All in One Guide to Gambling in Nevada

When most people think of Nevada, they envision Las Vegas and the state’s
massive casino empire.

The Silver State features over 320 casinos, meaning you’re never far from a
legal casino, poker room, or sportsbook.

Given that Nevada has the most casinos of any state, it’s little surprise
that they were the first to legalize and regulate online gaming. But the catch
is that their Internet gaming market only features one game.

What is this game? And what do you need to know about gambling online here?

We’ll answer these questions and other important topics on Nevada’s internet
gambling market next.

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Online Gambling and Nevada Law

In December 2011, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the framework for
legal online poker.

The goal was to become the first state with regulated online gaming, and
Nevada accomplished this goal in February, 2013 when the State House and Senate
approved the matter.

Ultimate Poker a venture backed by Station Casinos quickly launched in
April, 2013. This not only made Ultimate Poker the first legal gaming site in
Nevada, but also the first in U.S. history.

Unfortunately, the Silver State’s poker market didn’t take off as expected,
and Ultimate Poker shut down in November 2014, citing low revenue.

Since then, more operators have launched in Nevada, but the overall result
has been underwhelming for the Silver State’s poker market.

According to a USA Today report, the state’s poker sites only made $10.2 million in
combined revenue from May, 2013 to April, 2014
.

In February 2014, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed an interstate online
poker compact to help their iGaming market. The pact, which took effect in March
2015, sees Delaware and Nevada share poker player pools to help with liquidity.

Both Nevada and Delaware have small populations (3.88m combined), so the pact
hasn’t transformed their network into a poker metropolis. But sharing liquidity
has helped create larger tournaments and more cash games between the two states.

Do I Have to Live in Nevada to Play Online Poker?

No. You just need to be within state lines, and have a valid account at one
of Nevada’s poker sites. This allows Vegas, Reno and Laughlin visitors to play
online poker from their hotel rooms or anywhere else.

Nevada like other regulated states in the U.S. has geolocation software
that picks up your mobile device or computer when you’re within Nevada’s
borders.

From here, you need to visit one of the state’s approved online poker sites,
create an account and deposit. Keep in mind that you must be 21 years old to
create an account and make a deposit.

Can You Play Online Casino Games in Nevada?

No. Poker is the only form of online gaming offered in the state.

The good news is that this gives you the chance to play poker variations like
Texas hold’em, Omaha and 7-card stud. The bad news is that you miss out on
online slots, video poker and table games.

When Nevada was in the initial stages of launching internet gaming, they
chose to limit their market to online poker, but the state has debated over
expanding their iGaming industry.

According to a May 2016 article from OnlinePokerReport, the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee
was enthused about adding internet casino games to the mix.

Nothing has happened on this front since the 2016 discussion.

Why Doesn’t Nevada Offer Online Casino Games?

Some land-based casino companies, like Caesars, embrace Internet gaming and
feel that it supplements their brick-and-mortar revenue.

Other companies like Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., fear that
iGaming will cannibalize land-based casinos.

Given the latter group, the Nevada Gaming Control Board started small with an
online poker market.

It’s possible that they would’ve expanded to online casinos and/or
sportsbooks by now if poker had taken off, but the iPoker market has been
relatively insignificant so far, making a harder case for legalizing internet
casino games, too.

Do Offshore Casinos Operate in Nevada?

No, we don’t know of a single offshore casino or sportsbook operating in the
Silver State.

As you may know, offshore casinos unlicensed casinos located outside the
U.S. operate throughout much of America. They avoid Nevada because they have a
regulated gaming market.

The Battle Born State takes their gaming very seriously, and will pursue
legal action if necessary to protect it.

One example can be seen with Bryan Micon, who operated the online poker room
SealsWithClubs.

Nevada authorities raided Micon’s home
and arrested him for operating an
illegal poker site in Nevada.

Licensed in Antigua & Barbuda, SealsWithClubs accepts Bitcoin deposits and
serves U.S. residents. Given that Micon was living in Las Vegas, he made an easy
arrest target to send a message to offshore operators.

What are Nevada’s Online Gambling Laws?

As we’ve covered, Nevada will do what they must to protect their regulated
iGaming operation. But what legal language bars offshore operators from serving
Nevadans?

