Nevada Sports Betting Laws
Nevada has had formal sports betting laws on the books since 1949, when the pastime was officially legalized after spending the majority of the 20th century in a sort of gray-market limbo. However, once these semi-legal “turf clubs” gained full legal status in the state, though such books were initially taxed by the federal government at a 10% rate. This was deemed too high for most operators, pushing them further underground. In 1974, the US government reduced this tax to 2%, leading to a renaissance in public sports wagering for Nevada. A further reduction to 0.25% in 1983 really sealed the deal for casino resorts in the state, and sportsbooks became totally ubiquitous and remain so to this day.
In 2010, Nevada legalized online sports betting (online poker and online casino gaming followed in 2013), and the state remains at the forefront for the most forward-thinking betting products available. The Nevada Revised Statutes offer the most comprehensive treatise on gambling of any state, and every aspect of the industry is covered by existing NV laws. For example, “interactive gaming” and “interactive gaming facility” are defined in NRS 463.016425 and NRS 463.016247, respectively, while “mobile gaming” is defined in NRS 463.0176 and “sports pools” are defined in NRS 463.0193.
Most states cover one or two such elements of gambling at most, but Nevada – due to its history as the leader of US betting – explicitly addresses just about everything. To find a loophole in Nevada’s comprehensive sports betting laws and online gaming laws would be no small achievement!
The Legality Of Sports Betting In Nevada
Sports betting has been legal in Nevada for decades, and online sports betting is nearing its 10th anniversary in the state. As such, the pastime is typically taken for granted by both residents and visitors. However, there are still a few things it helps to be aware of if you’re going to be wagering on athletics in the Silver State any time soon.
First and foremost, it is important to understand what kinds of betting are and are not allowed. Historically, most sports are supported by NV-area sportsbooks. Interestingly, though, it wasn’t until 2016 that the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) approved Olympics wagers to be placed. Additionally, many folks just assume that game and broadcast props on big games like the Super Bowl are fully supported by NV books, and that’s not the case. There is an NGCB guideline that sports betting be limited to “on the field of play,” meaning that things like coin flips, Gatorade baths, National Anthem durations, and all the fun props associated with the biggest events aren’t actually allowed.
It’s also important to know how online betting works in the state. Nevada, like all other US states, remains bound by federal law. One of these, the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, prevents any NV book from legally accepting wagers from across state lines. As such, if you have an online betting account with one of the main bookmaking providers in Nevada, you can only use it if you’re physically inside the state (and no, IP spoofing behind VPNs won’t help you). This is known as geo-fencing. Some services that don’t operate their books statewide still offer online mobile betting (and several even have official iPhone and Android apps available) but limit the product to their actual property borders. This makes betting poolside possible, and it helps guests wager from other areas of the venue (like their rooms or various bars and restaurants), but such convenience is necessarily limited.
The last thing to note about NV sportsbooks is that they do not take “entertainment” bets. You cannot place wagers on reality TV outcomes, awards ceremonies like the Grammys and Oscars, or political odds in Nevada, and though this is likely to change, it remains unclear whether the NGCB can simply issue its approval or if the state legislature has to address it specifically during an official congressional session. Regardless, such allowances seem like the most likely changes coming to NV books any time soon, as the rest of the industry is pretty much set.
Where To Legally Bet On Sports In Nevada
As stated, you have a ridiculous number of options when it comes to where to place legal sports bets in Nevada. However, some books are more noteworthy – or more famous or regal or popular – than others. These are the most sought-after sports betting destinations for Las Vegas tourists, and as such, they’re where most vacationers and big game bettors like to place their wagers. In popular culture and mainstream circles, the Westgate SuperBook is the most cited and referenced sportsbook on the planet, and it’s the most common source for gameday odds on sporting events nationwide.
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Legal Age To Bet On Sports In Nevada
The legal age to bet on sports typically aligns with a state’s general gambling age, and that’s the case in Nevada. The minimum age at which you can wager at NV’s many on-site and online sportsbooks is 21 years old. If you attempt to cheat your way into a casino to bet on sports at a younger age, you face serious legal consequences, so just don’t do it!
That said, you will find that most legal offshore sportsbooks will accept Nevada gamblers at just 18 years of age. While you could thus sign up for and use these particular services before you’re 21, the rule of thumb is to always defer to your local state laws in such matters. That means that regardless of how you wish to wager, you’ll need to be at least 21 to do so in Nevada.
Nevada Sports Betting FAQs
Are Online Sportsbooks Safe To Use If You Live In Nevada?
Absolutely! Whether you’re using an official app from Caesars or MGM or you’re sending your wagers overseas to an offshore sportsbook, online sports betting sites are 100% safe and legal to use if you live in Nevada. Just make sure that your offshore book is a trusted, legitimate vendor, and you will have no problems with either route.
Has Anyone Ever Been Arrested For Sports Betting In Nevada?
