Gambling Guide to Las Vegas

6 June 2018, by GambleScope Research Team

Gambling Guide to Las Vegas Photo

Las Vegas is a city in the state of Nevada. Many people consider it to be the casino capital of the world. The City of Las Vegas is well-known for its world-famous live shows, 24-hour entertainment and most notably its mega-casino resorts. Looking at the US standard, the city of Las Vegas is relatively young. It was created in 1905 and incorporated in 1911 as a city in Nevada. However, Las Vegas has built a tolerant approach to adult entertainment, most especially gambling. Las Vegas quickly grew into the US’ entertainment capital. It has attracted a number of people from around the globe in search of bright lights excitement and notably, money.

The Legal Status of Gambling in Las Vegas

Being a city in the state of Nevada, Las Vegas abides by and is affected by, the laws governing Nevada. Nevada used to be the only state in the US to allow legal gambling. Gambling was legalised in the state as a way to bring economic relief due to the hard-economic depression that was caused by the impact of the double blow of stock market crash of 1929 and the Hoover Dam project. Nevada legalised most forms of gambling in 1931 when Assembly Bill 98 was signed into law, which provided the state with a source of revenue a source of income.

However, after the World War II, there was strict enforcement of the gambling laws in most places, and the once desert town of Las Vegas became an attractive target for investment by crime groups of notorious crime syndicates. Las Vegas developed rapidly during the 195o’s, growing to become the centre of gambling in the US. Howard Hughes and other legitimate investors in the 1960s gradually bought most of the important hotels and casinos in the city, which steadily decreased Las Vegas' connections to organised crime.

Presently, Nevada is one of the two states in which casino-style gambling is legal statewide. This makes Las Vegas a conducive and lucrative area for casino business. Casino owners understood they could take advantage of the tourists who came to visit casinos by clustering together. Notwithstanding the competition that follows, this action helps to attract a large number of casino players and visitors not only from within the US but also from the rest of the world.

Current Gambling Laws in Force

In 2011, a Gaming Control Act bill was introduced outlining legalisation of online poker within state borders. The bill was signed into law, and shortly after in 2014, the first intra-state pact was formed with Delaware. The Nevada Gaming Commission and Control Board are in charge of developing and administering all gaming regulations. Casinos with more than 15 slot machines would have to pay an annual tax of $250 per slot. More so, Casinos are meant to pay an additional monthly fee of about 6.75 percent on gross gaming revenue; this percentage seems like the lowest in the US.

Every Casino employee in Las Vegas including all casino workers must be registered with the Nevada government and have a valid gaming work permit. This exempts bartenders and cocktail waitresses.

To be permitted to enter a casino or gamble you must be 21 years of age and over. If there is any doubt on appearance, he/she must take along any state-issued ID with a photograph like a driver’s license. However, children are allowed into the casino public walkways but are not permitted to go near the gaming tables or slot machines.

Who Regulates the Las Vegas’s Gaming Industry?

Gambling is legal in the US under the federal law, though there are significant restrictions that affect interstate and online gambling. Every state in the US has the right to regulate or prohibit the gaming practice within their borders. Bodies who regulates the gaming industry in Nevada include The Nevada Gaming Commission, along with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Nevada Gaming Control Board, which is also known as the State Gaming Control Board,  is a central agency in the regulation of gaming throughout the state. It was founded in 1955 by the Nevada Legislature. Both bodies govern Nevada's gaming industry through strict control of all persons, locations, practices, associations and related activities.

What is the Tax Situation on Winnings from Gambling?

Winnings from gambling are taxable in Las Vegas, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants its part of the casino profits too. The IRS requires all winnings from casinos over a certain amount to withhold federal taxes in specific instances. Here is how it works.

Unlike income taxes, taxes on winnings from gambling are not progressive. The good thing about the tax situation is that, whether you win $2,000 at the slot machine or $2 million at the poker table, a standard tax rate applies to your winnings and always remains 25%. This means that when you win a big slot machine jackpot, the casino is required to withhold the 25% itself when you claim your prize; the casino also provides you with an IRS form, called a W2-G, to report your winnings to the government, this form is essentially a statement of the transaction.

