Las Vegas is the casino capital of the world (sorry, Macau). With dozens of massive properties up and down The Strip and hundreds more around the state, Nevada leads the way when it comes to innovation in the industry. When it comes to the online side of the business, however, there is a noticeable void. This guide to Nevada online casinos will outline why we are where we are, as well as try to shine some light onto the positive movement in the industry.
The Status of Online Casinos In Nevada
Online casinos have been around in some form since the late 1990s, and as they grew in popularity, especially in the unregulated market open to American residents, one would have thought that adding online components to land-based properties in Nevada was a natural progression. However, the idea of online casinos has been met with resistance from the large operators in Nevada since the beginning. Leading this charge has been Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Venetian casinos. He is firmly against the idea of people not having to come to one of the billion-dollar properties in Las Vegas (preferably his) to make their casino bets. The amount of time and money he has spent lobbying the U.S. government had worked for some time – and in Nevada, there is currently no legal access to online casinos in the state.
However, this argument of online gambling ruining the land-based business had already been proven wrong. Online poker had massive growth in the early 2000s, and while many casinos feared people would stop coming in to play live poker, it had the exact opposite effect. Poker tournaments were swelling with entrants, all looking for a big score after learning how to play the game online. This theory can also be applied to casino games – playing a game online alone to learn instead of being embarrassed at a table is likely to have more people trying games out in Nevada casinos. Today in Nevada, online poker has been legalized, which means there are players in the state making payments, registering for accounts, and playing poker online. All of this is an excellent step forward for the potential of expanding online gambling regulations in the state to include casino games.
In 2018, the repeal of PASPA allowed sports betting to become legal outside the state of Nevada. Again, while this seemed to be news that would hurt the Nevada sports betting industry, the state continues to show record numbers of bets, indicating that a rising tide floats all boats. Also, some of the new regulations in other states are including casino gaming, which could be a sign that it is time for Nevada to allow legal online casinos in its state as well.
Why Are Online Casino Games so popular?
If you have not tried any online casino games in the past, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The industry has become huge on a global scale, and while we could go on for hours about how amazing online casinos are, we thought we would summarize some of the main reasons why so many people are playing games online these days.
Yes, there is no doubt that the atmosphere of being in some Nevada casinos is desirable, but not every property is the Bellagio. If you don’t want to drive to a casino, park your car, find a seat at your favorite game, then you can do all of that from the convenience of your own home with an online casino. The games are the same as you would find at a live casino, but with the increased mobile ability, you can play from virtually ANYWHERE you have an internet connection.
A land-based casino, even some of the massive ones you will find in Nevada, is constrained by space. There are only a certain number of slot machines and gaming tables that will fit inside a property. Online casinos offer players an almost unlimited amount of content at their fingertips. Each online casino typically spreads every possible combination of table games available, along with hundreds of slots titles. If you take into consideration how many online casinos could be available in Nevada in a legal environment, then you are looking at thousands of potential unique games that can be played.
Over the last few years, online casinos have done an excellent job of trying to mimic some of the gambling experience you would have in a land-based casino in the online environment. Content deals between online casino vendors and land-based partners have brought many of the brands that have dominated the Nevada casino scene like Wheel of Fortune to the online casino space. Also, the introduction of the Live Dealer online casino games, players at home can feel the experience of having a human dealing their cards. These tables feature dealers being streamed from a studio, making the gameplay far more realistic and much closer to the feeling someone would have by walking into a Las Vegas casino.
Nevada Online Casinos FAQ
When will online casinos be legal in Nevada?
That’s a question that we still cannot definitively answer. We know that there is still resistance from people like Sheldon Adelson. However, it is clear that other major casino operators are warming to the idea of legalizing online play. The hope is that Adelson will stand down, and as the growth of online casino regulations takes place across other states, Nevada will see fit to expand its current online gambling legislation to include slots and table games very soon.
Are the odds the same for online casinos as land-based?
Yes. Although there are some who will claim that they are not, the games that you see online have been designed to play to the exact same rules as the house games in a Nevada live casino. Now, there are some nuances that you need to take into consideration. For example, an online blackjack game that has 8 decks in a shoe is actually shuffling all 8 decks every hand, unlike in a land-based casino. So, while the rules are the same, the odds are slightly skewed as every hand is the first hand out of the shoe.
All reputable and licensed online casino software undergoes rigorous testing from an independent third-party firm to ensure the random number generator is legitimate and that the game rules are being applied. There is no reason for a vendor to deviate from the norms, as it would be costly for their overall business to be caught. You can rest assured that when legal online casinos come to Nevada, they will all be playing to the exact same rules as the land-based casinos.
Can I access unregulated online casinos from Nevada?
While nothing is stopping you today from access an online casino being hosted from outside the U.S., it isn’t something we recommend. These sites are not required to adhere to any local laws, so it is harder to say what they may be doing with their operations. Also, it is increasingly difficult to get your money to and from these sites, often costing a significant amount in fees. We think you should stay away from them and be patient – consider yourselves lucky in Nevada that you have all these great land-based options at your disposal until online casinos are legal in your state.