Nevada has a massive gambling industry that generates close to $11 billion in revenue on an annual basis. In total, the local land-based casinos offer more slots and table games than all the casinos from all the other states combined.
Gambling in Nevada has been decriminalized in 1869. In 1909, the state instituted a prohibition, which lasted until 1931. That year, casinos were fully legalized throughout most of the state, making Nevada the first US territory with a regulated gambling industry. Nevada’s monopoly on regulated casino-style gambling lasted until 1976 when New Jersey approved casinos in Atlantic City.
Nevada has also been at the forefront of the fight for legal internet gambling in the US. In 2001, the local legislature voted in favor of regulated online poker, but unfortunately, the US Justice Department forced Nevada politicians to back down on this issue. In 2013, Nevada re-introduced its online poker regulations, creating the first fenced iGaming market in the country.
What’s more, since Nevada wasn’t affected by the federal ban on sports betting, it enjoyed a de-facto monopoly on this form of gambling between 1992 and 2018. In 2010, Nevada lawmakers approved new regulations pertaining to betting over the internet and mobile sportsbook apps, paving the way for future legislation of this kind.
It should go without saying that Nevada is very serious about protecting its gambling industry. Running an unlicensed gambling establishment is likely to result in felony charges. Placing out-of-state bets or playing on offshore gambling sites while remaining within state lines is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
Most gambling-related matters are covered by Nevada Revised Statutes 463.010 et seq. The minimum gambling age in Nevada is 21. People below 21 aren’t allowed to enter casinos, even when accompanied by an adult.
Nevada Revised Statutes
NRS 171.015 Jurisdiction of offense commenced without, but consummated within, this state; consummation through agent.
When the commission of a public offense, commenced without the state, is consummated within its boundaries, the defendant is liable to punishment therefor in this state, though he was out of the state at the time of the commission of the offense charged. If he consummated it in this state, through the intervention of an innocent or guilty agent, or any other means proceeding directly from himself, in such case the jurisdiction is in the county in which the offense is consummated.
NRS 194.020 Persons liable to punishment.
The following persons, except as provided in NRS 194.010, are liable to punishment:
1. A person who commits in the State any crime, in whole or in part.
2. A person who commits out of the State any act which, if committed within it, would be larceny, and is afterward found in the State with any of the stolen property.
3. A person who, being out of the State, counsels, causes, procures, aids or abets another to commit a crime in this State.
4. A person who, being out of the State, abducts or kidnaps, by force or fraud, any person, contrary to the laws of the place where the act is committed, and brings, sends or conveys such person into this State.
5. A person who commits an act without the State which affects persons or property within the State, or the public health, morals or decency of the State, which, if committed within the State, would be a crime.
NRS 195.020 Principals.
Every person concerned in the commission of a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor, whether he directly commits the act constituting the offense, or aids or abets in its commission, and whether present or absent; and every person who, directly or indirectly, counsels, encourages, hires, commands, induces or otherwise procures another to commit a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor is a principal, and shall be proceeded against and punished as such. The fact that the person aided, abetted, counseled, encouraged, hired, commanded, induced or procured, could not or did not entertain a criminal intent shall not be a defense to any person aiding, abetting, counseling, encouraging, hiring, commanding, inducing or procuring him.
NRS 463.0129 Public policy of state concerning gaming; license or approval revocable privilege.
1. The legislature hereby finds, and declares to be the public policy of this state, that:
(a) The gaming industry is vitally important to the economy of the state and the general welfare of the inhabitants.
(b) The continued growth and success of gaming is dependent upon public confidence and trust that licensed gaming and the manufacture, sale and distribution of gaming devices and associated equipment are conducted honestly and competitively, that establishments which hold restricted and nonrestricted licenses where gaming is conducted and where gambling devices are operated do not unduly impact the quality of life enjoyed by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, that the rights of the creditors of licensees are protected and that gaming is free from criminal and corruptive elements.
(c) Public confidence and trust can only be maintained by strict regulation of all persons, locations, practices, associations and activities related to the operation of licensed gaming establishments, the manufacture, sale or distribution of gaming devices and associated equipment and the operation of inter-casino linked systems.