Nevada Revised Statue 463.016425 (1) explains this as follows:

“‘Interactive gaming’ means the conduct of gambling games through the use of
communications technology that allows a person, utilizing money, checks,
electronic checks, electronic transfers of money, credit cards, debit cards or
any other instrumentality, to transmit to a computer information to assist in
the placing of a bet or wager and corresponding information related to the
display of the game, game outcomes or other similar information. The term does
not include the operation of a race book or sports pool that uses communications
technology approved by the board pursuant to regulations adopted by the
commission to accept wagers originating within this state for races or sporting
events.”

NRS 463.016425 (2) goes on to explain that using computer data networks and
other means to offer gaming is illegal:

“As used in this section, “communications technology” means any method used
and the components employed by an establishment to facilitate the transmission
of information, including, without limitation, transmission and reception by
systems based on wire, cable, radio, microwave, light, optics or computer data
networks, including, without limitation, the Internet and intranets.”

Will I be Arrested for Playing at Offshore Casinos?

It’s hard to say because this issue has yet to surface.

As discussed above, offshore casinos and poker rooms don’t operate in Nevada
due to the laws and regulated market. This makes it hard for anybody to gamble
at offshore casinos when in the Silver State.

But whether or not Nevada would arrest one of their own residents for
gambling online makes for an interesting subject.

If such an event did arise, Nevada could pursue a case based on NRS
463.01473, which discuses electronic gambling money transfers:

“‘Electronic transfer of money’ means any transfer of money, other than a
transaction initiated by a check, draft or other similar instrument, that is
initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer or magnetic tape
for the purpose of ordering, instructing or authorizing a financial institution
or person holding an account on behalf of another to debit or credit an
account.”

How do I Choose the Best Poker Site in Nevada?

The tough thing about Nevada’s internet poker market is that it’s very
limited. Nevertheless, it’s still worth discussing a few factors that you should
consider when selecting a poker site in the Silver State:

  • Player Pool (Liquidity)
  • If you like big poker tournaments and full
    cash-game tables, then you want the highest liquidity possible. Check
    PokerScout.com to see what Nevada poker sites feature the highest traffic.

  • Signup Bonus
  • How much free money do you stand to earn by signing up
    and depositing at a certain poker room? What requirements do you need to
    meet to unlock your money? These are important questions to ask yourself
    when reviewing a poker room’s signup offer.

  • Promotions
  • It’s always nice when poker sites continue offering rewards
    and bonuses long past your signup bonus.

  • Tournament Guarantees
  • If you like playing in online poker tournaments,
    then it’s important that you find good weekly/monthly guarantees.

  • Customer Support
  • The longer you play at a poker room, the higher the
    chances are that you’ll have questions and issues arise. In these cases,
    it’s great dealing with knowledgeable customer service that treats you like
    an actual person.

  • Check Out Reviews
  • While it’s good to do your own research on internet
    poker sites, you can also learn a lot by checking out reviews. These are
    especially helpful when they’re accompanied by customer complaints so you
    can see if a poker room has any major issues.

  • Reputability
  • The good thing about Nevada’s regulated gaming
    market is that they have stringent licensing requirements. Even still, it’s
    good to investigate a poker room’s reputability before depositing with them.

Also On This Page

More Gambling Laws in Nevada

  • Casino Games: Legal
  • Sports Betting: Legal
  • Poker: Legal
  • Racing Betting: Legal
  • Lottery: Illegal
  • Bingo: Legal
  • Charitable Gaming: Legal
  • Social Gambling: Legal

Casino Gambling: Legal


Nevada is known for its casino gambling above all. The state’s casinos and
accompanying attractions are the reasons why Las Vegas draws over 40 million
tourists every year.

Besides Vegas, Carson City, Laughlin and the Reno-Tahoe area also casino
hubs. You can find slot machines and video poker throughout many bars, gas
stations, restaurants and truck stops throughout the state.

Boulder City located 30 minutes from Vegas is the only large town that
bans gambling in the state. This was done in the early 1900s to protect Hoover
Dam workers from losing their money through casino games.

Other than this exception, you’ll find casinos and other forms of gaming all
throughout Nevada.

Charitable Gaming: Legal


When you have numerous casinos everywhere, charity gambling loses its appeal.

Nevertheless, the Silver State allows approved groups to offer charity
gaming, including civic, fraternal, humanitarian, patriotic and religious
organizations.

