If there's one U.S. state synonymous with gambling, without question it's Nevada.
Home to Las Vegas, North Ameria's gambling Mecca, Nevada is a hit for residents as well as its legions of global tourists and professional gamblers because of its association with nearly every form of entertainment imaginable. Of these options, gambling remains the state's most iconic offering. Nevada is far, far removed from its mining-dependent economy around the time of its founding more than 150 years ago.
Gambling in Nevada started gathering speed as a way to salvage its economy and attract residents during the Great Depression. It's only gained exponential traction as an industry ever since. Players can gamble 24/7 if they're 21 or older, and in Nevada there are more casinos to choose from than in any other state. This includes live poker, card rooms and licensed poker charity events as well as legal at-home play, as long as the host doesn't pull in a profit.
Interestingly, there is no Nevada state lottery, in part to avoid competing with casinos. But with the aforementioned options, as well as the chance to win millions from legendary progressive jackpot games, residents aren't short on gambling opportunities.
Nevada is also the epicenter of U.S. sports betting. Major casinos run dozens of sportsbooks, online betting sites and hundreds of kiosks across the state's population centers. The Silver State took its first legal sports bet more than 60 years before any other state. Even as more states legalize wagering of their own, Nevada is still the focal point of the U.S. sports betting market.
Online gambling presents a somewhat more barren array of opportunities.
The Silver State has arguably the nation's most robust online poker and sports betting infrastructure, which has set the standard for all other states. Conversely, it has no online casino gambling for games like slots, blackjack or roulette. While these gaming opportunities emerge in other markets, Nevada lawmakers still try to push people toward the brick-and-mortar casinos and away from gambling websites. There are no legal, licensed options available and little chance this changes in the near future.
Despite this Nevada is far and away the top gambling destination in America, a reputation it isn't likely to give up anytime soon.
Nevada residents and tourists have the best choice of land-based casinos in the country, making it the No. 1 state for gamblers. In fact, because there are roughly 350 casinos in the state, meaning you could go to a different one almost every day of the year and still be left playing catch-up.
The Nevada online casino landscape isn't quite so awesome. There are no legal sites licensed by the state, in part due to land-based casinos that seek to drive people to their facilities (and lawmakers who continue to support them). Luckily most Nevada residents live close to one or more casinos that can fill the desire for any type of gambling imaginable in person.
If you love online poker, then Nevada's statewide license for internet-based poker venues will never leave you disappointed. Legally you can play at a number of controlled sites regulated by the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board. The state has expanded its reach with an agreement with New Jersey and Delaware to pool together players, giving poker enthusiasts in all three jurisdictions even more gaming options.
Sports betting has been legal in the Silver State since 1949. Bettors can bet in sportsbooks or at kiosks across the state on a range of sports including football, baseball, basketball, soccer and dozens of others. This wide array of options carries over to state-regulated online betting sites, which offer wagering opportunities on nearly every type of sporting event imaginable. In Nevada, sports bettors can place a bet through a mobile device - after registering in person at a licensed casino - and then enjoy a bet from the comfort of home or anywhere with internet access in the state.