An Overview of Gambling in Nevada

For many bettors in the US, Nevada is the place to be for all things gambling-related. Boasting a wide range of enthralling sports betting sites, online poker rooms, and retail casinos, The Silver State is understandably recognized as America’s gambling capital.

Today, we’ll detail everything you need to know about gambling in Nevada. Whether you’re into sports wagering, online poker, or online casino games, we’ve got every base covered - including the legal bits.

So, is Nevada’s online gambling scene really all that it’s made out to be? Let’s find out.

The Current State of Gambling in Nevada

Unsurprisingly, Nevada’s gambling industry is thriving at the moment. Despite falling behind in some areas compared to other states that have recently gotten on board with online betting, Nevada maintains its seat atop the hill with regard to retail casino gambling and poker.

In this section, we’ve outlined each of the main betting categories you’ll discover in Nevada right now.

Sports Betting in Nevada

Although the rest of the country had their hands tied pre-2018 in terms of sports betting, Nevada had no such issues. Since 2010, the state has been able to offer its residents and visitors legal, regulated online sports wagering options.

Over the last decade or so, Nevada has welcomed further additions to the sports betting market. Initially, Station Casino was the sole online sports betting operator within the states’ borders, but the fall of PASPA in 2018 led to change across the board.

Now there are more than ten sports betting apps and services available in Nevada, with more expected soon. Due to strict laws in place, it remains illegal to wager using your laptop or browser when gambling on sports in Nevada.

Nevada only permits people aged 21 and above to place wagers on sports events. Thankfully, bettors can place wagers on all the most exciting sports throughout the year, including the NFL, NHL, soccer, MLB, and much more. The only real drawback when it comes to Nevada’s online sports betting is the lack of support for online registration, deposits, and withdrawals. 

Some notable online sportsbooks found in Nevada include the likes of William Hill, BetMGM, and STN Sports. We expect more big names to arrive in the state over the coming decade.

Casino in Nevada

Considering Nevada’s long history when it comes to gambling, it’s always surprising for bettors when they hear that online casinos are yet to become a reality in the state.

Despite wording in The Silver States’ laws that appear to allow for online casino apps and sites, there are zero operators open for business today. This is due to legal wording that doesn’t make the law surrounding online casinos particularly clear, leading to online casino sites taking a cautious stance on setting up their services in the state.

Of course, it’s quite the opposite story in terms of retail casinos. According to statistics published by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, there are over 400 casinos in operation across the state. Compared to other states that call themselves gambling-friendly, these figures are sensational. Admittedly, it’s not quite the fast-paced, electric experience found online - but it’s the best and closest thing NV can offer right now.

With the introduction of online poker in the early 2010s, it appeared only a matter of time before online casinos would open up in The Silver State, but it wasn’t to be.

Poker in Nevada

Online poker was legalized in Nevada back in 2011, although the state’s eager poker players didn’t get to bet on their first hands until after a separate proposal was written into law not long after. For whatever reason, poker sites haven’t been overly keen on remaining in The Silver State, with WSOP (World Series of Poker) eating up pretty much all of the competition.

Much like the two other betting genres we’ve spoken about so far in this section, poker players must be at least 21 years old to join in on a game at any of the legal, licensed venues and sites in Nevada. 

Thanks to a bill named AB258, poker was included in the wording of NV’s state law regarding gambling. Under no uncertain terms, poker would be allowed “without limitation” over the internet, which - after the events of Black Friday - was a massive win for poker players.

Poker appears to be viewed favorably among lawmakers in Nevada. This is evidenced by how quickly they managed to pass legislation legalizing the game and hopefully this continues for a long time to come.

It remains to be seen if more sites arrive in the state to provide poker. Currently, players can only play poker with others by using WSOP’s online platform.

Whilst there is space for new poker sites to provide their services in Nevada, it doesn’t seem likely that anyone can keep up with WSOP. As one of the most impressive gambling entities in the entire world, WSOP.com looks certain to lock down the poker player base currently in existence in Nevada.

That said, WSOP doesn’t dominate the retail poker industry in NV. Almost fifty rooms are operating tables as we speak and more should be on the way in the near future. In contrast to online casino gambling, the state of Poker in Nevada is very healthy.

Horse Racing in Nevada

Those interested in horse racing are free of the shackles forced upon other types of gambling, with it being exempt from the now-repealed PASPA, the UIGEA, and the Wire Act.