If licensed, these groups can offer bingo, casino nights, lottery games and
raffles.

Lottery: Illegal


Nevada has the reputation as a wide open gambler’s paradise where anything
and everything is legal, but what’s interesting is that they don’t have a legal
lottery.

This makes them one of only five states without a lottery, including Alabama,
Alaska, Hawaii and Utah.

Efforts have been made to add a legal lottery to the Silver State, but Nevada
continues to stay committed to its casino market rather than worrying about a
lottery, too.

Poker Rooms: Legal


Given that they have more casinos than any other U.S. city, it’s little
surprise that Las Vegas has the most poker tables, too, at 500. Nevada as a
whole has more than 720 poker tables.

This state is an international poker destination, thanks to high-roller rooms
like Bobby’s Room (Bellagio) and the Ivey Room (Aria). Vegas is also home to the
World Series of Poker, which draws over 100,000 tournament participants every
year.

Racing: Legal


Nevada has several racetracks, but none of them are active. The only live
racing happens sporadically at the state fairgrounds.

You can also find simulcast facilities at various casinos in Nevada.

Social Gaming: Legal


As stated by NRS 461.0152, social gambling is legal in Nevada:

“[Gambling] does not include games played with cards in private homes or
residences in which no person makes money for operating the game.”

This means that you’re fine to hold private poker games and other social
gaming functions, provided that the host doesn’t collect rake or install a house
edge.

Sports Betting: Legal


Nevada has been offering legal sports betting for decades, and they were one
of four states grandfathered into the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection
Act (PASPA) of 1992.

But unlike Delaware, Montana and Oregon, the Silver State is the only place
that offers full-service sportsbooks. The other three are limited to fantasy
sports-style and/or parlays.

This allows Nevada visitors to enjoy opulent sportsbooks with a wide range of
lines, including Caesars Palace, Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Red Rock
Resort, Westgate and the Wynn.

Gambling Venues in Nevada

The best thing about gambling in Nevada is that you have access to countless
casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks.

As mentioned in the introduction, the Battle Born State is home to over 320
commercial casinos. This is more than any other state, and it gives you numerous
gambling options within Nevada’s 110,567 square miles.

The most-popular area to visit is the Vega Strip-a 4-mile-long stretch that
features over 40 casinos including some of the biggest and most-lavish the
world has to offer.

Other popular casino areas include downtown Vegas and North Las Vegas. The
area that you spend the most time in will depend on what you’re looking for.

The Strip is generally more expensive and has higher house edges for games.
North Vegas is great for players who want an inexpensive stay and lower house
edges. Downtown Vegas not only offers beatable house edges, but also the
Freemont Street Experience.

Of course, you can also enjoy several other great gaming towns in Nevada.
We’ve listed some casinos from each of Nevada’s major gaming destinations below:

Nevada Map

    1) Alamo Casino Petro TA

    6595 N Hollywood Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115

    2) Alamo Casino Las Vegas TA

    8050 Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89139

    3) Alamo Casino Sparks Petro

    1950 E Greg St, Sparks, NV 89431

    4) Aliante Casino Hotel Spa

    7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, NV 89084

    5) Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas

    3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    6) Arizona Charlies Boulder

    4575 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV 89121

    7) Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

    3800 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502

    8) Avi Resort & Casino

    10000 Aha Macav Pkwy, Laughlin, NV 89029

    9) Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

    3645 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    10) Bellagio Las Vegas

    3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    11) Big Dogs Draft House

    4543 N Rancho Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89108

    12) Binion’s Gambling Hall

    128 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    13) Bodines Casino

    5650 S Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

    14) Cactus Jack’s Casino

    420 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

    15) Caesars Palace Casino

    3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    16) Carson Nugget Hotel and Casino

    800 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

    17) Circus Circus Reno

    500 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89503

    18) Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

    3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    19) Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

    206 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    20) El Cortez Hotel & Casino

    600 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    21) Excalibur Resort Casino

    3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    22) Fiesta Henderson Hotel & Casino

    777 W Lake Mead Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89015

    23) Golden Nugget Las Vegas

    129 Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    24) Green Valley Ranch

    2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89052

    25) Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe

    Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, 50 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449

    26) Harrah’s Las Vegas

    3475 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    27) Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino

