Gambling: Is Gambling Legal In Your State?
An individual is involved in gambling if they stake something they own of value based upon the outcome of a contest or event not based upon something they may control in order to receive something (usually monetary value). Gambling is mostly regulated by state laws, and thus can vary. However, United States Federal law (Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1955) makes it a federal crime to conduct any type of gambling business clearly defines illegal gambling as:
- If it involves 5 or more individuals who conduct, manage, supervise or direct any part of the operation
- If it is illegal under state law
- If the operation has been continuous for a period of more than 30 days and the gross revenues in any one day is $2,000 or more.
State laws mostly regulate gambling however. Nearly all states prohibit online gambling save three or four which do not consider online gambling as illegal gambling.. The reasons for doing so are because online gambling is often difficult to regulate. State laws also tend to look down upon public wages, letting minors bet, and not allowing betting over a specific financial amount. It is true that many states allow horse race betting or the ability to play the state lottery. However, the states will still have strict regulation on the use of such gambling operations. For instance, the state may regulate casino gambling or restrict it solely to Native American casinos under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Other laws that may be impactful in your state in regards to gambling include the Wire Act of 1961, the Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act of 1961, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act, the Bradley Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. Each of these acts are federal laws that either impact the way in which businesses run their games, how money can be transferred in relation to such games, and which types of betting are considered illegal.
States generally have stricter regulations on gambling than that of the federal government (Nevada in certain situations is an exception). Most States tend to apply what is known as the Dominant Factor Test in determining whether a certain game or event violates state gambling laws, and whether the game is thus considered illegal gambling. The test is a baseline for determining whether the game or event is based upon chance or skill. If it’s based more on actual skill than chance then there is no violation. If there is chance than actual skill in the game it likely violates a state’s laws on gambling, or the state likely considers the game an act of illegal gambling.