Nevada Gambling Laws
The State of Nevada has long been the pioneer when it comes to gambling legislation. Nevada Gambling Laws include;
Nevada Gambling Age
Legal Ages for different forms of gambling in Nevada are as follows;
- Horse Racing – 21
- Lottery – N/A
- Casino Games – 21
- Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) – 21
Nevada Gambling Tax
Nevada’s State Gambling Tax is the lowest in the nation at 6.75% on general winnings and 0.25% for sports betting winnings.
Large wins over $1200 may possibly be subject to an additional 25% – 30% Federal Tax (depending on your actual state of residence). If you have a big win above $1200, we suggest that contact your tax attorney for details.
Sports Betting in Nevada
Nevada legalized sports betting in 1949. It was the first state to regulate on legal sports betting, which previously operated under organized crime syndicates, in order to protect player’s and the state’s revenues.
It is worthwhile to note that in this day and age in Nevada that sports betting and all other types of legal betting in Nevada are run perfectly cleanly without crime association and all of Nevada’s gambling establishments are now corporately-owned, family-friendly locations.
Note – Since being re-legalized in 2015 following a 14-year hiatus, it is legal to bet on amateur sports in Nevada including college sports (in particular college football and basketball) and the Olympic Games.
Online Sports Betting
In 2010, the first sports betting app was released in Nevada to make online sports betting available in the state. This made it extremely convenient for bettors to place a wager anywhere in Nevada. A trip to the local casino or the Vegas Strip was no longer required each time a player wanted to make a legal sports bet on a game.
Mobile apps on iPhone, iPad and Android devices have helped get locals and visitors to the State of Nevada get more into the game more than ever before.
Tourists to Vegas and rest of Nevada are now discovering the convenience of sports apps so that they can avoid the long lines at the Nevada’s land-based Casinos during major events like the March Madness, the NBA Finals, and of course, the grand-daddy of all U.S. sporting events, the Superbowl.
Note – It is a requirement for use of a sports betting app that a geolocation system is used to make sure that the device using the app is located within Nevada state lines. If the mobile device is not inside Nevada, or if the geolocation service cannot find the phone or tablet for any reason, that sports bet will be rejected. Players operating their sports app close to the Nevada state line or in rural parts of Nevada with poor internet connections need to be aware of the geolocation tool when trying to bet in those remote locations.
In May 2017, Brian Sandoval, the Governor of Nevada, signed a bill into law that extends Nevada state laws on sports wagering to include eSports events. The bill included legalized wagering on competitive gaming (eSports) as well as other awards shows like the Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes.
With the dissemination of global technology and increasingly fast internet speeds, eSports has changed quality video game play into full-time professional sports, whereby leading players now sign multi-million-dollar contracts with professional teams.
However, of course, somewhere must be the venue for these events and Las Vegas, Nevada has put itself on the map as one of the leading eSports venues with many its arenas sponsoring and hosting eSports tournaments and of course, its legal to bet on the events in Vegas too both in casino sportsbooks and the state’s online sports betting apps.
If you’ve not heard of eSports, it is important to know that the games themselves like Halo, Fortnite and Overwatch operate in such a way that they are roughly equivalent to the NBA, NFL and NHL as ‘leagues’, and ‘eSports’ describing the wider concept (like ‘sports’).
It’s now big business, with eSports betting revenue, tipped to reach the $100 billion mark worldwide later in 2018 and much of that is expected to flow through Nevada’s legal sports betting set-up.
Casino Gambling Laws in Nevada
More than 320 casinos are spread throughout the State of Nevada, with Las Vegas itself housing more than 100 casinos alone.
Other casino cities in the Silver State include Laughlin, Carson City and Reno. Of these, Reno is the most notable of these, housing 20 casinos along with ski resorts and other tourist attractions.
Nevada’s casino industry is not just profitable for players and casinos, it is pure, unadulterated fun! Where else can you find slot machines virtually anywhere, whether it be a bar, gas station, an airport, a train station or a restaurant? It’s a hoot!
Nevada Online Casinos
Online Gambling offers Nevada’s residents and visitors some good online casino options fot online poker, online horse racing betting, Daily Fantasy Sports and online sportsbooks (see the above ‘Sports Betting in Nevada – Online Sports Betting’ section for a full description of Nevada’s Sportsbook apps).
Two of the most important points to note on Nevada’s online casino laws;
- Nevada’s legal Online Casinos do not include other online slots or casino table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat and other table games (for the time being)
- Offshore online casinos are actually illegal under the State Law of Nevada.
If-and-when it becomes legal in Nevada to gamble in offshore online casino, we’ll let you know.
Poker in Nevada
Is it legal to play Poker online or in casinos in Nevada?
Poker is absolutely 100% legal for play in both the state of Nevada’s land-based and online casinos, and the states many licensed and regulated Poker Rooms.
Horse Racing Betting in Nevada
For Nevada State residents over the age of 21, all off track betting, course/track side (for limited state fairgrounds only – the state has no fulltime racetracks) and online betting options on Horse Racing are all legal under the State’s Gaming Laws.
Track Side / Off Track Betting (OTB) in Nevada
Track Side – Although there are no longer any full-time operating racetracks in the state of Nevada, there is however one live racing venue in Nevada; a track at the Elko County Fair in Elko, Nevada open for just a couple of weeks every year. Tourist buses sometimes run between Las Vegas and Elko when the races are on, so tourists can add ‘a day at the races’ to their Nevada holiday experience.
Off Track Betting (OTB) – The large majority of Nevada’s horse racing industry centers on off-track betting at the state’s many legal land-based casinos. In addition, you can find simulcast betting at many casinos throughout the state.
