Nevada Casino Gambling Laws

It was only fitting that Nevada was the first state to launch legalized online poker. Their gaming board was the first to ok it, too, although they trailed Delaware by about 6 months in terms of signing their bill into law.

The largest difference from Nevada and the other legal poker states, is that Nevada only allows poker, whereas New Jersey and Delaware allow casino games. Between that and their population of 2.5 million, this could hinder their potential revenue by 100% or more. It was estimated back in September 2013 that Nevada could break $100 million annually if they were to launch casino games, up from the $45 million they estimate the state will earn from poker.

But they haven’t changed their mind yet. And they’ve been vocal about their interest to form intrastate poker pacts.

Fortunately, their legislation leaves them room to do just that. That means they may have the opportunity to improve their current numbers of an average < 500 players per day. As Pete Ernaut put it: "It's imperative for the success of this that we compact with other states because we don't have a universe of players.”

We agree.

But for now the residents of Nevada will have to make due with what they have.

The Gambling Laws in Nevada

The following are cliff-notes regarding the gambling laws in Nevada.

Online Gambling – Unregulated online gambling is illegal. The only form of legal gambling is poker (for now).

Right now there are 3 poker rooms accepting customers.

  • Ultimate Poker – They launched April/May 2013.
  • WSOP.com – They launched September 2013.
  • Real Gaming – They launched February 2014.

 

The state has given out over 20 licenses for online poker to date, so you can expect to see more online poker rooms and casinos pop up as time goes on.

You don’t have to be a resident to play online, either. To play for real money you only need to be within state lines. And you can play for free from any state. All players will need to be 21 or older.

Player to player transfers are not allowed, either. This is due to concerns of illegal activity (fraud and money laundering).

Home (Social) Poker Games – These are legal. The only thing to keep in mind is that no one can take a fee or rake. The only money exchanged can be the money won/lost from one player to the next.

NRS 463.0152 “Game” and “gambling game” defined.

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.

Live Gaming – Duh. Live gambling is clearly legal. You can take your pick from more than 100 locations in Las Vegas, and more than 250 throughout the state.

Sports Betting – Nevada is the only state that allows (traditional) sportsbetting. You’ll find a sportsbook in most of the larger casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Lotteries – Nevada doesn’t have a state lottery.

Nevada’s Online Gaming Timeline

Here is a timeline of the most important events regarding online gaming in Nevada.

February 19th, 2014 – South Point launches Real Gaming. They’re the 3rd site to launch in Nevada. They only launched only with Texas holdem, and their software is the no download versions, unlike most poker sites that require you to download their software.

September 26th, 2013 – Zynga withdraws their gaming license for Nevada. The company decided to abandon their real money plans for America. They stated that they felt like their biggest opportunity was to continue focusing on social games, at least in the USA.

September 23rd, 2013 – Wynn Resorts partners with 888.

September 19th, 2013 – WSOP.com goes live in Nevada. They are the 2nd real money site in the state. They’re backed by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, and run on software provided by 888 Poker. At that time they offered a wider selection of games, including holdem, omaha and 7-card stud.

September 12th, 2013 – Juicy Stakes stops allowing new accounts to sign up (from Nevada). They also stopped taking new deposits from existing players.

April 30th, 2013 – Ultimate Poker goes live in Nevada. They’re the first website to offer real money poker legally in the United States.

February 2012 – The Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval, signed the bill that legalized online poker. They beat New Jersey to the punch by about 2-3 weeks. By this time they already had 20 applications from companies waiting to be licensed.

December 22nd, 2011 – The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved online gaming regulations for the state. This opened the doors to companies already licensed by the state to expand their gaming portfolio. Immediately following 6 companies already had their applications in queue – Cantor Gaming, Shuffle Master, International Game Technology, Bally’s Technology, Caesars Entertainment and South Point.