Gaming Law



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Gaming or Gambling is restricted in America, though its popularity is increasing, and thus this area of the law is growing steadily. Laws related to gaming are important not only for those involved with gaming operations, like casinos, bingo, or poker tournaments, but also for the average person who wants to know whether he or she can legally start a card group, a fantasy football league, or an NCAA tournament bracket betting pool at the office.

Many think of gambling and gaming laws as being or relevance only to areas like Las Vegas and Atlantic city, but in reality, every state has its own gambling laws. In fact, including state run lotteries, almost every state has some form of legalized gambling, though casino-style gambling is much less widespread. Gambling is legal under US federal law, but there are significant restrictions on online gambling. And, federal law provides significant carve outs to allow for Native American casino gambling and other types of gaming.

Nevada and Louisiana are the only two states where casino-style gambling is legal statewide, though both states also heavily regulate these activities. Many other states allow casino-style gambling in very small geographic areas (such as Atlantic City in New Jersey).

Online gambling has been more strictly regulated by the US federal government. Laws regarding online gambling include the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA). In response to these heavy federal regulations, much online gaming has moved offshore, with some foreign providers simply ignoring American laws.

The resources below will provide additional information regarding gaming and gambling laws, and the “Law Firms” tab, above, will provide you with the identities of attorneys in your jurisdiction who are experienced in this area of practice.

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Articles About Gaming Law

  • Indian Gaming Laws
    Many states have small casinos associated with a Native American tribe. This often leads one to wonder why casinos are legal when associated with an Indian Tribe, but not under other circumstances. Which laws apply to these Indian casinos, as they are often called, and how are they regulated?
  • A History of American Gaming Laws
    Gambling is restricted in America, though its popularity is increasing. Laws regarding gambling are important not only for those involved with gaming operations, like casinos, bingo, or poker tournaments, but also for the average person who wants to know whether he can legally start a betting pool among his friends or at his office, has an idea for a new business model involving some form of chance, or if he can legally participate in an online poker tournament.
  • Did You Know Your Fantasy Football League Might be Illegal?
    Millions of Americans engage in creating fantasy football teams. It can be a fun way to add an extra layer of enjoyment to the season and, for some, to add an extra investment in the fan's favorite players and teams. While most fans only worry about who they will start on their fantasy team on Sunday, if their league has an entry fee or awards prizes, they may be engaging in illegal activity.
  • Follow the Rules when Fishing in Utah this Summer
    Strawberry Reservoir is a popular spot to fish in Utah. Fish can grow well and thrive there, which is good for fishermen. There have been problems there, however, with an overabundance of non-native fish populations. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has tried to reduce non-native fish populations and manage desired fish species with targeted regulations.
  • Charity and Non-Profit Organization Law in California - How to Hold A Charitable Raffle or Poker Tournament in Orange County
    There is a growing trend by California Charities and Non-Profit Organizations to hold raffles for dream homes worth millions of dollars and poker tournaments to increase donations in these tough economic times. However, there are a considerable number of rules which must be followed by such charity organizations and violation of those rules can lead to a charity being referred to county prosecutors as this Orange County Charity attorney explains.
  • All Articles About Gaming and Leisure Law

Gaming Law - US

  • ABA - Gaming Law

    We are pleased to announce our new slate of subcommittees and subcommittee leaders: * Commercial Gaming, * Indian Gaming, * International & Internet Gaming, and * Programs & Publications.

  • Federal Anti-Lottery Laws

    Federal statutes prohibit, among other things, the mailing or transportation in interstate or foreign commerce of promotions for lotteries or the sending of lottery tickets themselves. The text of the several statutes is set forth below.

  • Gambling Laws in the United States at the State and Federal Levels are Examined in Depth

    This Website is an effort to make available a wide range of information on gambling laws at both the State and Federal levels governing the legality of various forms of gambling and gaming.

  • Gambling Ship Act

    In making a prosecutorial determination whether a particular ship is a gambling ship within the meaning of this definition, it will be presumed that a ship which operates one or more gambling establishments on board is a "gambling ship," unless it cruises for a minimum of 24 hours with meals and lodging provided for all passengers, or unless it docks at a foreign port.

  • Gaming Law - Definition

    Gaming law can be described as the set of rules and regulations that apply to the gaming or gambling industry. Gaming law is not exactly a branch of law in the traditional sense but rather a transversal gathering of a range of legal topics related to gaming which encompasses matters normally included in various branches of law, including constitutional law, administrative law, tax law, company law, contract law and criminal law.

