francisco as practicable. These days, both draw customers from around the world.

Las Vegas itself is divided into three sections: the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, and off-the-Strip. The Vegas Strip is home to the largest integrated casino resorts in the United States: famous sites like the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, The Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian, and the Palazzo.

Downtown Las Vegas is home to boutique casinos which draw in local residents and tourists visiting sites like the Fremont Street Experience. Off-the-Strip casinos often draw local players who know where the best deals and best game rules can be found. Visitors who don’t mind doing research and driving to a casino site can find those same rules when they leave the Las Vegas Strip.

Does Nevada Have Any Legal Betting Tracks / Shops?

Nevada has legal pari-mutuel horse racing during county fairs like the Elko County Fairgrounds, and the White Pine Horse Races.

The state is not a hotbed of thoroughbred racing, though, because deserts are not the best location for competitive horse racing. Nevada does have one of the largest off-track betting industries in the world.

Does Nevada Allow Off-Track Betting?

Yes. You’ll find OTBs scattered around the state.

In addition to all the legal sportsbooks offering bets on the ponies, you’ll find dozens of off-track betting facilities, which have simulcasting from over 200 horse tracks worldwide

Does Nevada Allow Charitable Gambling?

Yes. If the total value of raffle prizes is $2,500 or less in a year’s time, then the charitable gaming organization only has to notify the Nevada Gaming Control Board of its games and events.

If the total value of raffle prizes is between $2,500 and $25,000, then the organization must register with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. If the total cash prizes in a year are between $25,000 and $500,000, then the organization must register with the Gaming Control Board and receive licensing to operate as a charity. They must submit forms at least 30 days before a raffle is held.

As you can see, Nevada charitable gambling organizations have the potential for really large amounts of prize money.

Is Social Gaming Allowed in Nevada?

Yes, private poker games are legal in Nevada.

The state legislature made a specific exemption for private poker games in which the house takes no rake. The law states “games played with cards in private homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a playee.”

Some might wonder about social gaming online. Social casino sites like Slotomania, Double Down, Big Fish, and Zynga are legal in Nevada, though the glut of land-based casino games make social gaming less attractive in the state.

Like the online gambling industry, social casinos have a minor impact. MyVegas, which is operated by MGM Resorts, has its biggest impact in the state. Nevada social casino players can win rewards they can spend in famous MGM Resorts casinos like Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay.

In general, though, social casinos have a spotty history in Nevada. In December 2012, Zynga filed to enter real-money online games in Nevada. In September 2013, Zynga withdrew its application. The decision was made after Don Mattrick replaced Mark Pincus as chief executive in July 2013 (Pincus returned in 2015).

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