Online Horse Racing Betting in Nevada
Online racebooks for residents and visitors to the state of Nevada provide the convenience of betting anywhere/anytime on a mobile device or PC and for the most part, have small initial deposit requirements.
Nevada residents and visitors over the age of 21 all have legal access to Nevada’s online horse betting sites that offer betting on races throughout the U.S.A and across the world. If you’re unable to find the time to get to a casino or simulcast facility to bet on big events like the Kentucky Derby or The Triple Crown, you may still easily place wagers on the big race with an online account and do it all 100% legally.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Nevada
In 2015, Nevada’s state Attorney General and the Nevada Gaming Control Board officially declared that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is ‘gambling’ that DFS required a license to play in the State.
Major DFS companies closed their doors to Nevada’s state’s residents immediately.
There were proposals in 2016 to come up with an alternative for licensing DFS operators. In fact, a bill was drafted that an almost exact copy of the Daily Fantasy Sports legislation that was passed in states that had already legalized DFS.
However, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval determined that there was no need to change the current regulations on DFS in Nevada. While DFS is not technically illegal to play in Nevada, DFS operators require a license similar to other types of gambling within the state.
Only one non-traditional DFS operator has taken up a Nevada State license so far, and as a consequence, DFS works very differently in Nevada than it does in the rest of the nation.
How DFS works in Nevada
Like conventional DFS, (where a point value awarded to individual performances), Nevada’s DFS is similar to the traditional game. However, the Nevada DFS pari-mutuel-style of scoring is more similar to horse racing than traditional DFS.
For instance (using NFL for example), a DFS game participant can pick from a position grouping such as quarterbacks to win, place or show, and make bets such as exactas, trifectas and daily doubles by factoring in odds.
This is a radically different approach to conventional DFS betting, where you become a ‘virtual team manager/owner’, and you are required to keep within a salary cap, which you use to ‘buy’ players for your DFS team and assemble a team that amasses the most touchdowns, yards gained, receptions, tackles, sacks etc., and other key statistics each week or over the course of the season to accumulate points for your ‘virtual team’.
Whether Nevada sticks to its non-conventional DFS approach remains unclear.
If Nevada adopts the more conventional and widespread form of DFS, we’ll advise you of the changes immediately.
History of Gambling in Nevada
The world-famous gambling and entertainment center of Las Vegas may allow you to think that Nevada has quite an open-minded approach towards gambling. In reality, in order to allow Nevada’s gambling industry to prosper as it does, Nevada has some of the strictest legal regimes and compliance reporting requirements of almost any state. These laws are vital in protecting the gambling industry and all its participants, and most importantly, player protection is paramount.
- The first state to legalize gambling in reaction to the Great Depression in 1931 with the ‘Wide Open Gaming Bill’.
- The first state to have legislate on the legality of sports betting.
- The first state to regulate on video poker and online casinos
- The first state to sign an inter-state liquidity sharing agreement.
In that present environment, let’s take a look at where and how things currently stand with gambling in Nevada and its legal standing in the state
- Casino Games – Absolutely 100% legal, 24/7/365 as long as you are over the legal gambling age in Nevada of 21, although compliance and licensing by the Nevada Gaming Board is required.
- Betting on Sports – Sports betting in Nevada has been legally available since 1949 and the low tax rate on sports betting of 2% first introduced in 1974 and then later lowered to 0.25% has made Nevada attractive to sports bettors both in land-based casinos and the state’s mobile sports apps.
- Betting Online – Online Gambling offers Nevada’s residents and visitors some good options with online casinos (online poker only), online horse racing betting, Daily Fantasy Sports and online sportsbooks (Nevada’s Sportsbook apps). However, Nevada’s online casinos do not include other casino table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat.
- Live Poker – Live Poker is fully legal in home, in licensed and regulated poker rooms and Nevada Casinos – all need to be licensed and comply with the regulations of the Nevada Gaming Board.
- Online Poker – Fully legal in Nevada, licensed and regulated for players within the state’s borders. In fact, in 2014, Nevada and Delaware signed a liquidity sharing agreement for online poker sites.
- Lottery Betting – Surprisingly illegal. With so many other types of gambling legalized, regulated and licensed, it may come as a surprise to many that Nevada has no state lottery and multi-state lottery games are not available either.
See our timeline tracking the history of gambling in Nevada;
1931 – ‘Wide Open Gambling Bill’ passed in Nevada giving counties power to license gambling institutions and collect taxes and fees. The Bill was enforced to stabilize the State Economy after the effects of The Great Depression and allowed Las Vegas to become what it is today.
1949 – Bill passed to legalize gaming on Horse Racing and Pro Sports.
1955 – Nevada rid the State of undesirable elements including ‘The Mob’ by instituting the Nevada Gaming Board to collect license fees and taxes, administer the industry and apply oversight.
The Nevada Gaming Board has been such a success that Nevada’s Gaming is run perfectly cleanly without any crime association and all of Nevada’s gambling establishments are now corporately-owned, family-friendly locations.
1974 – Sports Betting tax lowered to 2% and Vegas Casino’s boom as a result creating plush facilities for city’s sports bettors, later lowered to 0.25 in 1983.
2010 – Sports Betting Apps introduced in Nevada.
2013 – First online casinos (online poker only) open in Nevada.
2014 – Online poker Liquidity-Sharing agreement signed between Nevada and Delaware with scope to introduce other states in the future.
2015 – DFS deemed ‘gambling’ and a requirement applied that DFS sites be licensed in Nevada. DFS evolves into a different form in Nevada