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 US 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. Just in the past 5 years, Nevada was the first to legalize online gambling, 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.
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.
NRS 463.0152 “Game” and “gambling game” defined.
“Game” or “gambling game” means any game played with cards, dice, equipment or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, faro, monte, roulette, keno, bingo, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck, Chinese chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, any banking or percentage game or any other game or device approved by the Commission, but does not include games played with cards in private homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player, or games operated by charitable or educational organizations which are approved by the Board pursuant to the provisions of NRS 463.409.
Nevada lawmakers took no chance when they listed the games which are banned under the law. The list of games above includes many obscure games, especially those which were popular in previous generations.
“Gaming” or “gambling” means to deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain or expose for play any game as defined in NRS 463.0152, or to operate an inter-casino linked system.
Section 463.0153 refers to online gambling, though it also could refer to linked progressive jackpots which are so prevalent in the state. IGT’s MegaBucks created the most lucrative slot machine jackpots in history from “inter-casino linked systems”, though it also could refer to casinos linked by the Internet — or at least wide-area linked progressives found online.
Gambling is defined as “any game played with cards, dice, equipment or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, faro, monte, roulette, keno, bingo, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck, Chinese chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, any banking or percentage game or any other game or device approved by the commission.”
The list of gambling games in the section above is large, as Nevada lawmakers wanted to cover the full range of betting options. Because the law was written in 1931, traditional games like Chuck-a-Luck, Dai-Shu, faro, Fan-Tan, and Klondike are listed.
Nevada gambling laws favor the casino operators. A large chunk of the state revenues come from casino taxes, so operators are treated with the deference that business owners would be in other states. Those who steal from a casino are dealt harshly. Those who operate illegal gambling rings also face stiff punishment.
For that reason — and because competition with legit casinos is so substantial — Nevada has few illegal gambling operations. Only about 10 people are charged each year with illegal gaming operations.
Absolutely. Nevada is the undisputed gambling capital of the United States. Las Vegas is the second-largest casino destination city in the world, behind only Macau. Las Vegas generates billions of dollars in gambling revenue annually, while welcoming over 43 million tourists to the desert each year.
Not all forms of gambling are legal. Nevada has no state lottery, while bettors cannot buy Mega Millions and Powerball tickets. If a gambler wants a chance at a life-changing jackpot, they’ll need to play IGT’s MegaBucks progressive slot machine.
Nevada gambling laws are designed with casino resorts in mind. For instance, casino markers (IOUs) are not treated the way normal credit is in Nevada. Instead, people who sign a marker and fail to pay can wind up in a criminal court, as well as a civil court.
Most of all, the Nevada legislature has a permissive — even innovative — attitude towards gambling.
Many new forms of gaming start out in Nevada, such as eSports betting, virtual sports betting, and skill-based gambling machines.
Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
• Online Gambling – Yes – WSOP.com and a handful of others.
• Land-Based Casinos – Yes – 180+ of the world’s most famous casinos.
• Charitable Gaming – Yes – Registration required for annual $2500 or more.
• Lottery Betting – No – Nevada has no state lottery.
• Minimum Gambling Age – 21 for casinos, pari-mutuel, charitable gaming.
Online poker is legal in Nevada, though players will find far fewer iPoker websites than they might expect. WSOP.com, owned by Caesars Entertainment, operates legally in Nevada. Real Gaming Online Poker, which is owned by South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, also operates online. Real Gaming Online Poker does not have the traffic to run regular cash games and tournaments, though. Station Casinos once had an online gaming portal, but closed the site.
The fact is, Nevada residents who want to play poker or other casino games have plenty of options in the brick-and-mortar gaming industry. While some gamblers will prefer online poker or online casinos, the numbers are small enough in one of the least populous states that online poker has a negligible impact.
It isn’t from lack of trying. In 2014, former Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the MultiState Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) with Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware. This established an interstate poker compact between Nevada and Delaware. While having a minor impact on the poker traffic for both states at the time, MSIGA holds the potential for big expansion if other states sign the compact. New Jersey signed in late 2017, while Pennsylvania might sign on to the MSIGA agreement when its poker sites launch in 2019.
• Name of Bill – Year Submitted – Lawmaker – Supported – Opposed
• Assembly Bill 114 – 2013 – Jim Wheeler – Democrats & Republicans supported it – Unanimous Vote
Sports betting is legal and widespread in Nevada. A full 128 sportsbooks and betting shops exist in Nevada. (William Hill US owns or manages 108 of them.) Some of the biggest sportsbooks in the world operate on the Las Vegas Strip. Off the Strip, the Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) operates the SuperBook, the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas. MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and a host of other Vegas Strip casinos have bookmaker operations.
In fact, from the time the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) went into effect in 1993 until it was repealed in 2018, Nevada was the only state with single-game sports bets. PASPA allowed Montana, Oregon, and Delaware to run sports lotteries, but 46 other states had a complete ban on sports betting. All that changed when the U.S. Supreme Court repealed PASPA on May 14, 2018.
