Even if you do not gamble, you’re more than likely aware of the gambling and entertainment culture in Nevada. From classic movies, to current television shows, cities like Las Vegas are shown quite frequently. Ever since the Great Depression, Nevada has had legal gambling available in the form of casinos and more recently sportsbooks. Today Nevada is arguably the most popular gambling destination in the world. It is even considered the gambling mecca of the world by many.
With several cities to visit offering casino resorts, Nevada is the most visited state for gambling in the U.S. Many tourists and gambling enthusiasts fly to Las Vegas every year, while other towns like Reno are popular to nearby residents. Reno is located just about 4 hours east of the San Francisco Bay Area, and close to the popular vacation spot; Lake Tahoe. Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is even one of the busiest in the country. Select a city below to find casinos or read on to learn more about gambling here.
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Nevada was the first state to legalize intrastate online poker, which shouldn’t be all that surprising since it’s the gambling capital of the world. The Las Vegas strip is the home of 15 out of world’s 25 biggest casinos and the total number of casinos exceeds 250, which means that there’s one casino per every 440 square miles of terrain in Nevada.
Nevada is also one of the few states that are allowed to have live sportsbooks, which are usually located in casino buildings and which allow their user to watch high-profile games live on location. It’s also worth pointing out that despite having such a massive gambling industry, Nevada doesn’t have any racetracks and does not operate a state-controlled lottery.
It’s impossible to arrive in Nevada without knowing what the state’s primary source of tourism is. Drive in from Los Angeles on I-15, and after crossing the state line, you’ll immediately hit Primm, Nevada and its pair of casinos right off the freeway. (In case you can’t wait the extra 45 minutes to get to Las Vegas.)
Coming in from the other direction on I-15 through Utah and Arizona, it’s the border casino town of Mesquite that first greets you with its three casinos. And when you land at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, as soon as you get off the plane, you are surrounded by the sites and sounds of more than 1,300 slot machines.
The United States has around 1,000 commercial and tribal casinos in operation. One-third of those are located in Nevada, with the greatest concentration in Clark County, where Las Vegas is situated. There are 166 casinos in Clark County, with 39 of them calling the world-famous Las Vegas Strip their home.
Some other impressive casino stats from the hub of American gambling, Clark County, Nevada: in 2018, there were 120,475 slot machines in operation (down from a high of 157,000 in 2001), there are 4,423 table games available, and in Clark County alone, 619 poker tables are on offer.
The gaming is not limited to Las Vegas and the surrounding area – the entire state is filled with casino-style games, with Reno claiming 20 casinos. There are 16 casinos in Lake Tahoe, and the city of Laughlin houses nine such establishments.
Casinos in Nevada are open 24 hours a day, and you must be 21 years old to play.
Unlike many other states in the U.S. which place heavy restrictions on their casinos, there are very little restrictions in Nevada. This means almost all gaming properties are full-fledged resort casinos. These types of casinos spread slots, electronic machines, table games, off-track betting, keno and basically any other game you can think of.
In addition to this, many casinos in Nevada include a full resort and hotel with lavish amenities. This has helped make Las Vegas in particular, sort of a vacation hotspot where people from all over the world go to blow off steam and have fun.
Almost all casinos; especially those in Reno and Vegas, are now owned by large corporations. This is different from many other states which have Native American casinos. The two biggest corporations which are in charge of a majority of casinos in Nevada are Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts, Intl.
All in all, there are over 100 casinos spread across Las Vegas alone and dozens more in other towns throughout the state. The two most popular destinations in Nevada for gambling are the Strip and Old Vegas in the Las Vegas area and downtown Reno. People fly to McCarran International Airport each year to enjoy what cities like Las Vegas have to offer. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 30-40 million people visit Las Vegas each year.
Nevada is the center of the American sports betting universe. The state’s sportsbooks handle more than $4.8 billion in bets annually, and casinos up and down the state sell out rooms specifically because of big sporting events, like the Super Bowl and NCAA basketball tournament.
Nevada is one of only four states that allow legal sports betting. This makes its sportsbooks some of the most popular within the United States. Many of the casinos here have sportsbooks on-site, while there are still many stand-alone properties. They offer almost all types of bets from parlays and moneyline to prop bets.