    300 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102

    28) Luxor Casino Las Vegas

    3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

    29) Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

    3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

    30) MGM Grand Resort Casino

    3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    31) Palms Casino Resort

    4321 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

    32) Paris Resort Casino

    3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    33) Peppermill Hotel & Casino Reno

    2707 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502

    34) Plaza Hotel & Casino

    1 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    35) Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa

    11011 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89135

    36) Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

    3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

    37) Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas

    5111 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV 89122

    38) Silver Legacy Resort Casino

    407 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

    39) Silverado Casino

    1380 W Newlands Dr, Fernley, NV 89408

    40) South Point Casino and Hotel

    9777 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89183

    41) Sunset Station Hotel & Casino

    1301 W Sunset Rd, Henderson, NV 89014

    42) The D Las Vegas

    301 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

    43) Tropicana Las Vegas

    3801 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    44) Venetian Las Vegas

    3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    45) Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

    3000 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    46) Wynn Encore Las Vegas

    3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

History of Gambling in Nevada

Nevada lays claim to two major milestones in the gambling world. They were
the first state to legalize casinos in 1931, and the first to regulate Internet
gaming in 2013.

That said, it’s no surprise that the Silver State has a fascinating gambling
history that begins with gold and silver prospectors in the mid-1800s.

Like many mining areas, Nevada was filled with gambling. But this changed
when Abraham Lincoln appointed James Nye as the Nevada Territory Governor.

Nye took a stand against gambling pushing to get the activity banned and
imposing stiff penalties on anybody who violated the new laws.

Nevada was ratified as a state in 1864, and the new legislature pushed for
legal gambling. These efforts failed, but the compromise was that gambling
penalties were reduced to almost nothing.

In 1909, the Progressive Movement saw gaming banned throughout the state
again.

In 1931, Nevada Assemblyman Phil Tobin introduced Assembly Bill 98, which
made Nevada the first state to legalize casino gaming.

By the 1940s, the Las Vegas Strip began development. The El Rancho Vegas
became the first official casino to open on the Vegas Strip in 1941.

AnotherStrip milestone is when mobster “Bugsy” Siegel opened the Fabulous
Flamingo in 1946. The lavish Flamingo instantly became a hit, and it earned
Siegel the reputation of having supposedly invented the Vegas Strip.

Other venues that raised the bar for casino resorts include the Golden
Nugget, Harrah’s Club and Wagon Wheel.

Below you can see an expanded list of major milestones in Nevada’s gaming
market:

1861

Territory Governor James Nye encourages Nevada to ban gambling and impose harsh penalties.

1864

New state legislature pushes for legal gambling; their efforts fail, but gaming penalties are reduced.

1909

Progressive Movement results in gambling being banned.

1931

Assembly Bill 98 is approved, thus legalizing casino gaming and sports betting.

1931

Boulder Club, Exchange Club, Las Vegas Club, and Northern Club receive Nevada’s first four casinos licenses.

1941

El Rancho Vegas becomes first resort on the Vegas Strip.

1946

Bugsy Siegel opens Fabulous Flamingo on the Strip.

1955

State legislature creates Gaming Control Board

1959

Nevada Gaming Commission created.

1966

Caesar’s Palace opens on the Vegas Strip.

1993

Nevada gaming revenue reaches a $6 billion milestone.

2004

Nevada gaming revenue hits a record $10 billion.

2007-09

Great American Recession hits; forces Vegas casinos to reinvent themselves as all-around entertainment destinations.

2011

Nevada Gaming Control approves Internet poker legislation.

2013

Ultimate Poker becomes first legal, regulated gaming site in U.S. history.

2014

Gov. Sandoval and Gov. Markell sign interstate online poker compact between Nevada and Delaware.

2015

Delaware and Nevada begin sharing online poker player pools.

Nevada Gambling FAQ

As we covered earlier, the Silver State has a regulated online poker market.
This means that licensed poker sites are your only iGaming options in Nevada.

Some players still have questions that extend beyond just legal forms of
online gaming. That said, let’s discuss a few FAQs regarding Nevada’s iGaming
market.

Why is the Nevada Attorney General Trying to Ban Online Gaming?

In 2016, Nevada A.G. Adam Laxalt joined a campaign to ban internet gaming.
According to PJ Media, Laxalt even asked Vice President Mike Pence to push for a
Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), which would ban iGaming on a federal
level.