That means Nevada faces competition from other states for the first time. New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania each have legalized single-game sports bets since the SCOTUS decision. Michigan came close, though departing Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed Brandt Iden’s HB 4926. Still, Nevada is the leader in sports betting and should be for some time.
Under former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, daily fantasy sports were considered a form of gambling. DraftKings and FanDuel refused to apply for a gaming license, so they do not operate in Nevada. Catherine Cortez Masto now holds the position, but it is too early to tell whether the new AG will have a different position on daily fantasy sports. Also, it pays for DraftKings and FanDuel to be considered sportsbook operations, so their reticence from 2015 to 2018 might dissipate in the post-PASPA era.
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 LA. Reno was placed as close to San Francisco. 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. That’s just a small sample, though, as you’ll see from our list of famous casinos below.
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. Below is a list of about 50 of the biggest and most famous casinos in Nevada.
|Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South
780 Gaming Machines, 19 Poker Tables, 44 Gaming Tables
|Circus Circus Hotel Casino – Las Vegas
2880 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,264 Gaming Machines, 43 Poker and Gaming Tables
|SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
2535 Las Vegas Boulevard South
710 Gaming Machines, 70 Poker and Gaming Tables
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,000 Gaming Machines, 28 Poker Tables, 128 Gaming Tables
|Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,000 Gaming Machines, 18 Poker Tables, 110 Gaming Tables
|The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,002 Gaming Machines, 132 Poker and Gaming Tables
|The Venetian Las Vegas
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,207 Gaming Machines, 37 Poker Tables, 133 Gaming Tables
3300 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,235 Gaming Machines, 7 Poker Tables, 63 Gaming Tables
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,350 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 97 Gaming Tables
|Casino Royale and Hotel
3411 Las Vegas Boulevard South
449 Gaming Machines, 8 Poker and Gaming Tables
|The LINQ Hotel & Casino
3535 Las Vegas Boulevard South
777 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 54 Gaming Tables
|Harrah’s Las Vegas Casino & Hotel
3475 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,247 Gaming Machines, 11 Poker Tables, 82 Gaming Tables
|Flamingo Las Vegas
3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,158 Gaming Machines, 11 Gaming Machines, 107 Gaming
3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South
409 Gaming Machines, 54 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Bally’s – Las Vegas
3645 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,008 Gaming Machines, 14 Poker Tables, 56 Gaming Tables
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,324 Gaming Machines, 16 Poker Tables, 167 Gaming Tables
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,925 Gaming Machines, 47 Poker Tables, 159 Gaming Machines
|Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,052 Gaming Machines, 27 Poker Tables, 78 Gaming Machines
|MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,770 Gaming Machines, 13 Poker Tables, 157 Gaming Tables
|Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,700 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker Tables, 80 Gaming Tables
|The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,390 Gaming Machines, 119 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,087 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 104 Gaming Tables
|Excalibur Hotel and Casino
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,1175 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker Tables, 52 Gaming Machines
|New York-New York Hotel & Casino
3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,245 Gaming Machines, 72 Poker Tables
|Tropicana Las Vegas
3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South
696 Gaming Machines, 36 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Luxor Hotel and Casino
3900 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,100 Gaming Machines, 58 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Resorts World Las Vegas
|Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
3000 Paradise Road
693 Gaming Machines, 26 Poker and Gaming Tables
|All Net Resort & Arena
2601 Las Vegas Blvd South
Winchester, NevadaNew resort and Arena are expected to open Spring 2020
|MSG Sphere Arena
3356 Swenson St.
Construction began this year and is expected to be completed
2890 Las Vegas Blvd.
|Aria Resort & Casino
3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
1,630 Gaming Machines, 24 Poker Tables, 134 Gaming Tables
|Golden Nugget – Las Vegas
129 Fremont Street
983 Gaming Machines, 13 Poker Tables, 78 Gaming Tables
|Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa
11011 West Charleston Boulevard
2,860 Gaming Machines, 20 Poker Tables, 63 Gaming Tables
|South Point Hotel Casino and Spa
9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South
2,390 Gaming Machines, 22 Poker Tables, 60 Gaming Tables
|Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
4000 West Flamingo Road
1,830 Gaming Machines, 4 Poker Tables, 45 Gaming Tables
|Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 South Main Street
700 Gaming Machines, 3 Poker Tables, 22 Gaming Tables
|Palace Station Hotel and Casino
2411 West Sahara Avenue
1,624 Gaming Machines, 8 Poker Tables, 43 Gaming Tables
|The D Las Vegas
301 Fremont Street
920 Gaming Machines, 4 Poker Tables, 23 Gaming Tables
|California Hotel & Casino
12 East Ogden Avenue
995 Gaming Machines, 28 Poker and Gaming Machines
|Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino
4100 Paradise Road
715 Gaming Machines, 2 Poker Tables, 10 Gaming Tables
|El Cortez Hotel & Casino
600 Fremont Street
961 Gaming Machines, 2 Poker Tables, 21 Gaming Tables
4500 West Tropicana Avenue
2,525 Gaming Machines, 23 Poker Tables, 60 Gaming Tables
|Downtown Grand Las Vegas
206 North Third Street
385 Gaming Machines, 15 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa
7300 Aliante Parkway
1,860 Gaming Machines, 40 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Cannery Casino and Hotel