Nevada is also one of the leaders in online sports betting, with eight different mobile apps available for sports wagering in the state. The eight sportsbook operators offering a mobile app are:
The professional sports scene is also expanding in Las Vegas, with the recent addition of an NHL team, and the Raiders of the NFL coming in 2020. This has created an interesting conundrum regarding mobile apps, in-game sports wagering, and betting at the new Raiders Stadium. Allegedly, you will not be able to gamble at the stadium while the team is playing, although some lawmakers are already considering changing this.
The legal age for sports betting in Nevada is 21.
In an interesting twist for Nevada, this Mecca of sports betting is a veritable wasteland when it comes to fantasy sports gambling. While state officials all consider daily fantasy sports as perfectly legal in the state, DFS companies must be licensed, just like every other Nevada gaming operator.
When that decree came down, most DFS operators pulled out of Nevada, except for US Fantasy Sports. They received a license to operate a pari-mutuel style fantasy game. NFL players substitute for the horses, and they are all given odds for the week – not unlike a horse race. US Fantasy Sports operates at more than 40 casinos in Nevada.
You must be at least 21 to play.
Horse racing is legal in Nevada, but no live racing held in the state, perhaps because people don’t want to sit outside in the desert heat, let alone make animals run in those conditions.
However, off-track betting and simulcast racing from across the world, for both horses and greyhounds, is available at almost every sportsbook in Nevada.
You must be at least 21 years old to place a pari-mutuel wager.
As mentioned, Clark County alone operates more than 600 poker tables. Nevada is the poker capital of the world. With the many World Series of Poker events, famous poker players that call Vegas home, and wide variety of poker games for any skill level and any size stakes, a trip to Nevada is a must for any avid poker player.
Nevada was also the first state in the country to legalize and regulate online poker, and it recently signed a deal with New Jersey allowing players from both states to play against each other.
You must be at least 21 to play.
On the surface, it might seem odd that a state like Nevada, with the most liberal gambling laws in America, deems a lottery to be illegal. However, when you consider the powerful interests in the gaming industry that don’t want to see a state-run entity start acting as competition, it makes perfect sense.
Nevada does not run a lottery and is not expected to launch one in the future. The lawmakers that would need to vote to make it happen have chosen reelection over lottery legalization.
Along with bingo options found at a few Nevada casinos, there are charitable gaming laws that allow qualified non-profits to obtain licenses to host bingo games. However, bingo events can be held without a license if the games award no more than $2,500 per calendar quarter.
Where a license and registration is required, the following regulations must be followed:
You can find charitable bingo in the following Nevada cities:
Like all gambling in Nevada, the age requirement for playing bingo is 21.
While Nevada (Las Vegas in particular) is a tourist behemoth today, many people are unaware of how that came to be. Three of the biggest attributing factors to Las Vegas becoming what it is today are the construction of the Hoover Dam, Vegas’s relaxed enforcement of liquor laws during prohibition and the stock market crash in 1929, resulting in the great depression. These would all come together to create a “perfect storm” for the Las Vegas gambling culture we know today.
After Assembly Bill 98 was approved in 1931, it began to pave the way for entrepreneurs and mobsters alike to transform the area. The state, which was hurting during the Great Depression, enacted the bill to help raise much needed revenue for Nevada. At first the idea of having a gambling mecca in the middle of the desert did not catch on. The idea didn’t really take off until shortly after 1945 when World War II came to an end. With much of the U.S. population no longer focused on the war efforts, more attention could be placed on illegal gambling. Many states including Chicago and New York began to come down hard on illegal gambling operations. This began to attract many more entrepreneurs and crime figures to Vegas where gambling was completely legal.
Las Vegas started making strides in the 1950’s, when several large investors began putting money into the city’s hotels and casinos. Many of the investments during the early days came from notable American crime figures. This is why prohibition may arguably be the single biggest contributing factor in the development of Las Vegas. Without it we would likely not have seen many of the shady investments put into early Las Vegas casinos by famous mobsters. It wasn’t until the 1960’s and 1970’s when more legitimate entrepreneurs and businessmen began to buy back casinos from mobsters. Today, Las Vegas has become somewhat of a corporate monster, owned by some of the biggest, legal names in gambling like Caesars, MGM and Boyd Gaming.
In Nevada the age to enter a casino and gamble is 21 years old. This includes slots, table games, sports books and all other casino games. The age to consume alcohol is also 21, and at most casinos drinks are usually comped.