Online Gambling For Real Money in Nevada

Nevada has had legal gambling continuously since 1931, not just betting on horses but casino gambling as well, the sort of thing that a lot of states are still wrestling with 90 years later. Nevada didn’t just have legal casino gambling, as for much of this period, they had the only legal gambling in the country.

As the country opens up more and more to casino and other forms of gambling, the much better established Nevada gambling scene continues to dominate the American gambling landscape. You can actually gamble on anything you want here, but with some forms, you do need to be particularly aware of the need for the right guidance.

History of Gambling in Nevada

Nevada Online Casinos and SlotsThe settlement of Nevada arose out of the silver rush that the state enjoyed in the 19th century. Miners that travel across the country are generally a hardier sort than your average person. These migrants were cast into a remote area full of a penchant for what were considered vices of the time by many, drinking and gambling enjoyed these activities unrestrained by the prohibitions of the East.

Nevada was also settled by a number of Mormons who crossed the territory border to settle in the Silver State, and as the population of the state expanded by those who do not take a very favorable view toward gambling. Nevada got its first anti-gambling laws even before it became a state, where in 1861 the territorial government of Nevada banned it and enacted strict penalties for engaging in games of chance.

Nevada got statehood 3 years later, in 1864, where those favorable to gambling had their voices heard more, where the state took a complete turn and chose to legalize and regulate gambling. The state struggled too much in trying to do this, so they chose to re-enact anti-gambling laws, but only very lightly prosecuting certain operators and leaving players alone.

This continued until 1909, when the “Progressive Movement” saw cracking down on gambling as progress and managed to cause the state government to create clearer laws with more force in trying to prevent gambling. Nevadans pushed back against this, and slowly, more and more forms were permitted. By the 1920s, Nevada had licensed card rooms to stand next to their unlicensed ones operating contrary to the law, although the state wasn’t too bothered by either.

By the time the Great Depression hit, the state chose to completely set aside any misgivings that they may have had toward gambling and go all in with it. In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling again, but this time it was for good, and not part of the way, all of the way.

Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world for all these decades now, didn’t just spring up in the desert from nowhere, and the gambling that went on during the early days of legalized gambling in Nevada catered mostly to the locals. With less than 100,000 people back then, this was not a very big market at all.

With the coming of WWII, the bases that were built during this time brought a lot of military personnel to the area, to the sole state in the country that had legal casino gambling. This and people staring to travel to the state to take gambling vacations caused the potential market to expand enough that gambling resorts started to be built in Las Vegas, which has expanded to this day.

The rest, as they say, is history. Nevada no longer has a monopoly on gambling in the U.S., but they got such a head start that they can still compete very well with all of the new casinos that have sprung up over the last 30 years. Nevada still dwarfs all other states in terms of gambling revenue, and the state’s actual progressive view towards gambling continues to serve them very well.

Nevada Gambling Laws

It should not surprise us that a state that licenses such an abundance of gambling as Nevada would aim their laws at controlling the market, not prohibiting gambling in itself. They don’t seek to arrest or even impede gamblers, but if you want to run a gambling operation in Nevada, you must obtain a license, or you will not be permitted to operate legally.

As you may imagine, when you have this much licensed gambling, there really isn’t a market for unlicensed gambling, but the state still needs rules in place to allow them to administer their gambling market. Nevada does not really require much in criminal law to address gambling, since its regulation is managed so well by administrative law.

Nevada’s criminal law as it pertains to gambling is limited to seeking to limit cheating and fraud, where for instance it’s against the law to manufacture gambling devices because the state wants to prevent flawed devices from being in play. This law also prohibits modifying devices or otherwise using them to obtain unfair advantages against players.

This and the other two provisions related to gambling in Nevada criminal law, the crimes of cheating and committing fraud, are also out to protect players, and it’s against the law to cheat them. That’s all Nevada criminal law is concerned with, enabling fair play.

