Nevada Online Casino Laws
USA Online casinos exist in a strange grey area - while some are legalized in certain states, it's totally illegal in other states. Nevada is one state where players can play at a land-based casino or a Nevada online casino- depending on what they plan on doing.
While it’s illegal for players to use any online slots casinos in Nevada (and other games of chance), the state gave the green light for games categorized as ‘games of skill’ instead of casino games that are purely based on chance. The state declared that if the games hosted gave players more chances, they could legally make wagers on the games.
For instance, one particular online casino, World Winners, allows online betting on card games, strategy games, word games, and puzzles. The site is geo-blocked and unavailable to players with strict regulations; bypassing security measures will get players banned, and serious fines will be imposed.
While it’s still mere speculation, there is reason to believe that laws and regulations relating to online casinos will change soon. Some progressive laws surround online sportsbooks and online poker - all of which we delve into in this review - taking you through Nevada’s evolution as it became the gambling-friendly state it is today.
The fact that online poker is fully regulated in Nevada and that skill games are permitted also adds credibility to the hype. It gives casino operators the belief that there is hope in tapping into the lucrative market. As betting is on a state-by-state basis, gambling in NJ online casinos would be different from playing in Nevada.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Nevada?
This might seem odd to ask, considering that the state’s most famous attribute is a city dedicated to gambling. Still, online gambling is regulated in a completely separate way from land-based gambling. It requires its own set of laws and regulations, and there are always going to be those that directly oppose it and have considerable sway over the government. This probably has to do with diluting income from licensed land-based casinos, but it’s never been publicly discussed. Instead, land-based casinos offer social online versions of their establishments. Allowing players to place bets in a soft environment.
These are all the legal forms of gambling in Nevada:
Dedicated poker rooms
Retail sports betting
Online sports betting
You’ll notice that the humble lottery doesn’t make a list, and that’s because it has been - and remains - illegal in the state since the 1800s. But we get into this a little more in a dedicated section below.
Land-based Casinos in Nevada
The fact that land-based casinos are a significant presence in the state of Nevada will not surprise anybody. And we’re not just referring to Las Vegas. You’ll also find significant casino culture in Reno, Laughlin, and Carson City. All gambling activity across this vast state is controlled by the Nevada Gaming Commission, except for four (rather small) tribal casinos run by two of Nevada’s 32 tribes. These are located around Carson City and Laughlin.
Indian tribes do operate several state-run casinos but under the strict surveillance of state law. It goes without saying that the highest concentration of land-based casinos are found in glittering Las Vegas, which offers the gold standard of what casinos should be. Every table game you can think of (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and more), every newly launched slot machine, and every style of poker ever created - in Las Vegas it’s all yours for the taking.
Casino Games in Nevada
There are several games available in Nevada. Let's have a look at them.
Online Poker in Nevada
Online poker is classified as a game of skill, which is why it is legally allowed to be played online, although for it to be legal to players, it must be played within Nevada. The minimum gambling age in Nevada is 21 years. There are only a handful of online poker sites where players can get their fix for the game, and two stand out of the crowd.
Real Gaming Online poker launched in 2014 but has struggled ever since to maintain a steady flow of traffic to the site, making it virtually impossible to find a full table outside peak hours. Even though the site supports multi-table games and tournaments, there is hardly enough traffic.
WSOP, better known as the World Series of Poker, is a huge land-based tournament every year and grew in popularity in the early noughties. It now has a strong presence online, too, offering a healthy selection of games and a superior experience, including satellite tournaments for their land-based tournaments.
Online Slots in Nevada
While you’ll find well over 160,000 slot machines in Las Vegas, none are available online. If you want to enjoy slots on a site or via an app, you’ll have to resort to a social casino, which you can play on your PC, tablet, or laptop. Most new social casinos also come with an iOS and android app. While you won’t be able to play with real money, you’ll instantly gain access to free coins or tokens upon registering on the site. These are used to access games, contests, and leaderboards. You can play alone or compete against other players to score daily prizes in the form of more free coins, real cash, or crypto. It all depends on how the site is set up.