Why would the attorney general from a state with legal online poker want the activity banned?

Earlier we covered how Las Vegas Sands billionaire, Sheldon Adelson fears
that iGaming will cannibalize brick-and-mortar casinos. He’s the primary person
behind RAWA and the effort to ban Internet gaming.

Adelson donates to many politicians and government officials, plus he has
numerous connections. This means that Laxalt is likely connected to Adelson in
some way, which is the only thing that makes sense.

Why is Nevada’s Online Poker Market so Small?

Considering that Las Vegas draw tens of millions of visitors every year,
you’d think that Internet poker would have a bigger draw.

But according to PokerScout, the Nevada/Delaware online poker network only
ranks 29th in terms of worldwide traffic with an hourly average of 240 cash game
players.

The biggest reason why Nevada’s iPoker market doesn’t draw much traffic is
because of the state’s small population.

The Silver State only has 2.891 million people, which is less than 1% of the
total U.S. population. Even when Delaware’s population (945.9k) is factored into
the equation, this still doesn’t give Nevada a significant player base.

As for the tourism, this helps boost the traffic numbers somewhat. This is
especially the case during the WSOP, which brings over 100,000 poker players to
Vegas.

But it’s clear that without more liquidity, Nevada isn’t a major player in
the online poker world.

Will Nevada’s Internet Poker Traffic Increase?

To be fair, Nevada’s Internet poker traffic is better than it should be for a
state this size. Vegas, tourism and WSOP marketing help tremendously in this
regard.

The market’s performance since the 2013 launch has fallen well short of
revenue projections. This begs the question of whether the state’s Internet
poker traffic will increase any time soon.

Yes, traffic should increase as more states regulate online gaming and share
liquidity.

Besides Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey is America’s only other place with
legal Internet poker, and they haven’t shared players because they don’t see the
upside in joining two much-smaller states.

Other places will regulate the game over time and join the Delaware/Nevada
network. When this happens, you can expect the Silver State’s poker market to
naturally increase in terms of both players and revenue.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Nevada?

No. The Nevada Attorney’s Office wrote a document in 2015 explaining why
daily fantasy sports (DFS) fall under illegal gambling. Industry leaders
DraftKings and FanDuel were subsequently forced out of the market.

Nevada did issue a license to a site called USFantasy, which offers games
similar to DFS.

USFantasy’s games feature a limit salary cap, and you pick players whom you
think will rank highest in their respective position.

This is not the same as what DraftKings and FanDuel offer, where the goal is
to score the most overall points. Even still, USFantasy is close enough to
fantasy sports gambling that we’re not sure why they receive an exception.

Additional Resources

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC)
share joint responsibilities in regulating the state’s gambling activities.

Few gaming authorities throughout the world wield as much power as the NGCB.
They have gained a lot of clout ever since being created in 1955.

Below you can find out more about the roles of the NGCB and NGC:

The NGCB handles most of Nevada’s gaming regulation, including enforcing
laws, deciding regulations and reviewing licenses. They also produce helpful
revenue on the Silver State’s gaming industry. The Gaming Control Board’s
website is very comprehensive and will answer any Nevada gambling questions you
have.

This 5-member panel acts on recommendations from the NCGB when distributing
licenses, but the NGC has the final say on who does and doesn’t get licensed in
Nevada. This group also decides disciplinary actions against operators, normally
using recommendations from the Board.

The Future & Your Views

Four things can improve Nevada’s online gaming market moving forward:

  • Legalizing online casino games.
  • Legalizing online sportsbooks.
  • Regulating regular DFS (not just USFantasy).
  • Sharing online poker liquidity with more states.

Our first choice is for the Silver State to add Internet casino games to the
mix. The other three factors we’ve mentioned are secondary, although they can help
too.

Unfortunately, Adelson and a few other land-based casinos exist as roadblocks
to improving the market. After all, some are convinced that iGaming will harm
Nevada’s casino industry more than it’ll help.

We’re sure that there’s some overlap when it comes to land-based and online
casino players, but overall, the Battle Ready State is missing out on a
significant chunk of revenue by not diversifying their online gaming.

Hopefully attitudes change in Nevada, and they can move beyond just a small
Internet poker operation.