2121 East Craig Road
1,620 Gaming Machines, 3 Poker Tables, 23 Gaming Tables
|Westin Las Vegas
160 E. Flamingo Rd.
|Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall
5111 Boulder Highway
1,960 Gaming Machines, 11 Poker Tables, 26 Gaming Tables
12300 Las Vegas Boulevard South
|Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino
2300 Paseo Verde Parkway
|Sunset Station Hotel and Casino
1301 West Sunset Road
|Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa
3800 South Virginia Street
1,426 Gaming Machines, 8 Poker Tables, 37 Gaming Tables
|Boomtown Casino – Reno
2100 Garson Road
600 Gaming Machines, 2 Poker Tables, 11 Gaming Tables
|Circus Circus Hotel Casino – Reno
500 North Sierra Street
750 Gaming Machines, 8 Poker Tables, 20 Gaming Tables
|Club Cal Neva Casino
38 East Second Street
696 Gaming Machines, 35 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Eldorado Resort Casino
345 North Virginia Street
1,200 Gaming Machines, 11 Poker Tables, 46 Gaming Tables
|Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
2500 East Second Street
1,310 Gaming Machines, 7 Poker Tables, 50 Gaming Tables
219 North Center Street
695 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker Tables, 23 Gaming Tables
|Mount Roses Station
1010 Mount Rose Highway
Proposed Casino & Hotel
2707 South Virginia Street
1,627 Gaming Machines, 19 Poker Tables, 47 Gaming Tables
|Sands Regency Casino Hotel
345 North Arlington Avenue
572 Gaming Machines, 2 Poker Tables, 16 Gaming Tables
|Silver Legacy Resort Casino
407 North Virginia Street
1,320 Gaming Machines, 15 Poker Tables, 48 Gaming Tables
|Station Casino Reno
4747 South Virginia Street
Proposed Casino Idea
|Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino
15 Highway 50
800 Gaming Machines, 22 Poker Tables, 63 Gaming Tables
|Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Lake Tahoe
50 Highway 50
414 Gaming Machines, 35 Poker and Gaming Tables
|MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa
55 Highway 50
542 Gaming Machines, 28 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Lakeside Inn and Casino
168 Highway 50
295 Gaming Machines, 3 Poker Tables, 10 Gaming Tables
|Harvey’s Lake Tahoe
18 Highway 50
826 Gaming Machines, 26 Poker Tables, 63 Gaming Tables
|Grand Lodge Casino
111 Country Club Drive
255 Gaming Machines, 4 Poker Tables, 16 Gaming Tables
|Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and Casino
5 State Route 28
210 Gaming Machines, 6 Poker and Gaming Tables
|Crystal Bay Club Casino
14 State Highway 28
213 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker and Gaming Tables
20 State Route 28
102 Gaming Machines
|Elko County Fairgrounds
13th Street and Fairground Road
|Winnemucca Event Center
and Fairgrounds 50 West Winnemucca Boulevard
Winnemucca, Nevada 89445-3258(775) 623-5071
Nevada has legal betting tracks like Elko County Fairgrounds in Elko, Nevada and the White Pine Horse Races in White Pine, Nevada. 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.
Yes. You’ll find them scattered around the state. In Las Vegas alone, you’ll find OTBs like Durango Lodge, Brewskes Bar & Grille, Lodge Coffee House & Tavern, The Lodge Shelbourne, The Lodge Tenaya, Riot Racing, and Mango’s Beach Bar. You’ll find dozens of off-track betting facilities, which have simulcasting from over 200 horse tracks worldwide.
Yes. If the total value of raffle prizes is $2,500 or less in a year’s time, then the charitable gaming organization must notify the Nevada Gaming Control Board of its games and events. If the total value of raffle prizes is between $2500 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. Raffles are the main form of charitable gambling in Nevada, though three bingo halls exist.
1164-1308 Nugget Ave
11011 W Charleston Blvd
|L a Bingo Inc
Boulder City, NV 89005
|Jerry’s Nugget Casino
1821 N Las Vegas Blvd
|Suncoast Hotel & Casino
9090 Alta Dr
2113 Texas Star Ln
(No Phone Listed)
4111 Boulder Hwy
|Palace Station Casino Bingo Hall
2411 W Sahara Ave
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).