Online Sports Betting in Nevada
As mentioned briefly above, sports betting is now a regulated market where players can make wagers on several sports from dedicated online bookmakers as long as the bets are placed within the state.
The main advantage of a regulated market is that it is incredibly easy for players to place their bets. Since the market is regulated, it provides a safe environment for punters to place their bets. A regulating body will control all bookmakers to ensure players are safeguarded throughout their gambling experience. Anyone can put money down on sports, so long as they’re over 21.
Today, Nevada offers retail and mobile sports gambling, but in both instances, you’ll need to make at least one trip to a land-based casino. That’s because Nevada law dictates that all sportsbook accounts must be set up and funded in person.
Sports betting is huge throughout the world. One sport alone allows punters to bet on several high-profile leagues and tournaments, with some online bookmakers offering lower leagues. The following are some of the sports available to wager on when betting online:
- Basketball (NBA + college)
- Baseball (MLB)
- Hockey (NHL), baseball (MLB)
- Soccer (EPL, UCL, and major tournaments)
- Golf (PGA, LPGA)
- Collegiate sports (unless the players are minors)
- Car Racing (NASCAR, Formula One, Indy)
- Horse racing
- Rugby (League and Union)
- Aussie Rules Football
- All Olympic events
Another great advantage of having a regulated sport betting market is the competitive odds offered to players. When there’s competition in the market, a need for competitive odds is created. Players will browse online bookmakers to find the best odds before making their final decision.
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting in Nevada
Betting on fantasy sports isn’t a new concept, and it has grown hugely in popularity - especially in states that ban traditional sports betting. But Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) aren’t legal in all states, and some explicitly crafted legislation to make them illegal. In Nevada, it’s legal but not popular.
That’s because when the state announced that operators must apply for a Nevada gaming license and pay taxes to target players from the jurisdiction, top operators like DraftKings and FanDuel immediately pulled out.
Today, the only DFS site that operates legally in Nevada is USFantasy.
Horse Betting in Nevada
Pari-mutuel wagering on both live races and simulcast races is allowed. Nevada has two active race tracks; Elko County Fair and White Pines. However, these only host seven race days and two race days a year, respectively. For the remaining days, horse bettors will have to rely on simulcast races, which can be accessed both in person and online.
Nevada has several legal and licensed online racebooks, as many land-based casinos offer their horse betting services online. The most popular options are probably TVG, AmWager and TwinSpires, all offering a combination of OTBs, websites, and mobile apps.
Here’s the big shocker. In the land of casinos, the lottery is illegal. That’s right, the little old lottery your grandma plays every Sunday is illegal in Sin City and beyond. The State of Nevada outlawed the lottery with a constitutional amendment back in 1864, along with all other forms of gambling.
Despite the fact that the law was repealed for pretty much all land-based gambling operations in 1931, the lottery continued to be banned. It’s difficult to say how this happened, as it’s never been publicly discussed. Still, we have an inkling that it has to do with the casino industry pushing against the revenue competition a state lottery would bring.
Roulette in Nevada
If you’re looking for a good game of roulette, you’ve found yourself in the right state. Take your pick of land-based casinos, each housing several roulette wheels and all the ingredients for a great night on the town.
If you prefer to play online, European, French and American roulette might be a little harder to pin down. You’ll need to trawl through the game libraries of social casinos to find one that suits you, but you won’t be able to play for real money in these risk-free environments. The good news is that you’ll still be able to collect several bonuses and promotions, some of which offer cash and crypto prizes.
Live Betting in Nevada
Live betting is a huge part of online sports betting as it allows players to bet on games in real time as the action unfolds. The dedicated sports betting apps give a running commentary on the games, even displaying visuals representing hot zones of the match for punters not to watch the game live.
