Nevada Online Sports Betting Laws
Bright lights, world-famous casinos and big sportsbooks. For decades Nevada has been the home of US sports betting. The state, and Las Vegas in particular, has made the most of its special status. Even though the shackles are off in rest of the country, it’s highly doubtful anywhere will ever match Nevada.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is Sports Betting Legal in Nevada?
Most definitely. Sports betting has been legal here since 1949, nearly 70 years before the rest of the US.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Nevada?
Absolutely. There is a huge selection of apps for you to use – but you have to register in person.
How Old Do I Have to be to Place a Bet in Nevada?
The minimum age for all sports betting in Nevada is 21 years old. Since 1955, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, paired with the Nevada Gaming Commission, have had the responsibility of overseeing all elements of gaming within the state.
Go to your nearest or favorite casino.
Find the sportsbook area – almost all casinos have one – and start betting.
If you want to bet online, sign up for one of the sports apps available in the state.
You’re good to go!
For several decades, Nevada stood alone as the only place in the US where full-scale sports betting was legal. Legal sports betting in Nevada dates back to 1949, when the state legalized sports betting, as well as live and off-track horse racing. Historically, race books and sports pools were storefront operations, and the first licensed race book, the Sierra Turf Club in Reno, Nevada, opened in 1952. Beginning in 1991, Nevada law has required books to be established as part of resort hotels in counties with populations of 100,000 or more (which includes Las Vegas, in Clark County, and Reno, in Washoe County).
The Silver State’s position as the go-to destination for sports bettors was enhanced in 1992, when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed. That act prohibited the introduction of legal sports wagering in any state that did not already have established sports wagering at the time of its enactment. This restricted sports betting to Nevada and a handful of states that had some very limited sports wagering options at that time.
When PASPA was declared unconstitutional in 2018, it opened the doors for other states to authorize sports betting. But Nevada had had a head start of nearly 70 years and it will take a miracle for any other location to usurp it as the undisputed spiritual heart of the US sports betting landscape.
Indeed, in the first year after the repeal of PASPA, 2019, Nevada set a new record for yearly sports handle with an eye-watering $5.3 billion.
Because it was the first, Nevada’s online sports betting history is unique. In fact, even today, the state doesn’t offer an online sports betting license, but instead online sports wagering offerings are considered to be a form of “remote account wagering”. Remote account wagering in Nevada dates as far back as the 1970s, when players in Nevada were first allowed to place their race and sports wagers over the telephone. Indeed, in Nevada, it is only the technology that has advanced to allow remote account wagering to take place online. The first “online” offerings as we know them today date back to 2010, when the first sports betting app was released in the state.
There are now 11 apps available for Nevada sport betting, and they account for and estimated more than 50 per cent of the sports bets placed in the state.
Players must still appear at a casino in person to sign up for an online sports betting account, however. But once you are registered, you can place bets from wherever you like, as long as you remain within state lines.
Virtually every casino in Las Vegas – and there are more than 130 of them – has a license to take sports bets. Casinos are now affiliated with one of the 11 sports betting apps available in the state to allow Nevada online sports betting fans to wager on their favorite events.
Everyone has heard the phrase “What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas”. From the taxman’s point of view, however, that’s not quite true.
“Gambling winnings are taxable and you must report the income on your tax return,” is the official line from the IRS.
How much tax you’ll have to pay depends on your personal situation and tax bracket. But you must keep a record of all your winnings. If you don’t, rest assured the sportsbook you play with will – and they are duty bound to hand over that information to the IRS.
You might expect the rules on the age at which you can start Nevada sports betting to be fairly relaxed.
Some states allow you to be on sports from the age of 18. However, the law in Nevada is surprisingly strict – you cannot get involved in sports betting until you are at least 21.
Despite the lure of Nevada and Las Vegas as a magnet for fans of betting and gaming, it’s still important to note that if you are accessing Nevada betting sites from a remote location, you do still need to be within the state for the bet to go through legally.
The policy on casino employees being allowed to gamble varies from location to location. Some encourage it, some don’t – and others allow you to bet on games and sports that you personally don’t work on. If in doubt, ask the staff to see if they can join you in a bet or not.
You might think that, when it comes to Nevada sports betting, anything goes. But there is a firm restriction on bets being taken on any amateur sport or athletic event other than events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, or collegiate sporting or athletic events. And Nevada race and sports books may not take a wager on any collegiate sport or athletic event which the book employee knows or reasonably should know, is being placed by, or on behalf of a coach or participant in that collegiate event.
No licensed sportsbook anywhere in the US will offer odds on an upcoming election or any other political betting market. Under federal law, Americans are not allowed to gamble on politics, and the same is true under Nevada law.
You may be surprised to know that wagering on collegiate and professional sports teams based in Nevada is not prohibited, although the team’s governing body files may file a request with the Nevada Gaming Commission to prohibit wagers on a specific game or series.