This is as permissive as even theoretically possible when it comes to a jurisdiction’s gambling laws, not prohibiting anything but cheating basically. The only thing that you can’t do in Nevada is play the state lottery, but only because Nevada doesn’t have one and don’t want to take business away from their mega cash cow, land-based casinos.

You always could gamble online in Nevada as well, and you can’t claim that any gambling in any form is illegal in Nevada since they have no laws against gambling at all. The state does get to decide what they license and regulate though, and they have chosen to cash in on at least some of the online gambling that occurs in their state.

Nevada’s laws are as permissive as they come, and when it comes to laws against gambling in Nevada, we can just sum them up by saying that there aren’t any. Nevada may regulate certain forms of it, and may choose to leave other forms such as real money online casino gambling to regulators outside the state, but in no cases is it against the law to gamble in Nevada provided that you aren’t cheating.

Land-Based Gambling in Nevada

Nevada land-based gambling can be best described as a kingdom of land-based casinos. At last count, Nevada has nearly 350 casinos, of various sizes including a multitude of epic ones.

Most states start out with pari-mutuel racing, but most states aren’t Nevada. Nevada has had a splattering of this over the last 80 years, and people are still trying to get live racing off the ground, but who needs live racing in your state when you can just show and take bets on races from anywhere in the country.

Traditional par-mutuel racing is a dying industry anyway, and the proper size of this market is the number of actual races that need to be run to serve the public given this new way that we can allow people to participate, by way of telecommunication. That’s the sort of pari-mutuel wagering that dominates the Nevada scene.

When you can bet on whatever you want without exception, the only issue is that of access. While sports betting is rolling out to the rest of the country in a big wave now, Nevada has been offering it for a very long time. They had an exemption already from the federal legislation trying to prohibit states from offering sports betting, so when this law was struck down, it was business as usual in Nevada. You can’t open something more when it is fully open now.

However, land-based real money gambling requires that you physically travel to one of these venues, something people traditionally just took for granted the same way as they do with needing to go to a store to buy something.

The best of Nevada’s casinos offer much more than gambling experiences, and this is why we’ll always have land-based casinos and they still thrive in areas that have the continual access to gambling on the internet. Internet gambling does a good job of replicating the gambling part of going to a casino, but good land-based casinos provide so much more in amenities and entertainment that require people to actually be there to experience.

Nevada’s casino experiences are legendary, not only offering their guests the finest in gambling experiences, they also offer the best of anything else that you might want on a vacation, where no expense is spared to make the experience opulent. It is the opulence that will attract you, to have you spending all that money on the trip, aside from what you intend to stake at the gambling games you have come to play.

Nevada is a gambling kingdom of many such palaces, especially in Las Vegas, still widely considered the gambling capital of the world. Nevada is not a very big state, but it sure attracts a lot of gambling tourists, and 3 of the top 4 biggest hotels in the world are in this state, as we as the 16 biggest in the United States.

There are states with bigger casinos, with the largest of the Indian casinos all being bigger than anything that they have in Nevada, but this is like comparing a single tall building to a city of skyscrapers that is many times larger, when you are even in walking distance of several of these big buildings. Nevada is king of the land-based casinos, and there is not even a contender for their throne.

While we can often get a good sense of a casino just by counting their casino space, their games, and their accommodations, it is unfair to compare Las Vegas casinos this way because not only are they so much more than you normally see, the so much more is by far its biggest appeal.

Nevada land-based gambling isn’t just confined to Las Vegas or Reno, as gambling is spread out wherever the demand exists, including at Nevada’s 28 tribal casinos, who help fill the gaps. Nevada casinos come in all sizes, from the smallest to the biggest and everything in between.

We do not need to worry about a lack of gambling saturation like we do in almost all states, because the free market is not interfered with in this state and if it can be built and operated profitably, it will be. This truly is as close to land-based gambling heaven as you will ever find.

Nevada Online Casinos & Slots Gambling

Nevada was the first state in the country to license online poker, although New Jersey took the title of the first state to have both real money online poker and real money online casino games.