  • Illegal Gambling Business Act

    The Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1970 was enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. The statute (18 U.S.C. §1955) was aimed at syndicated gambling,[1] that is, large-scale, illegal gambling operations that were thought to be financing organized crime.

  • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires that tribes engaged in class II or class III gaming adopt a tribal gaming ordinance and that that ordinance must be approved by the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission. To assist you in complying with the ordinance requirements of the IGRA and the Commission's regulations, the Commission has drafted a model ordinance which is enclosed for your use. You may wish to consider adopting the model ordinance and submitting it to the Commission.

  • Internet Law Library - Gambling

    This section of the Internet Law Library contains court decisions that address the legality of operating online casinos, lotteries, bookmaking or other gambling operations that accept bets or wagers online or via telephone from individuals located in the United States.

  • Office of Indian Gaming Management

    The Office of Indian Gaming Management, under the supervision of the Deputy Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Economic Development and Policy, is responsible for implementing those gaming-related activities assigned to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the Indian Gaming regulatory Act and other Federal laws. The office develops policies and procedures for review and approval of: tribal/state compacts; per capita distributions of gaming revenues; and requests to take land into trust for purpose of conducting gaming. Work is coordinated with the National Indian Gaming Commission and with state, local and tribal governments that may be impacted by gaming proposals.

  • Tribal Gaming Ordinances

    The IGRA requires that each Tribe enact a Tribal Gaming Ordinance that is approved by the NIGC Chairman before opening a gaming operation. The IGRA, 25 U.S.C. § 2710, and NIGC regulations, 25 C.F.R. Part 522, require certain provisions to appear in the ordinance. Additional guidance is provided in NIGC Bulletins 1993-1 and 2005-5.

Organizations Related to Gaming Law

  • American Gaming Association (AGA)

    The American Gaming Association (AGA) opened its office in Washington, D.C., in June 1995 with the fundamental goal of creating a better understanding of the gaming entertainment industry by bringing facts about the industry to the general public, elected officials, other decision makers and the media through education and advocacy.

  • International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)

    The International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) is a nonprofit professional corporation dedicated to the study and development of gaming law. Formed in 1980, it has grown to more than 500 members worldwide. The high point of IAGA’s year is the annual joint conference with its sister organization the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).

  • International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR)

    The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) is an organization of gaming regulators from around the world who communicate on a continuing basis about matters of common interest and convene annually at a formal meeting.

  • International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL)

    The International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) is an invitation-only, non-profit association dedicated to education and the advancement of the gaming law profession, and to establishing an exchange of professional information about the local and global practice and development of gaming law.

  • National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG)

    The National Center for Responsible Gaming is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.

  • National Indian Gaming Association

    Nonprofit organization with information on tribal gaming casinos, newsletters, and Indian Gaming Myths from around the country.

  • National Indian Gaming Commission

    As an independent federal regulatory agency of the United States, the National Indian Gaming Commission (Commission) was established pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (Act). The Commission comprises a Chairman and two Commissioners, each of whom serves on a full-time basis for a three-year term. The Chairman is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of the Interior appoints the other two Commissioners. Under the Act, at least two of the three Commissioners must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe, and no more than two members may be of the same political party.

  • North American Gaming Regulations Association

    NAGRA is a nonprofit professional association of gaming regulators throughout North America. The organization brings together agencies that regulate gaming activities and provides them a forum for the mutual exchange of regulatory information and techniques.

Publications Related to Gaming Law

  • Gaming Law Review and Economics: Regulation, Compliance, and Policy

    Gaming Law Review and Economics is the only authoritative Journal covering traditional land-based, Internet, and wireless gaming law in one of the fastest growing economic leisure industries. The Journal provides the latest developments in legislative, regulatory and judicial decisions affecting gaming at both the state and federal level in the U.S. and in more than 75 countries.

  • Indian Gaming Magazine

    Indian Gaming Magazine was launched in 1990 by Steve Burke (now President of ArrowPoint Media) and his father, Duane Burke of PGR Institute, Inc. Steve and Duane believed a monthly magazine with relevant gaming information was needed for the newly emerging Indian gaming marketplace.

  • Interactive Gaming News

    Industry job openings, news headlines and industry associations.