In Nevada, users are allowed to wager on the biggest and most exciting horse races through their mobile apps and in-person at the three currently operational tracks. These are:

  • Winnemucca Convention & Visitors Authority
  • White Pine Horse Races
  • Elko County Fair

Moreover, punters can head to their local in-house sportsbook at various licensed casinos in NV and wager on the outcome of a race. Unlike poker in Nevada, nobody holds a monopoly in terms of horse racing in the state.

Racing odds in Nevada are published by registered sportsbooks in the state, rather than popular online horse racing-focused sites like TVG and TwinSpires in other parts of the country. Instead, visit William Hill or BetMGM for all your racing needs. Perhaps the most popular form of horse-racing wagering, pari-mutuel betting - is allowed within Nevada.

There’s not much else to report with regard to the legalities surrounding Nevada’s horse racing gambling industry, other than the fact bettors must be 21 years old to participate in the act of betting on the outcome of a race.

Lotteries in Nevada

The lottery situation in Nevada won’t take long to explain; it’s explicitly defined as being illegal in the state’s constitution. The exact wording we’re referring to reads, “No lottery may be authorized by this State, nor may lottery tickets be sold.”

That’s about as clear as can be. It’s a little odd that a state so intrinsically intertwined with gambling doesn’t permit its residents to play in a lottery, but there you go.

Bingo in Nevada

Unfortunately, online bingo is prohibited in Nevada unless it’s for a charitable cause and nobody acquires profit from the event. We don’t expect this to change anytime soon considering this is essentially a rule of thumb across the entire country, but it would be nice to see bingo implemented as a feature of online casinos (if they ever arrive) in NV.

For now, bingo enthusiasts will need to risk it at offshore sites or play for charity.

Gambling Laws in Nevada

Before diving into the particulars regarding gambling in Nevada, it’s important to know what the state defines it as. By law, gambling is considered to be “dealing, operating, carrying on, or exposing for play any game, or operating inter-casino linked systems.”

With this in mind, we can move on to the intricate details of Nevada’s various laws on gambling. The first thing to note is that the minimum legal gambling age is 21, meaning anyone under this age limit is prohibited from partaking in gambling activities - both offline and online. Although this may be frustrating for some young adults, it’s crucial that rules are in place to protect minors from harm.

You may also be wondering if, since Nevada is so liberal in its attitude towards gambling, you can invite some friends over for a private game of poker. The answer to that is yes - so long as the host does not earn any rake from the event. 

Why Aren’t There Any Online Casinos?

This is where things get tricky. Nevada lawmakers passed bills in 2011 that explicitly allowed for online poker, but there were no words pertaining to online casino gaming. The law specifically states that “interactive gaming” is permitted, however, it elaborates on this with, “without limitation, internet poker.”

Therefore, we can only speculate on the reasoning behind there being zero online casinos in Nevada. One is that the platforms don’t want to find out what the repercussion of planting their seeds in NV might be, especially if it’s deemed that doing so is illegal. Another is that online casinos simply wouldn’t be welcomed in the state as land-based venues earn such a large portion of Nevada’s overall revenue.

Can I Use Online Sportsbooks?

Online sportsbooks are available, but only via downloadable applications on mobile devices. In fact, you’re not even allowed to have your phone or tablet plugged into your desktop or laptop when betting at any of the licensed sportsbooks in NV.

On top of that, interested bettors need to register in person at any of the available retail venues. Deposits and withdrawals must be processed at the casino or sportsbook too, which is understandably annoying for some customers that don’t want to travel constantly. For these reasons, it’s important that residents of Nevada sign up with sportsbooks close to home. Otherwise, you could be spending most of your winnings at the gas station.

When Were Nevada’s Gambling Laws Made?

The first-ever legal wager was placed nearly a century ago, as Nevada sought a way out of the Great depression of the previous decade. Gambling grew in popularity over time, and until the 1970s arrived, NV was the only state in the US taking legal bets.

This applied to sports betting, too. Until 2018, Nevada was the best place to wager on your favorite sporting events because it was the only place you were allowed to. After PASPA collapsed, states were given the opportunity to open their doors to sports betting sites and apps, and we’re now seeing Nevada get rather stuck in the past on the matter.

As previously mentioned, interactive gaming was written into law as being legal in 2011 and then a subsequent proposal was accepted in 2013. The laws related to gambling in Nevada are less about when they were made and more about what’s yet to be written up.