(d) All establishments where gaming is conducted and where gaming devices are operated, and manufacturers, sellers and distributors of certain gaming devices and equipment, and operators of inter-casino linked systems must therefore be licensed, controlled and assisted to protect the public health, safety, morals, good order and general welfare of the inhabitants of the state, to foster the stability and success of gaming and to preserve the competitive economy and policies of free competition of the State of Nevada.
(e) To ensure that gaming is conducted honestly, competitively and free of criminal and corruptive elements, all gaming establishments in this state must remain open to the general public and the access of the general public to gaming activities must not be restricted in any manner except as provided by the legislature.
2. No applicant for a license or other affirmative commission approval has any right to a license or the granting of the approval sought. Any license issued or other commission approval granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or chapter 464 of NRS is a revocable privilege, and no holder acquires any vested right therein or thereunder.
3. This section does not:
(a) Abrogate or abridge any common-law right of a gaming establishment to exclude any person from gaming activities or eject any person from the premises of the establishment for any reason; or
(b) Prohibit a licensee from establishing minimum wagers for any gambling game or slot machine.
NRS 463.01365 “Banking game” defined.
“Banking game” means any gambling game in which players compete against the licensed gaming establishment rather than against one another.
NRS 463.01463 “Contest” defined.
“Contest” means a competition among patrons for a prize, whether or not:1. The prize is a specified amount of money; or 2. Consideration is required to be paid by the patrons to participate in the competition.
NRS 463.01473 “Electronic transfer of money” defined.
“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.
NRS 463.0152 “Game” and “gambling game” defined.
“Game” or “gambling game” means any game played with cards, dice, equipment or any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit or any representative of value, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, faro, monte, roulette, keno, bingo, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, poker, chuck-a-luck, Chinese chuck-a-luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, any banking or percentage game or any other game or device approved by the commission, 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.
NRS 463.0153 “Gaming” and “gambling” defined.
“Gaming” or “gambling” means to deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain or expose for play any game as defined in NRS 463.0152, or to operate an inter-casino linked system.
NRS 463.016425 “Interactive gaming” defined.
1. “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.
2. 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.
NRS 463.01862 “Representative of value” defined.
“Representative of value” means any instrumentality used by a patron in a game whether or not the instrumentality may be redeemed for cash.
NRS 463.0191 “Slot machine” defined.
“Slot machine” means any mechanical, electrical or other device, contrivance or machine which, upon insertion of a coin, token or similar object, or upon payment of any consideration, is available to play or operate, the play or operation of which, whether by reason of the skill of the operator in playing a gambling game which is presented for play by the machine or application of the element of chance, or both, may deliver or entitle the person playing or operating the machine to receive cash, premiums, merchandise, tokens or any thing of value, whether the payoff is made automatically from the machine or in any other manner.
NRS 463.0193 “Sports pool” defined.
“Sports pool” means the business of accepting wagers on sporting events by any system or method of wagering.
NRS 463.0196 “Tournament” defined.
“Tournament” means a series of contests.
NRS 463.01962 “Wager” defined.
“Wager” means a sum of money or representative of value that is risked on an occurrence for which the outcome is uncertain.
[Regulation and licensing of Gaming in Nevada are conducted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission.]
NRS 463.030 Creation; number of members.
The state gaming control board, consisting of three members, is hereby created.
NRS 463.022 Creation; number of members.
The Nevada gaming commission, consisting of five members, is hereby created.
REGULATION OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN GAMING
NRS 463.160 Licenses required; unlawful to permit certain gaming activities to be conducted without license; exceptions.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4 and NRS 463.172, it is unlawful for any person, either as owner, lessee or employee, whether for hire or not, either solely or in conjunction with others:
(a) To deal, operate, carry on, conduct, maintain or expose for play in the State of Nevada any gambling game, gaming device, inter-casino linked system, slot machine, race book or sports pool;
(b) To provide or maintain any information service;
(c) To operate a gaming salon; or
(d) To receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation or reward or any percentage or share of the money or property played, for keeping, running or carrying on any gambling game, slot machine, gaming device, race book or sports pool, without having first procured, and thereafter maintaining in effect, all federal, state, county and municipal gaming licenses as required by statute, regulation or ordinance or by the governing board of any unincorporated town.