In live betting, odds will be updated constantly, and it’s a great way to get a feel of the game before placing any bets while at the same time, it allows players to cut their losses by making counter bets if their original bet was on a side that's not doing so well.
Live dealer games are found exclusively at online casinos, which are yet to be legalized in the Silver State. If you don’t know what they are, then prepare to be amazed. Instead of a series of algorithm-based slots and table games, live casino games are manned by real dealers operating out of studios around the world. Once you choose a game via your internet device, you can pull up a seat at the table for various games and interact with the dealer as you place your bets.
Sweepstakes and Social Gaming in Nevada
Social gaming is essentially the act of playing games on social media platforms, but many game developers have found ways to find a way around it. Social gaming apps are free to use. They offer the standard social gaming experience as regular apps do, but here’s the catch – the level of gamification instilled into social gaming is on another level. Players can earn points through the app without spending a dime for actual casino complimentary items.
One of the biggest names among the social games is Luckyland, where you can get a Luckyland Slots free sweeps cash bonus for the new players.
Social gaming is highly sought after by many states in America, and residents of Nevada are particularly known to use popular apps for social casinos. Social casinos are an app or website where players can gamble together with friends - all without using real money, so it's just for a great time no matter how the tables turn out!
Nevada is a hot spot for Social Gaming since participating partners are in Las Vegas; Nevada residents have benefited the most from these games. MyVegas, another Social Gaming site, offers a healthy selection of slots. The rewards system can be used to get subsidised rates and free meals, cheap accommodation, and sometimes even free chips in its land-based casinos.
Nevada Online Casino Apps
Nevada does allow residents to download gambling apps, but they aren’t casino apps. That’s because online casinos (unlike their brick and mortar counterparts) aren’t legal in the state. Of course, should the law suddenly change, we’re in no doubt that casino apps will be live in Nevada, as is evidenced by the prolific use of poker and sports betting apps. In the meantime, players who are only interested in casino games have two options. They can either travel to the city of Las Vegas, where they’ll be spoiled by the enormous range of options, or download social casino apps, where you can play slots, table games and jackpots in a risk-free environment.
Deposit and Withdraw Methods on Nevada Gambling Sites
Since many forms of online gaming are illegal, and online sportsbooks often require deposits and withdrawals to be made in person, it’s obvious that things are done a little differently in Nevada.
If you want to wager on sports through a website or an app, you can fund your account via payment processors or by visiting the casino that corresponds to your sportsbook and completing the transaction in person. Here are your options:
Credit or debit card in person at the casino which hosts your chosen sportsbook.
Play+, which can be done remotely, but this comes with an additional fee.
By cheque or money order, but this would have to be done in person and isn’t always available.
Payment kiosks located around the state will also allow you to make deposits and withdrawals, but these are only available to participating sportsbooks like William Hill.
Casino Cards at certain casinos like MGM and Westgate allow you to top up with your own debit and credit cards or electronic transfers to save you a trip to a casino.
Horse betting sites and social casinos accept online deposits and withdrawals, including Visa, MasterCard, Play+, PayPal, and Skrill. Some new social casinos also accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Of course, this currency isn’t used to accept wagers but to purchase on-site virtual coins and tokens with no monetary value.
Bonuses Offered in Nevada
You won’t be able to take advantage of any of the exciting online casino bonuses around, but luckily there are other places to scrounge up a good bonus. All legal online sportsbooks in Nevada compete to offer players the best bonuses and promotions in the state. Things always kick off with a welcome offer, where risk-free bets, cashback and match bonuses will see you boosting your bet balance up to $1,500. Many quality sportsbooks will also continue to reward you as you play with further deposit match bonuses, loyalty rewards and friend referral bonuses. Most racebooks offer very generous sign-up bonuses that help you get started on the right foot with a sizeable advantage. For example, you can pick up a free $25 bet as well as up to 9% track rebate. Keep in mind that every single offer comes with its own list of terms and conditions that stipulate wagering requirements, timeframes and minimum deposits and withdrawals. Always read these through to make sure the bonus is right for you.