Wagers may not be taken on virtual events or other non-sporting events unless a request is pre-filed with the Nevada gaming regulators to allow such wagers.
The situation over Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Nevada is complicated. DFS is allowed in the state, as you might expect from the mecca of sport betting.
However, DFS operators have been asked to apply for a sports betting license. Such an act would constitute an admission that DFS is a form of betting.
As a result, neither of the two US giants of DFS, FanDuel and DraftKings, has applied for a license to run fantasy games in Nevada.
No other operator has taken their place – with so many opportunities for Nevada sports betting, the lack of DFS in the state is apparently not felt particularly keenly.
Football is massively popular among Nevada sports betting fans. Indeed, the Super Bowl is the biggest annual event for sportsbooks in Las Vegas. The fact that the LA Raiders became the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 can only heighten the profile of the US’s biggest sport.
For more than 20 years, the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has spearheaded the drive to ensure people who engage in betting and gaming in the state do so responsibly. Since 1998 the council has worked with the gaming industry through its “When the Fun Stops” program.
The NCPG offers a huge range of resources to people in Nevada who feel their betting may be getting out of control. Its website is full of authoritative detail and constructive advice and support.
They’re not alone in their fight to raise awareness and provide resources for tackling responsible gambling, you’ll also find organizations such as the:
Gamblers Anonymous: A listing of dozens of GA meetings in the Nevada area.
National Council on Problem Gambling: not to be confused with the Nevada Council on Problem Gaming, the National Council develops policy and programs to combat and treat problem gambling. They have a national helpline, plus moderated support forums and groups.
Gam-Anon: providing information for the general public and professional community about problem gambling and its financial and emotional effects on the gamblers' families and loved ones.
Sports betting is legalized in Nevada.
The federal government imposes a 10% tax on legal sportsbooks in Nevada.
Restrictions on sports betting in Las Vegas are loosened as the tax is reduced to 2%.
Jackie Gaughan opens a sportsbook in the Union Plaza – the first Las Vegas sportsbook in a casino.
The betting tax is cut further, to 0.25%, and licensees can now operate more than one book at a time, making it easier for casinos to introduce sportsbooks.
PASPA is passed, making sports betting effectively illegal everywhere in the US – except Nevada.
The first online sports betting app in Nevada is launched.
PASPA is declared unconstitutional, opening the way for the legalization of sports betting in other states.
Most of the state’s 136 casinos have their own sportsbook, and are affiliated with a provider of an online sportsbook.
|B-Connected Sports||Boyd Gaming – Aliante, Cannery, The California, Eastside Cannery, Fremont, Gold Coast, Joker’s Wild, Main Street Station, The Orleans, Sam’s Town, Suncoast|
|BETMGM||Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM|
|Caesars Sports Book by William Hill||Arizona Charlie’s, Bally’s Las Vegas, Binion’s, Bonanza Casino, Boomtown Casino, Caesars Palace, Casino Royale, Circus-Circus, Club Cal Neva, Downtown Grand (Las Vegas), Eldorado Resort Casino, Ellis Island, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Four Queens, Grand Sierra Resort, Hard Rock (Lake Tahoe), Harrah’s Casino Hotel (Lake Tahoe), Harrah’s Las Vegas, Harrah’s Laughlin, Klondike Sunset Casino, M Resort Spa Casino Las Vegas, OYO Hotel & Casino, M Resort Spa Casino Las Vegas, OYO Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Plaza Hotel & Casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Sahara Las Vegas, Silver Sevens, Silverton Casino Hotel Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Cromwell Las Vegas, The LINQ Las Vegas, The Palazzo at the Venetian Resort, the STRAT, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, Tropicana Las Vegas, Tropicana Laughlin,|
|Circa Sports||Circa Las Vegas, Golden Gate|
|Golden Nugget||Golden Nugget|
|STN Sports (Station Casinos)||Station Casinos – Boulder Station, El Cortez, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Wildfire Casinos|
|Rampart Sports App/South Point NV||Rampart, South Point|
|TI Sports (Treasure Island)||Treasure Island|
|Westgate Superbook||Westgate Las Vegas|
Yes, you can. Nevada online sports betting is available through a host of providers associated with casinos in the state. You will have to attend in person to register for an account, but once you do that you can enjoy sports betting wherever you are in the state.
Not yet. Bet365 is the biggest online bookmaker in the world, but it is not at present one of the sportsbooks licensed to offer Nevada sports betting services.
There are 11 apps available for Nevada sports betting, each associated with a variety of casinos. They include BETMGM, Caesars Sports Book by William Hill, B Connected, Westgate Superbook, Circa Sports, and the Wynn.
Yes, absolutely. Las Vegas is the capital of US gaming and sports betting and there are several providers who can give you a safe and enjoyable online betting experience in Nevada.