Online poker ring-fenced in such a small jurisdiction, even with allowing all of the tourists that are visiting at any given point in time access as well, does not make for a very large pool of players compared with what online poker players are used to.

With casino games, it doesn’t matter what the pool of players happens to be, and these games can be run as well with one user or millions. Poker is different though because you are playing against human opponents at various variations and stakes, and you need enough players to play at your chosen games to even be able to play them.

Some jurisdictions such as Denmark have come up with a scheme to manage and track their players while still allowing them to play on the main network of major online poker sites, and if Nevada really wants its regulated online poker to be all that it can be, allowing their players to finally re-gain access to the big sites that they lost the ability to play at years ago would be a huge win.

This does not mean that regulated Nevada online poker is unworthy, and plenty of players take advantage of it, with the added advantage of being able to use standard means of depositing and withdrawing from sites that were taken away after the UIGEA passed. It’s just that being able to play on the real Poker Stars would take us all the way back to the glory days.

Nevada does not have any qualms with sports betting, which you can do online as well, but they still have not managed to approve an online casino bill yet. New Jersey is also protective of their casinos, and all you have to do is let the casinos offer it to eliminate any concerns of a loss of market share, but no one is as protective as Nevada is with their casinos, and this is proof.

With all of the casinos that Nevada has, if there were state where we could say with a high degree of confidence that they are not opposed to casino gambling in general, Nevada would be at the top of the list, with a big gap between them and second place.

Why would Nevada continue to resist extending their gambling empire like this, forcing their residents to gamble outside the country instead? No one knows for sure, and we’re left to speculate, but it does seem that they are so risk averse to hurting their kingdom of land-based casinos that they do not even want to be making an otherwise good bet.

In the meantime, that’s exactly what Nevada online casino players do, play elsewhere. Nevada is missing out on potential revenue as well as walking away from the opportunity to regulate all the gambling that goes on in their state, both of which should be desirable. They are so close to being wide open and we’ll have to wait to see how much longer they can hold out.

Future of Gambling in Nevada

There’s not a whole lot that you can add to Nevada’s spellbinding gambling scene, and if people think that then can make another casino work in this state they just build it. This is far from long and arduous battles that happen in many states just to get a few more casinos added to the mix.

There’s no real need for improvement on the land-based gambling front, as this market follows the real market and simply expands and contracts based upon demand, the way that well-regulated businesses are supposed to work. Nevada’s online scene is another matter though, and its continuing refusal to allow online casino remains a real eyesore and a significant area of opportunity, even though they both have real money online poker and real money online sports betting.

It is not that Nevada regulating real money online casino games will have any sort of great impact on Nevada gaming revenue, but includes all of the online casino gambling that people in the state would wish to partake in, whether they do presently or not, and that’s an even bigger chunk than what they get from real money online poker.

Even the most passionate gamblers do not ordinarily spend most of their time at land-based casinos, although even the travel time needs to be accounted for. Access to land-based casinos is at best limited, with it simply being limited a lot less in some states such as Nevada than in other states.

What online gambling does is bridge the gap here, where the limitations are now down to simply having time to gamble, right now, with nothing more than just logging into your favorite online gambling sites preventing you. This is truly gambling on demand, in a way that land-based casinos can never even touch.

Those in Nevada who do not wish to wait to enjoy all the real money online casino games have the comfort of knowing that no form of gambling is against the law in their state, and no form includes online gambling. You can’t operate an online gambling site or any gambling enterprise in Nevada without the state’s permission, and they aren’t permitting online casinos being run in the state right now, which needs to only concern you if you are an online gambling operator.

If you are instead a player, you aren’t even involved in the conversation beyond the fact that if and when Nevada does start regulating online gambling, this will provide you with more options. There’s also the benefit of using common means of depositing and withdrawing from your gambling accounts, a process made far easier with domestically regulated online gambling.

Without this choice though, players have no alternative to playing at offshore regulated real money online casino sites, until such a time as the state of Nevada chooses that they wish to regulate the online casino gambling that goes on in the state themselves.

