Nevada for decades was the only state where legal gambling was just that— legal.
When you think about gambling in the United States, it is hard not to think of Las Vegas, Nevada. The state of Nevada has long been the epicenter for legal gambling, sports and otherwise, in the United States. For decades, it was the only state where legal gambling was just that— legal. However, over the years other states have been following its example.
Whether it is with lotteries, casinos, or horse racing, slowly but surely, other states have noted the windfall of tax revenue available to Nevada and looked to add every kind of gambling they can. Of course, Nevada sports gambling is next. That said, Nevada is still the state you think of when it comes to laying a bet, and for good reason.
Nevada has the history when it comes to gambling, especially with sports betting. The state legalized sports betting back in 1949. They also added live and off-track horse betting as well, and, of course, casino table games have long been legal in the state. It was the first state to regulate sports betting, which had previously operated under organized crime syndicates. It was also the only state to do so until very recently.
Famous Las Vegas sign
Then Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, in 1992, which prohibited future state expansion of Nevada sports betting. Nevada was grandfathered in, so it was essentially handed a legal United States monopoly on single-game wagering and sports betting. The state was sure to take advantage too. While there may have been a few scandals here and there, Nevada and their sportsbooks ran a very tight ship and very soon Las Vegas saw a spike in construction, tourism, and revenue it hadn’t seen since the 50’s.
Supreme Court strike the PASPA from the books in 2018, making sports gambling legal in all states.
However, many other states, especially New Jersey, eventually began to challenge that federal ban. Beginning with voter approval in 2011, New Jersey tried to pass laws that would have legalized sports betting at all of their casinos and racetracks. Of course, the major sports leagues which would be gambled on— the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and MLB— filed suit against the state to block the efforts, citing a violation of PASPA. The ensuing legal battles found their way all the way to the United States Supreme Court and finally reached a resolution on May 14, 2018. A majority of the nine-member court ruled that PASPA commandeers states in violation of the Tenth Amendment, striking the ban from the books and essentially legalizing sports gambling in every state. As a result, Nevada’s monopoly on sports betting is now over as other states, such as Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi, all offer a wide selection of legal sports bets.
It will take some time before casinos in New Jersey and other states can build out the types of sportsbooks that can come close to the experience in Las Vegas. However, not many casinos offer the same immersive experience and, for the time being, the other states are simply offering a way to bet on sports legally. That’s great for bettors that just want to place a wager. However, this is not close to the sportsbook experiences found all over Nevada.
While the competition picks up, the state of Nevada doesn’t seem to mind as they are moving forward. Las Vegas recently added an NHL hockey team, the Golden Knights, in 2017, and they even made the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oakland Raiders will begin playing in Vegas as well by the year 2020. The whole country is embracing legalized sports betting and what was once considered taboo is now mainstream. Although legal sports betting is coming to the U.S. state by state, expect the state of Nevada to continue to lead the way.
Brick and Mortar Sportsbooks
Nearly every casino in the state of Nevada offers a sportsbook. Some Las Vegas resorts offer massive sportsbooks, while others are little more than a couple of televisions and a betting window. Some are even as simple as an ATM. Despite the number of sportsbooks, they are still a big draw in the state. Especially for the large sporting events such as the Super Bowl, March Madness, or the NBA Finals. Some of the many sports that be bet on in Nevada are:
- NCAA – College Football
- NCAAB – College Basketball
- Canadian Football
- Australian Football
- Fighting – Boxing, MMA
- Auto Racing – NASCAR, Formula One and More
Every Sportsbook of the State
Westgate is the world’s largest sportsbook, and it has some of the best 4K screens to watch the games. Westgate is known to accept large wagers from known professional bettors, and you’ve probably heard their name or lines on ESPN.
Wynn is another independent sportsbook and it operates a smaller betting shop at Encore, Wynn’s attached sister resort.
Station Casinos is the largest locals’ casino company in Las Vegas. It was the first Nevada sportsbook to offer a betting website. Major Station Casinos sportsbooks include: Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Boulder Station, and Fiestas.
CG Technology was previously known as Cantor Gaming and operates sportsbooks in major Las Vegas resorts that include: Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, M Resort, The Palazzo, Palms, Silverton, Tropicana and The Venetian.
Caesars Entertainment Hotel & Casino – Photo by Caeser.com
Caesars Entertainment is one of the largest casino operators in the world. The vast majority of its customers are tourists visiting Las Vegas. Caesars Entertainment operates a sportsbook in the following eight Las Vegas casinos: Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Cromwell, Flamingo, Harrah’s, The Linq, Planet Hollywood, Paris, and the Rio.
MGM Resorts International is a national casino operator with properties from the east coast to Las Vegas. MGM operates the 10 casinos and sportsbooks on the Vegas Strip: Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, The Mirage, and New York-New York.
William Hill manages more sportsbooks than any other operator in Nevada. The company specializes in locals casinos throughout the state.
Boyd Gaming casinos market to a similar local customer as Station Casinos but it has a much greater presence in Las Vegas. It operates sportsbooks in six of its Las Vegas casinos.
South Point is an independent sportsbook located on Las Vegas Boulevard south of the Strip. South Point odds can also be found at Rampart Casino in Summerlin.
Treasure Island is an independent sportsbook on the Las Vegas Strip. The property is next to Mirage and across from Venetian.
Jerry’s Nugget is a small casino located just inside the North Las Vegas city limits a couple of miles from Fremont Street.
In 2010 the first sports betting app was release in Nevada, making sports betting accessible to everyone.
Until recently, sports bettors had to visit a sportsbook to make a wager. Despite the interest in betting on sports, many locals found the trip inconvenient. A visit to a local casino can require having to deal with parking lots and long lines, and players in rural areas had no convenient access to a sportsbook to make a bet. Then, in 2010, the first sports betting app was released, making Nevada sports betting convenient for everyone.
Mobile apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices have helped get locals into the game more than ever. Some sportsbook apps generate 50 to 75 percent of the sports wagering handle. Many of the heavy-hitter sportsbooks are available online including: Station Casinos – STN Sports, MGM Resorts International – PlayMGM, CG Technology, William Hill, NV Sports Books, Boyd Gaming – B-Connected Sports, Westgate – SuperBook, Golden Nugget, Caesars, and Treasure Island.