Nevada Gambling Revenues
It comes as no surprise that local operators have a vested interest in keeping the casino market strictly land-based, considering that the state has had the highest revenue generated in the last five years - over $1 billion. There was a significant increase in revenue from table games, other than Baccarat, with Blackjack taking centre stage with the amount won rising to 40.4% year-on-year to $125.5m.
Slot machines have played a significant role in revenue generation, with 65.2% of total gaming, where casinos took $693.5m.
Here at CasinoTopsOnline, we stay abreast of US gambling laws to deliver the latest news as it’s announced. Nevada seems to be heading for a fully regulated market to let players fully gamble online, but a few hurdles must be overcome before the law comes into effect.
The state is also considering the effect a regulated online casino market would have on the land-based casino industry, which is all in cohesion in lobbying against the tremendous amount of competition online casinos bring to legal online gambling.
Part of this revenue is due to the new social casinos like Chumba Slots and the other sweeps popular in this state.
Enforcement & Gaming Control in Nevada
Nevada may be known for its gambling, but it should also be mentioned that it's got some of the best enforcement in the country for ensuring that gambling is safe and legal. The Nevada Gaming Control Board was formed in 1955. Since then, it has been protecting the gaming industry through licensing, enforcement of laws, and ensuring that all casinos and involved parties are paying their due in taxes and revenues.
They also want to ensure that gaming is not something that the public distrusts. They hope that gaming can thrive and still be safe, secure, and adhere to all regulations and laws by creating a strong regulatory framework.
However, enforcing gaming regulation and making sure that everyone is playing by the book isn't easy. To help them in this, the Nevada Gaming Commission, working with the Control Board from 1959, helps enforce any laws and regulations which casinos and casino operators need to follow.
They also have the final say when it comes to licensing. Ultimately, casinos and casino operators will depend on the commission to give them the final go-ahead for receiving a licence.
They can also revoke a licence if they feel that illegalities are likely or that the applicant doesn't meet the criteria. As a result, any operators within the state must be cautious to ensure they meet all the legal requirements to operate.
Gambling History in Nevada
It would be fair to say that most of Nevada’s recent history is lost in the fug of too much alcohol and excessive partying. Still, the state’s gambling development dating back to the 1800s is actually exceptionally interesting. As the very first US state to legalize gambling, and for a long time, it was the only state that allowed games of chance.
1861 - As the mining state of Nevada is established, gambling is completely outlawed, along with theft, murder, and a couple of other heinous crimes.
1869 - Gambling was reinstated, but it required operators to be licensed.
1873 - In an odd move by the state, lotteries are banned.
1875 - The gambling games of Keno, Fantan, 21, Diana, and red-white-and-blue are added to the legal list
1909 - Progress is reversed as all gambling forms are abolished.
1915 - A few gambling games are allowed, including pari-mutuel wagering on horse races and slot machines that dispense cigars and prizes of no greater value than two dollars.
1931 - Nearing the end of the prohibition, the governor signed a bill into law that transformed gambling into the present-day situation.
1959 - As gambling spirals in popularity, the Gaming Control Act writes the Nevada Gaming Commission into law.
Our thoughts on how Nevada is Developing
Nevada could never be described as an emerging gambling state - it arrived long ago and stole the show. But if we’re being supercritical and looking for areas of improvement, then the total absence of a state lottery and online casinos comes immediately to mind. Despite scouring political forums, pending bills, and news articles, there’s no mention of any agenda to discuss introducing lotteries or online casinos into the Silver State.
That has probably a lot to do with land-based casinos and sportsbooks looking to protect their financial interests. The most likely development in Nevada gambling will be the removal of the requirement for players to make online sportsbook deposits and withdrawals in person. In fact, many sports betting apps seek alternatives as they recognize the inconvenience of asking bettors to visit casinos to wager online.