This is where we come in, and as exciting as the world of real money offshore online gambling is, this not a world that you should be venturing off into on your own. Many people are concerned about jumping into offshore online gambling, but is only because they are only worried about this without the right help. We can help.

Nevada Online Slots & Casinos FAQs
  • How well did gambling prosper in the early days of the state?

    Like several other frontier states, gambling became popular in Nevada from its earliest days of settlement during the Silver Rush. Just prior to becoming a state, the mood changed and access to gambling fluctuated from being mostly prohibited to being more widely permitted, although the state never did prosecute players and only took a modest view toward operators, often allowing them to openly operate in defiance of the law.

  • What caused Nevada gambling to grow into such a powerhouse?

    Up until 1931, Nevada was mostly undecided about gambling, mostly in favor but still with reservations. Their gambling laws had been spotty up until this time and their enforcement was even spottier. Nevada came to the decision to simply legalize gambling period that year, and they have never looked back since. This allowed them to be the gambling capital of the United States, a tile they still hold.

  • What does Nevada criminal law say about gambling?

    While gambling regulations wavered throughout the first half of Nevada’s history, the will to prosecute gambling itself was never really there, even when the state had laws that did make the act of gambling illegal. That went with the 1931 change in the law though, where the only gambling crimes that remain are related to casinos cheating.

  • What forms of land-based gambling are legal in Nevada?

    Nevada does not have a state lottery, but it’s not because they have a problem with any form of gambling, it’s that they have been worried about a lottery cannibalizing some of the state’s land-based casino business. There are almost 350 casinos to protect, by far the largest number of any state. Nevada also has legal poker and sports betting, both of which they have been offering for many years now.

  • Is social gambling legal in Nevada?

    Since it is legal to gamble in Nevada, social gambling is also legal, provided that it is actually social gambling and not just an unregulated gambling business that is being run commercially. Social gambling is essentially non-commercial gambling, although you don’t need a prior social relationship in Nevada to have the game decided to be social, like in some states, as it’s not paying a third party to play that distinguishes it here.

  • What does Nevada offer as far as land-based gambling goes?

    Nevada has by far the best selection of casinos by either quantity or quality in the country, and this is why people still travel to the state from far and wide to play at them. Las Vegas hosts a number of the most legendary casinos in the world, and this truly is casino Mecca as it is billed. There’s no horse racing in Nevada to bet on, but you can bet on numerous races held elsewhere in the country. Many of Nevada’s many casinos also offer sports betting and real money poker.

  • What forms of online gambling does Nevada regulate?

    Nevada regulates two of the three major forms of gambling currently, and were the first to the gate with online poker. This was back at a time where the push overall in the country was just toward online poker, and it wasn’t until New Jersey legalized online casino games that it first became offered in the country. Nevada also offers online sports betting, but all these years later, have yet to approve online casino games.

  • Why doesn’t Nevada have real money online casino gambling?

    Nevada has since fallen behind not only New Jersey but the additional states that have added it since like Pennsylvania and a number of other ones that are at least closer to approving this than Nevada is. The most likely reason for this is due to Nevada insisting on being over-protective of its casino business, similar to their reluctance to approve a lottery even though the lottery and casino games are pretty distinct.

  • Is online casino gambling legal in Nevada?

    Since there is no law against gambling at all in Nevada, there is no law against their gambling either online or at land-based casinos. Nevada does offer poker and sports betting, but currently does not offer real money casino sites, so players have no choice but to play elsewhere. Since it’s legal to do so, the only consideration that remains is making sure that you play at the right sites in the world of offshore casino gambling.

  • What do Nevada players need to do to take advantage of real money online casino gambling?

    Being aware of the offshore gambling market is even more important to Nevada players than there is in just about any other state, due to the more limited number of online casino sites that take players from Nevada. Many of them think that with all the land-based gambling that is there, the market is too small. It isn’t, and we’ll show you the best sites out there that you can play on.

Associate Writer: Geoff enjoys both live and online poker as well as casino games, and is particularly knowledgeable about the legal landscape of online gambling.