North American Casino and Gaming Law
This article was not written by an attorney and should not serve as legal advice. It is a summary of gaming laws in North America.
North American casino law and gaming legislation
Sunday Dec 11th, 2016
This article is not extensive and is intended only as a general guideline to the casino and gambling laws that govern this location.
North America is a favorite destination for gamblers. However each country has their own set of laws that legalizes gambling or declares some games as illegal. But one thing that is common to law in every country is that each of them have gone through huge modifications and amendments to make gambling a fun activity for the players while at the same time curbing the social disorders (to the best of their abilities) that legalized gambling has brought about.
At this point, in one form or another, gambling is legal in every country within North America (Mexico, Canada and the United States of America).
Please contact us if you find any inaccuracies within our text.
Gaming law and casino laws in the United States of America
There has been tremendous development in gambling law within in the USA. Most of the states have increased the horizon of legalized gaming for regulated casino games and lotteries in the past few years. The country has witnessed the opening of a large number of Native American casinos and online betting and gambling has been given a lot of attention (although this topic remains in the gray area of the law still).
Casino Laws: The casino and gaming laws vary with each state in America. For example, in California, casinos are prohibited from playing blackjack. (So they play a form of blackjack that ads up to '22' instead of '21
California Most California casinos offer slots, video poker, and video keno. The minimum gambling age for players is 18 or 21 if liquor is served, and all casinos are usually open 24 hours.
Nevada Legislature legalized casino gaming in 1931. Actually, it re-legalized casinos. Nevada had legal casinos off and on until 1909, when they became the victim of anti-gambling crusades of the era.
New Hampshire authorized a state lottery in 1962. This was the first state lottery of this century, and the beginning of a multi-billion dollar industry.
New Jersey legalized casino gaming in 1976.
Atlantic City also showed that casinos could be put near big cities without having the state fall into the sea.
Native American Casino Laws: The US Supreme Court recognized that the Native American tribal entities could operate gaming facilities free of state regulation in 1987. In 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) permitted them to operate casinos and bingo parlors and laid certain regulations and terms with effect to that. Generally, a tribal entity is permitted to operate gaming facilities if anyone in the state is permitted to.
United States Supreme Court decided Cabazon in 1987. This leaded to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. The Court and then Congress reaffirmed the right of tribes to offer any form of gambling permitted by the state where their land is located.
For instance in California the state had legally allowed the state’s Native Indians tribes to offer electronic gaming machines, blackjack, and other house-banked card games, but not craps or roulette.
Non poker and lotteries laws:
the laws related to lottery and other forms of non poker betting require the entrant to be from an eligible country. And secondly the entrants must meet an education or training requirement. Besides these requirements there are several acts that put restriction on gambling like the Wire Wager Act which regulates betting using communications made through any form of wire instruments, like telephone.
Online casino laws:
Online, interactive internet gambling and gaming has become a very significant force in the world of casino games as well as sports betting. The anti-gambling laws in the United States were not written with online casinos in mind. A few jurisdictions overseas are implementing specific laws designed to regulate and tax online gaming. The only U.S. effort so far is legislation in Nevada that has not become effective due primarily to the legal views expressed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Anomalies in the American's gambling law:
1. Californian casinos are prohibited by law from playing blackjack. Therefore they have added a twist to the game and the game is played to 22 rather than 21.
2. In United States legal gambling activities include most of the games; however not all the games are legal in all the places. Illegal gaming exists and is flourishing by all means. For example, the most popular forms of illegal games are "numbers," which is essentially a lottery, and betting with bookies, typically sports betting. Sports betting amounts to a large sum. Some analysts think it is the largest category of gambling after casino games. These activities have grown tremendously, especially when considering that virtually all have been only recently legal in most states.
Canadian Gambling Law
The Canadian gambling history is closely linked to the Criminal Code of Canada. In 1892 there was a complete ban on gambling in the country. Since then the ban has been lifted in the country, gradually. Legalized gambling in Canada was first started as an exemption to the Criminal Code for charitable purposes. Such gambling was done on a small scale and led up to the amendment of Criminal Code in 1969. This gave the provincial and the federal governments the opportunity to use lotteries to fund events like the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Casino Laws: Casino style gaming is legal and available in all the provinces except in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador. Provincial electronic gaming policy in Canada makes a distinction between slot machines and VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals). While slot machines are available in all the provinces in casinos and race tracks except in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador, VLTs are available in all the provinces except Ontario and British Columbia.
Online casinos: Internet Gambling is not featured among the legalized gambling offerings in Canada.
Non poker, lotteries: By 1970, Quebec had established two Crown corporations, one for supervising horse racing and the other for provincial lotteries. This was more than welcome as Quebec had long wanted liberalization in the legal status of gambling.
Soon, the other provinces followed as lotteries conducted by provincial governments rapidly spread across Canada in the early 1970s. In 1971, Manitoba established its own lottery and Alberta and Saskatchewan did likewise in 1974. British Columbia also created its lottery in 1974 and subsequently collaborated with Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in establishing the Western Canadian Lottery Foundation. In the 20 years since the 1985 amendment, legal gambling in Canada has become a big business.
Mexico Gambling Laws
Gambling has been legalized in Mexico only a few years back. Therefore trade pundits and leading organizations and casinos of the industry see a huge potential in the gaming industry in Mexico.
Casinos: Casinos in Mexico remained banned for many years. It is only recently that the ban has been uplifted and an increasing number of casinos are being set up. The government here gives the license to casinos being set up only in a few locations; however Mexico ranks fourth in the international arena of gaming industry.
Anomalies: besides the initiative to legalize slots and casinos in Mexico, the casinos are still prohibited by law with some critical loopholes and exceptions. Yet the federal government here grants temporary permits to casinos regularly to operate during a number of annual fairs.
Commercial gambling, irrespective of being legal or illegal, is increasing on both sides of the US and Mexico border. In an incessant effort of cracking down illegal gambling, law enforcement authorities in county Cameron in the Texas border, had seized 70 video slots and a cash of US$ 8,000.