While Nevada has historically had its fair share of underground betting stings in the years leading up to outright legalization, nobody has been arrested in the Silver State since sports betting was formally legalized. As a private individual, you will not have any legal issues betting on sporting events in Nevada. The only people to regularly face trouble with the law in NV are those who operate sportsbooks without licenses.
What Should I Do If My Bank Didn’t Process My Credit Or Debit Card Deposit?
If your bank declined your credit or debit deposit when trying to fund your offshore sportsbook account, don’t worry. Your card is still good, and you haven’t done anything wrong. This happens very infrequently due to UIGEA banking restrictions, and you should first try using a different card if you have one. You can also use a prepaid international Visa or Mastercard gift card, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are also suggested as reliable solutions.
What Is The Best Way To Fund My Nevada Sports Betting Account?
If you want to avoid any possible banking hiccups and wish to fund your sports betting account quickly while maintaining high limits and avoiding fees, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies (like Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Stellar, etc.) are the way to go. The next best choice is Visa or Mastercard, though overseas books also accept cashier’s checks, money orders, and bank transfers.
Do Nevada Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Football?
Any sportsbook that doesn’t have odds on football will find itself out of business in a hot minute. Football is the sports betting industry’s main driver, and in Nevada, history has proven the NFL season to own the odds boards like no other sport. As such, every Nevada sports betting site not only offers odds on football, but they’re all practically based around the sport on a year-round basis, offering futures and long-term player props even in the offseason. When the Oakland Raiders become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020-2021, football should further solidify its gold-standard status in the Silver State.
Can I Bet From My Mobile Phone In Nevada?
Yes! In fact, mobile betting is thought to make up nearly 60% of all official Nevada sports wagering. This takes into account only legal local books operating over the Internet and not offshore books that also operate legally in the state. Since the dramatic majority of NV bettors use these offshore sites and do so via their iPhones and Androids, mobile betting accounts for well over 95% of all actual sports betting in the state. All the top sites – both domestic and offshore – have first-rate mobile betting experiences on tap.
Do Legal Nevada Online Sportsbooks Have Live Betting?
Live betting is no longer just a sideshow amusement. Today, live betting – aka in-game betting – is a primary driver of both new-member and repeat-customer sports betting at local venues and over the Internet alike. Participating in live betting online is where the discipline really shines, though, as you can wager on the Golden Knights, the UN Wolf Pack, the Rebels, and just about every other team in America as they compete in real-time, no matter where you are.
Can I Have More Than One Online Sportsbook Account In Nevada?
Yes, you can join more than one legal online sportsbook in NV. That said, you may only join each of these sites once. Duplicate accounts at any given site will cause you to be permanently banned from said site, as this is a violation of every online sportsbook’s terms of service. As long as you maintain a single account at each NV betting site, you can be a member at however many different sites you wish. Indeed, this is the best way to score a huge edge for your sports betting bankroll, as shopping lines is a crucial tool for the best bettors in the business.
Betting On Horse Racing In Nevada
Horse racing betting is legal in Nevada, but the state doesn’t have any operational racetracks. This, perhaps more than anything (particularly given horse racing’s regal status in the history of sports betting in general), is the great irony of Nevada, which caters to all gambling amusements save this one. There have been attempts to establish proper Thoroughbred and harness horse racing tracks in Las Vegas in the past, but the area simply doesn’t support the activity (primarily due to the dry desert heat and the preponderance of indoor gambling that exists in the state).
Fans of the ponies needn’t despair, however, as NV has a full menu of simulcast horse racing betting available at most casinos all year long. A few Vegas mainstays even still operate their old Sigma Derby contraptions, though these mechanical, randomized “horse racing” retro delights are few and far between due to their low profit margins. Nevertheless, for the venues that continue to dedicate a bit of real estate to these old tabletop machines (like The D Las Vegas), curiosity alone is enough to drive patrons to other casino and sports betting offerings – as well as to their popular simulcast ticket windows. Chapter 466 of the Nevada Revised Statutes covers all the specifics of the state’s horse betting and horse racing laws.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Nevada
Currently, the biggest shortcoming in Nevada’s gaming market is the fact that it makes no allowances for daily fantasy sports (DFS). Indeed, while DFS has been hugely popular throughout America for most of the last decade, it’s not actually legal – or offered by any major provider (like DraftKings, FanDuel, or Yahoo!) – in the state. Even if you are a DFS user registered in your home state, you cannot access or use your DFS apps while physically inside Nevada.
This is largely due to the politics of DFS, as the activity is marketed specifically as an alternative to sports betting. Further, large operators do not wish to abide by NV’s very specific gambling laws, and they base this on a legal approach that DFS doesn’t constitute “gambling”. While this strategy has allowed the activity to flourish in other states which lack legal casino gaming or sports betting, Nevada has rejected the premise outright, claiming that DFS absolutely fits the existing definition of gambling per the state statutes. Nevada has no pending daily fantasy sports legislation at this time, and the future for NV-based DFS is currently unclear. That said, the state does allow DFS operators to apply for gambling licenses, so for now, such a move is squarely in their hands.