The Regulatory Body in Nevada

The Nevada Gaming Control Board supplies the state with professional regulation of all gambling-related activities. Through careful monitoring of everything that goes on in NV, the eleven-person Gaming Policy Committee is able to decipher which platforms are reputable, deserving of licenses, and make known the sites that are potentially a danger to players.

Although reports and proposals written by the Committee are not law-binding, they’re vital in the fight against criminal activity and enforcing a safer gambling environment for all. Along with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, there are ample regulatory bodies in place within Nevada.

To be clear, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is responsible for putting laws and regulations into place. If a law relating to gambling wants to pass, it’ll need to go through them. The Nevada Gaming Commission is a separate entity and is made up of five members, all of whom operate on a part-time basis.

These five members carry out procedures recommended by the Nevada Gaming Control Board but have no say in what is and isn’t implemented as legal. Despite not being given the opportunity to create laws, the Commission is responsible for revoking licenses, holding gambling businesses to account for misbehavior, upholding the integrity of gambling in Nevada, and has the last word on all licensing matters.

Offshore Illegal Operators vs Legal, Licensed Operators in Nevada

The war between offshore betting sites and legal, regulated gambling platforms continues to rage on in spite of the fact that most players know playing at offshore sites is a risky thing to do. To be frank, registering with offshore sites is ignorance.

We don’t say this without reasoning. Indeed, offshore sites offer casino games, more players on poker sites, and arguably more odds on sports events at times - but is the lack of security really worth it?

Internet safety is becoming more and more important as time goes by. Offshore casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites are well aware of the dangers surrounding their practices and they often claim to operate in a “gray area.” In reality, there’s nothing gray about it. They’re just unsafe and unfit for purpose for US customers.

This is because US users, including those from Nevada, are not protected by regulations put in place by the authorities. As a result, offshore sites aren’t held to the same high standards set by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Consequently, users won’t receive the same level of care from offshore, illegal platforms. More importantly, the Nevada authorities cannot protect players using offshore sites.

Now, we must admit that most players won’t encounter problems at offshore sites and it’s far more likely that the site will offer a decent service. But, as poker players found out all those years ago, nothing is set in stone. These sites may be here today and gone tomorrow. We can’t encourage players to take such a high risk with their personal information and money.

Legal Online Sportsbooks in Nevada

B Connected Sports

Owned by Boyd Gaming, B Connected Sports is a sports betting app that meets most bettors’ everyday requirements. The main pull of B Connected Sports is the number of places that users are able to deposit and withdraw funds, as the owners of the site have acquired various properties across Nevada over the years.

Additionally, B Connected Sports has a handy rewards program where players earn redeemable points, exchangeable for real-money prizes and cool gifts.

Atlantis Sportsbook

Not one of the most popular options amongst sports bettors in Nevada, Atlantis Sportsbook is still a solid option for those seeking something unique and consistent. Having initially garnered attention for its foray into the MLB market, Atlantis has since enjoyed success in other parts of the sports gambling world.

Due to Atlantis operating at just one venue, Atlantis Casino Reno, there’s only one place for bettors to deposit and withdraw funds. This also means you won’t find their deals and odds at any other venue, though.

CG Technology

This company is the perfect example to show just how differently Nevada’s gambling machine works compared to other states. CG Technology is not a sportsbook itself, but rather, they lease their services to real sports betting sites.

So, while CG Technology creates the software for downloadable apps, they don’t actually operate the sportsbooks themselves. As a result, it’s difficult to gather much information on what they offer to entice customers - but it’s possible your favorite sportsbook uses their software.

Caesars Sportsbook

As one of the most recognizable names in the world of gambling, it was always only a matter of time before Caesars joined in on the action. Having signed big-money deals over the past year, Caesars is a brand on an upward trajectory, and with such a clean, easily accessible app we can only praise their efforts.

Signing up with Caesars Sportsbook provides users with the chance to join a loyalty program and enjoy some of the most competitive odds out there.

Golden Nugget Sportsbook

Despite being a household name in the US, Golden Nugget hasn’t spread its wings particularly far in Nevada. As of now, the sportsbook is present in just one retail casino - its very own - and from there, players can deposit, withdraw funds, and register on the platform.

Of course, the app is fantastic and offers a vast array of top sports events. These include soccer, NFL, MLB, NHL, and much more. What’s even better is that customers at Golden Nugget have the opportunity to join the 24K loyalty program, which hands out rewards just for playing on the service.