2. The licensure of an operator of an inter-casino linked system is not required if:
(a) A gaming licensee is operating an inter-casino linked system on the premises of an affiliated licensee; or
(b) An operator of a slot machine route is operating an inter-casino linked system consisting of slot machines only.
3. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, it is unlawful for any person knowingly to permit any gambling game, slot machine, gaming device, inter-casino linked system, race book or sports pool to be conducted, operated, dealt or carried on in any house or building or other premises owned by him, in whole or in part, by a person who is not licensed pursuant to this chapter, or his employee.
4. The Commission may, by regulation, authorize a person to own or lease gaming devices for the limited purpose of display or use in the person’s private residence without procuring a state gaming license.
5. As used in this section, “affiliated licensee” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 463.430.
NRS 463.360 Penalties.
1. Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of a person for a violation of, an attempt to violate, or a conspiracy to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of chapter 463B, 464 or 465 of NRS may act as an immediate revocation of all licenses which have been issued to the violator, and, in addition, the court may, upon application of the district attorney of the county or of the commission, order that no new or additional license under this chapter be issued to the violator, or be issued to any person for the room or premises in which the violation occurred, for 1 year after the date of the revocation.
2. A person who willfully fails to report, pay or truthfully account for and pay over any license fee or tax imposed by the provisions of this chapter, or willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any such license fee, tax or payment thereof is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall order the person to pay restitution.
3. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, a person who willfully violates, attempts to violate, or conspires to violate any of the provisions of subsection 1 of NRS 463.160 is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, by a fine of not more than $50,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.
4. A licensee who puts additional games or slot machines into play or displays additional games or slot machines in a public area without first obtaining all required licenses and approval is subject only to the penalties provided in NRS 463.270 and 463.310 and in any applicable ordinance of the county, city or town.
5. A person who willfully violates any provision of a regulation adopted pursuant to NRS 463.125 is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
6. The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the penalty for which is not specifically fixed in this chapter, is a gross misdemeanor.
NRS 463.409 Approval by board of game operated by charitable organization; conditions; exceptions.
Except as otherwise provided in NRS 463.4091 to 463.40965, inclusive, the board may approve the operation of a game or games by a charitable or educational organization subject to such conditions and limitations as the board may impose, but no such approval shall be given by the board for the operation of a game or games for more than one event or function conducted or sponsored by one charitable or educational organization during any 1 calendar quarter.
NRS 465.015 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
1. “Cheat” means to alter the elements of chance, method of selection or criteria which determine:
(a) The result of a game;
(b) The amount or frequency of payment in a game;
(c) The value of a wagering instrument; or
(d) The value of a wagering credit.
2. The words and terms defined in chapter 463 of NRS have the meanings ascribed to them in that chapter.
NRS 465.070 Fraudulent acts. It is unlawful for any person:
1. To alter or misrepresent the outcome of a game or other event on which wagers have been made after the outcome is made sure but before it is revealed to the players.
2. To place, increase or decrease a bet or to determine the course of play after acquiring knowledge, not available to all players, of the outcome of the game or any event that affects the outcome of the game or which is the subject of the bet or to aid anyone in acquiring such knowledge for the purpose of placing, increasing or decreasing a bet or determining the course of play contingent upon that event or outcome.
3. To claim, collect or take, or attempt to claim, collect or take, money or anything of value in or from a gambling game, with intent to defraud, without having made a wager contingent thereon, or to claim, collect or take an amount greater than the amount won.
4. Knowingly to entice or induce another to go to any place where a gambling game is being conducted or operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter, with the intent that the other person play or participate in that gambling game.
5. To place or increase a bet after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the game or other event which is the subject of the bet, including past-posting and pressing bets.
6. To reduce the amount wagered or cancel the bet after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the game or other event which is the subject of the bet, including pinching bets.
7. To manipulate, with the intent to cheat, any component of a gaming device in a manner contrary to the designed and normal operational purpose for the component, including, but not limited to, varying the pull of the handle of a slot machine, with knowledge that the manipulation affects the outcome of the game or with knowledge of any event that affects the outcome of the game.
