Most forms of gambling have been legal in Nevada since 1931, when Assembly Bill 98 became a law to help provide revenue for the state. Casino gambling was viewed as a way for Nevada to generate money following the Great Depression, with Las Vegas developing as a result of the nearby Boulder Dam project, which brought thousands of workers to the southern part of the state to build what is now the Hoover Dam. Between the boom of Vegas in the south and Reno up north, casinos have grown to become the state’s main industry, including hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, hospitality services and gaming.
Gaming Laws in Nevada
Gambling was actually illegal in the state between 1910 and 1931, but hard times after the Depression forced Nevada to find ways to produce additional revenue. While gaming did not become big business until the 1960s due to the growth of casinos, it was legalized in 1931 with Assembly Bill 98 and later regulated through the creation of the Gaming Control Board within the Nevada Tax Commission in 1955.
The GCB is responsible for protecting the stability of the gaming industry through investigations, licensing, and enforcement of laws and regulations, ensuring the collection of gaming taxes and fees are an essential source of state revenue and maintaining public confidence in gaming. The GCB also implements policy enforcing state laws and regulations governing gaming through different divisions.
One of the regulations divides Nevada gambling sites into two different categories, those with restricted locations, which have 15 or fewer machines, and unrestricted locations with more than 15 machines and table games. These sites are investigated and policed by the Gaming Control Board with the Gaming Commission responsible for approving and issuing licenses.
The Economic Research section of the Securities Division of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board issued the first Nevada Gaming Abstract in 1972, which involved printing statistics regarding casino financial performance collected from 1967 on. This document is produced annually and includes such information as departmental revenues, administrative expenses, a condensed balance sheet and win per unit in different areas of the state.
Due in part to the prevalence of major corporate properties throughout Nevada, there are only three tribal-owned casinos in the state, the Avi Resort & Casino, Moapa Tribal Casino and Snow Mountain Smoke Shop, which is currently being reviewed. These tribal-owned casinos include everything from slot machines, video poker, bingo, keno and other table games such as blackjack, craps, poker and roulette plus restaurants and entertainment venues.
Sports Betting in Nevada
Nevada is the only state in the country with legalized betting on different sports. While Delaware also allows parlay-style wagering on the NFL, Nevada does not have any restrictions on that or other sports. Instead, bettors can wager on whatever sports a licensed sportsbook offers on the board and for as much money allowed under the book’s limits.
While Nevada residents have the option to place their sports bets in-state through local regulated sportsbooks at casinos or other locations, some still opt for online sportsbooks. It is illegal for a sportsbook to be owned or operated in the state of Nevada, but there are no state laws that specifically prohibit residents from placing wagers on events at offshore locations. In addition, some Nevada casino properties even allow bettors to use mobile apps or other web applications they have developed themselves or through third parties to make wagers online.
Poker and Casino in Nevada
Poker rooms and casinos are both legal in the state of Nevada. Casinos feature popular table games like blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat with limits set by property. In addition, there are various poker games available, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Pai Gow, Three Card and Six Card Bonus, Seven Card Stud and Let It Ride among others. Pai Gow Poker is very popular and deals the gambler two hands, one with five cards and another with two. Both hands go head-to-head with the dealer and can also result in a push, providing gamblers with the opportunity to play a longer, more exciting game.
There are currently two online gaming companies that are approved and licensed in the state of Nevada, Real Gaming that operates through the South Point Casino and also World Series of Poker in association with the annual tournament that takes place in Las Vegas.
Other Gaming Options in Nevada
Bingo and keno are other popular gaming options available at many Nevada casinos. Parimutuel wagering on horse and dog racing is also available at racebooks, which often accompany sportsbooks in casinos. Racebooks offer bettors both intrastate and interstate wagering options on tracks around the country. There are no tracks in Nevada though.
There are no state lotteries in Nevada because casinos view them as potential competition.