MGM Resorts Sportsbook

We’ve titled this one the MGM Resorts Sportsbook, but as you probably know, BetMGM is the name of their online gambling brand. There’s not much in the way of unique features compared to its counterparts across the nation, but one thing to keep in mind is that the casinos are all clustered quite closely together. So, if you don’t live anywhere near the Strip, it’s probably best to steer clear as depositing and withdrawing will be a pain.

NV Sportsbook

As the sports betting app for South Point Casino, there’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of NV Sportsbook. Interestingly, NV Sportsbook is also partnered with Rampart Casino, so bettors have a couple of options when thinking about where they’d like to deposit.

The sportsbook is based quite far away from the tourist-heavy areas of Nevada, meaning you’ll likely encounter fellow NV residents avid about sports betting if you do decide to venture to either of the venues to create an account with the platform.

Treasure Island Sportsbook

Another sportsbook that has just one branch in Nevada, customers signing up here should ensure the trip to get to the venue isn’t too lengthy. Surrounded by casino chains in the famous Las Vegas Strip, Treasure Island is one of the few remaining independents sportsbooks in the area. 

Having been purchased more than fifteen years ago after being owned by MGM Resorts, Treasure Island certainly offers a solid experience for rookies and veterans of the sports betting scene.

STN Sports

You may remember that we’ve already mentioned STN Sports at the beginning of this page, and there, we explained that they were the first sportsbook to set up shop in Nevada. Now something of a legacy brand, STN Sports is popular amongst locals rather than tourists and visitors, but not without good reasoning.

There are plenty of retail venues for players to process transactions at, and ample markets, features, promotions, and odds are available with STN Sports. Yes, the sportsbook is smaller than the likes of BetMGM, but it puts up a decent fight.

Westgate Superbook

Another sportsbook that doesn’t actually have anything sports-related in its name, Westgate Superbook’s offers a wide range of terrific bonuses, competitive odds, and a slick app for mobile devices.

As expected, the sportsbook is partnered with its parent casino, also named Westgate Superbook. To deposit, withdraw, register, or anything in between, customers will need to visit the venue in person.

William Hill Sportsbook

One of the few big-name chains that have taken a foothold in Nevada, William Hill is a popular choice amongst locals and visitors. Boasting arguably the best software available to bettors, it’s no surprise customers have arrived in great numbers since its inception in the Silver State.

Added to that the sheer amount of retail venues that William Hill has partnered with thus far and you’ll understand why it’s so popular. Not only is betting on the app easily, but it’s also worthwhile for most users. 

WynnBet Sportsbook

Strangely, it doesn’t appear as though there’s been much investment from Wynn into their NV branch. There are just two venues for customers to sign up at, while features appear to be limited compared to its other sites in the US.

For those that live near either Encore or Wynn on the Strip, it’s a solid option. For anyone else, we can’t recommend it as it is. Hopefully, there’s more time and effort put into WynnBet’s NV Sportsbook sooner rather than later.

Legal Online Casinos in NV

At the time of writing, there are no legal online casinos currently operating in Nevada. As we explained, this is due to unclear wording and resistance from land-based casinos in the state to their implementation. Maybe we’ll see lawmakers relax their stance on the introduction of online casinos over the next several years, although we wouldn’t recommend that anyone hoping for such an outcome gets their hopes up.

Despite online casinos being illegal in Nevada, there are plenty of ways to enjoy casino games in real life. Nevada is home to more than 400 retail casinos, all of which are licensed, regulated, and safe to use throughout the year.

With so many exciting features, the friendly staff at each destination and so many memories to be made, we can’t recommend visiting the likes of Bellagio, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, Golden Nugget, and more, enough!

FAQs

Is online gambling legal in Nevada?

Sports betting via downloadable apps and online poker are legal in Nevada. For now, online casino gambling is not allowed.

When was gambling legalized in Nevada?

Gambling was first legalized in Nevada in 1931 in direct response to the Great Depression. The hope was that being allowed to gamble would lift the spirits of the population in the state.

What is the gambling age in Nevada?

The minimum gambling age in Nevada is 21 years old.

What is the gambling tax rate in Nevada?

While gambling operators in Nevada are subject to a tax rate of around 9%, bettors don’t have to pay anything in tax to the state itself. Rather, the federal tax rate is the only tax applicable to gambling winnings in NV, and that currently sits at 24%.

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 10/7/2021