8. To offer, promise or give anything of value to anyone for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a race, sporting event, contest or game upon which a wager may be made, or to place, increase or decrease a wager after acquiring knowledge, not available to the general public, that anyone has been offered, promised or given anything of value for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the race, sporting event, contest or game upon which the wager is placed, increased or decreased.
9. To change or alter the normal outcome of any game played on an interactive gaming system or a mobile gaming system or the way in which the outcome is reported to any participant in the game.
NRS 465.075 Use of device for calculating probabilities.
It is unlawful for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist:
1. In projecting the outcome of the game;
2. In keeping track of the cards played;
3. In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the game; or
4. In analyzing the strategy for playing or betting to be used in the game,
except as permitted by the commission.
NRS 465.083 Cheating.
It is unlawful for any person, whether he is an owner or employee of or a player in an establishment, to cheat at any gambling game.
NRS 465.088 Penalties for violation of NRS 465.070 to 465.085, inclusive.
1. A person who violates any provision of NRS 465.070 to 465.085, inclusive, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished:
(a) For the first offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.
(b) For a second or subsequent violation of any of these provisions, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000. The court shall not suspend a sentence of imprisonment imposed pursuant to this paragraph, or grant probation to the person convicted.
2. A person who attempts, or two or more persons who conspire, to violate any provision of NRS 465.070 to 465.085, inclusive, each is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imposing the penalty provided in subsection 1 for the completed crime, whether or not he personally played any gambling game or used any prohibited device.
NRS 465.091 “Medium of communication” defined.
As used in NRS 465.091 to 465.094, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires, “medium of communication” includes, but is not limited to, mail, telephone, television, telegraph, facsimile, cable, wire, the Internet or any other similar medium.
NRS 465.092 Accepting, receiving or allowing another to accept or receive wager from person physically present in this state prohibited under certain circumstances; penalty.
1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 465.094, a person, alone or with others, shall not knowingly, within or outside of this state:
(a) Accept or receive, directly or indirectly, through any medium of communication a wager from another person who is physically present within this state; or
(b) Allow a lessee, agent or employee to accept or receive, directly or indirectly, through any medium of communication a wager from another person who is physically present within this state.
2. If a person engages in conduct in violation of subsection 1 and the person is outside of this state at the time of the offense:
(a) The offense shall be deemed to commence outside of this state;
(b) The offense shall be deemed to be consummated within this state; and
(c) The person may be prosecuted within this state pursuant to the provisions of NRS 171.015.
3. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
NRS 465.093 Placing, sending, transmitting or relaying wagers to another person prohibited under certain circumstances; penalty.
1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 465.094, a person, alone or with others, shall not knowingly:
(a) From within this state, place, send, transmit or relay through a medium of communication a wager to another person or an establishment that is located within or outside of this state; or
(b) From outside of this state, place, send, transmit or relay through a medium of communication a wager to another person or an establishment that is located within this state.
2. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
NRS 465.094 Limitation on applicability of NRS 465.092 and 465.093
The provisions of NRS 465.092 and 465.093 do not apply to a wager placed by a person for his own benefit or, without compensation, for the benefit of another that is accepted or received by, placed with, or sent, transmitted or relayed to:
1. A race book or sports pool that is licensed pursuant to chapter 463 of NRS, if the wager is accepted or received within this State and otherwise complies with all other applicable laws and regulations concerning wagering;
2. A person who is licensed to engage in off-track pari-mutuel wagering pursuant to chapter 464 of NRS, if the wager is accepted or received within this State and otherwise complies with subsection 3 of NRS 464.020 and all other applicable laws and regulations concerning wagering;
3. A person who is licensed to operate a mobile gaming system pursuant to chapter 463 of NRS, if the wager is accepted or received within this State and otherwise complies with all other applicable laws and regulations concerning wagering; or
4. Any other person or establishment that is licensed to engage in wagering pursuant to title 41 of NRS, if the wager is accepted or received within this State and otherwise complies with all other applicable laws and regulations concerning wagering.