However, the baseline for which winnings from gambling must be reported to the IRS differs based on the type of game. For instance, for the horse track, winnings that exceed either $600 or 300 times your initial wager must be reported. At the slot machines and bingo, winnings that exceed $1,200 must be reported, while at a poker tournament, winnings above $5,000 must be reported. More so, the casino is required by the IRS Information Reporting rules to withhold 28% as income tax if you do not provide a documented TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number, which is your Social Security Number.) The withholding tax is 30% for a foreign gambler.

Attitudes to Gambling in Las Vegas

How is gambling perceived in the city of Las Vegas?

Attitudes of authorities

Gambling is a fully legalised activity in Las Vegas, the powers of Las Vegas allows it and also created a body to oversee it. The authorities are in full support of gambling in the city. Gambling is being taxed as a source of internal revenue for the city. One-third of all Nevada general tax revenue comes from state gambling taxes.

View of the society in general

When it comes to gambling, winning, casinos, and high energy nightlife, Las Vegas is one of the first places that comes to mind. It is a favourite place known by the general society as casino haven, a city where legal gambling in the US all began and more so, in the first state in the US to legalise online gambling.

Is gambling a popular activity in Las Vegas?

Of course, as you might expect, gambling is an extremely popular activity in Las Vegas. The government intentionally legalised gambling in the city as a primary source of income for dwellers an as a source of internal revenue for the government. Though Las Vegas is no more the world’s biggest gambling market – the title now goes to Macau, the city remains and would possibly be considered as the gambling capital of the world.

How Safe is Gambling Here

Offline

Gambling is very safe in Las Vegas, fully legalised by the authorities of the city, the government of the state, Nevada, and the government of US as a whole. Las Vegas can be called a gambling mecca, one of the most important activities for most Las Vegas visitors. The legal backing gambling has from the governing authorities makes it a very safe operation for interested players.

Online

Online gambling is presently safe in Las Vegas. Online gaming began in Las Vegas in the 1990s. On the 13th of October, 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was passed, which prohibited American financial institutions from processing most transactions with online gambling operators. However, in 2011, the Court of Appeals ruled that the UIGEA of 2006 was based on the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and should have only applied to online sports betting. More so, the Department of Justice ruled that whether or not online gambling should be legal was a matter for the individual states, and not for the federal government to decide. Hence, legislation that allowed state-run online gambling was passed in four states, which are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. To this end, online gambling is safe in Las Vegas, though for poker only.

Options and Venues Worth Exploring

Landbased Venues

Palace Station was originally built in 1976, it is a 1,001-room resort having a total of six restaurants and features a casino with a lively 307-seat bingo hall, a non-smoking poker lounge, keno lounge and an Asian table games area where guests can place bets on Pai Gow tiles, which is played using dominoes.

The Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino offers has a casino with more than 800 slot machines, video poker machines, table games, and a bingo room.

Other top casinos include: the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Cosmopolitan, MGM Grand, New York-New York, the Rio, the Palms, the Venetian, Tropicana, and the Wynn

Online Sites

Being a city in one of the states where online gambling has been legalised, Las Vega features a number of online casino sites, which include: Las Vegas USA Casino, Casino Las Vegas, etc. most of them come in mobile apps. However, the player must be in Nevada to use the app.

Overall Rating for Las Vegas as a Gambling City

Las Vegas was for many years the largest casino resort city in the world. Given its influence in the world of gambling and the entertainment it offers, we would give this gambling mecca 4.8 out of 5.0. In comparison with other regions, it is surpassed only by Macau. The reason for this is because gambling has been taken as a legal business in Las Vegas with the full support of the government. Besides, Las Vegas is the city where legal gambling began in the US and the first to legalise online gambling in the US.