NRS 463.750 License required for person to operate interactive gaming or to manufacture interactive gaming systems; powers and duties of Commission; regulations; conditions; limitations; penalty.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, the Commission may, with the advice and assistance of the Board, adopt regulations governing the licensing and operation of interactive gaming.
2. The Commission may not adopt regulations governing the licensing and operation of interactive gaming until the Commission first determines that:
(a) Interactive gaming can be operated in compliance with all applicable laws;
(b) Interactive gaming systems are secure and reliable, and provide reasonable assurance that players will be of lawful age and communicating only from jurisdictions where it is lawful to make such communications; and
(c) Such regulations are consistent with the public policy of the State to foster the stability and success of gaming.
3. The regulations adopted by the Commission pursuant to this section must:
(a) Establish the investigation fees for:
(1) A license to operate interactive gaming;
(2) A license for a manufacturer of interactive gaming systems; and
(3) A license for a manufacturer of equipment associated with interactive gaming.
(b) Provide that:
(1) A person must hold a license for a manufacturer of interactive gaming systems to supply or provide any interactive gaming system, including, without limitation, any piece of proprietary software or hardware; and
(2) A person may be required by the Commission to hold a license for a manufacturer of equipment associated with interactive gaming.
(c) Set forth standards for the suitability of a person to be licensed as a manufacturer of interactive gaming systems or manufacturer of equipment associated with interactive gaming that are as stringent as the standards for a nonrestricted license.
(d) Provide that gross revenue received by an establishment from the operation of interactive gaming is subject to the same license fee provisions of NRS 463.370 as the games and gaming devices of the establishment.
(e) Set forth standards for the location and security of the computer system and for approval of hardware and software used in connection with interactive gaming.
(f) Define “equipment associated with interactive gaming,” “interactive gaming system,” “manufacturer of equipment associated with interactive gaming,” “manufacturer of interactive gaming systems,” “operate interactive gaming” and “proprietary hardware and software” as the terms are used in this chapter.
4. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, the Commission shall not approve a license for an establishment to operate interactive gaming unless:
(a) In a county whose population is 400,000 or more, the establishment is a resort hotel that holds a nonrestricted license to operate games and gaming devices.
(b) In a county whose population is more than 40,000 but less than 400,000, the establishment is a resort hotel that holds a nonrestricted license to operate games and gaming devices or the establishment:
(1) Holds a nonrestricted license for the operation of games and gaming devices;
(2) Has more than 120 rooms available for sleeping accommodations in the same county;
(3) Has at least one bar with permanent seating capacity for more than 30 patrons that serves alcoholic beverages sold by the drink for consumption on the premises;
(4) Has at least one restaurant with permanent seating capacity for more than 60 patrons that is open to the public 24 hours each day and 7 days each week; and
(5) Has a gaming area that is at least 18,000 square feet in area with at least 1,600 slot machines, 40 table games, and a sports book and race pool.
(c) In all other counties, the establishment is a resort hotel that holds a nonrestricted license to operate games and gaming devices or the establishment:
(1) Has held a nonrestricted license for the operation of games and gaming devices for at least 5 years before the date of its application for a license to operate interactive gaming;
(2) Meets the definition of group 1 licensee as set forth in the regulations of the Commission on the date of its application for a license to operate interactive gaming; and
(3) Operates either:
(I) More than 50 rooms for sleeping accommodations in connection therewith; or
(II) More than 50 gaming devices in connection therewith.
5. The Commission may:
(a) Issue a license to operate interactive gaming to an affiliate of an establishment if:
(1) The establishment satisfies the applicable requirements set forth in subsection 4; and
(2) The affiliate is located in the same county as the establishment; and
(b) Require an affiliate that receives a license pursuant to this subsection to comply with any applicable provision of this chapter.
6. It is unlawful for any person, either as owner, lessee or employee, whether for hire or not, either solely or in conjunction with others, to operate interactive gaming:
(a) Until the Commission adopts regulations pursuant to this section; and
(b) Unless the person first procures, and thereafter maintains in effect, all appropriate licenses as required by the regulations adopted by the Commission pursuant to this section.
7. A person who violates subsection 6 is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 10 years or by a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.