If you’re visiting Sin City for the first time, you’re sure to be excited and looking forward to the experience of a lifetime. With casino gambling likely to be top of your list of things to do, it’s worth considering some of the Nevada state laws, so you don’t get in any trouble.
Gambling has been legal in Nevada since 1931, but there are some restrictions you must keep in mind. If you are interested in the legality of gambling in each state in the US, Todd Winkler of online-gambling put together a great list of which states offer which gaming options.
Gambling is for Over 21s Only
The most apparent and keenly observed law is that you must be over 21 years old to gamble in Las Vegas. In the UK, it is only 18, so if you’re arriving from there expecting to try your luck on the tables or slots machines, you’re going to be disappointed.
Don’t try and game the system, either. Pit bosses and dealers in Las Vegas casinos will ask to see your ID if you look young.
And No Drinking Under 21
Like most US states, it is illegal to drink alcohol in Nevada until you are 21 or over. For everyone else, alcohol is sold legally 24/7 throughout Las Vegas.
Keep Kids Away from the Casino Playing Area
Because of the way many of the large hotel-casino resorts are planned, you must walk alongside casino areas to get from one place to another. You and your kids need to stay on that path and keep moving. Playing in the poker room? The kids are not allowed near the rail to watch. either.
Prostitution is not Legal
It may be known as Sin City, and have the catchphrase ‘What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas,’ but prostitution is illegal in Clark County. There are fully legal brothels not far from the Strip that would be happy to have your business, though.
Smoking is Allowed in Casinos
Although discouraged everywhere else, you can smoke in casinos, but not in the restaurant areas. That said, it’s not polite to smoke at the tables – simply step away and get your tobacco fix if you must.
Soon, it might also be illegal to smoke in Las Vegas parks.
However, don’t be tempted to smoke anything illegal. Under Nevada law NRS 453.336, it is a felony to possess drugs, controlled substances, or narcotics of any kind without a prescription. If you get caught, be prepared for a hefty fine and possibly a short spell behind bars. Note that medical marijuana is legal in Nevada as long as you have under 30 grams and a medical marijuana card.
Don’t be Tempted to Work
If you happen to be an experienced casino employee from out of state, don’t be tempted to work to earn some extra bucks. Every gaming employee must be registered with the state and hold a valid gaming permit.
Open Container Drinking in Vegas
You are permitted to wander around a casino drinking alcohol – indeed, many casinos will ply you with free drinks to keep you playing.
Also allowed is wandering down The Strip with an alcoholic drink, perhaps to watch the famous Bellagio fountains, or doing so in a cab or limo if the driver allows. But you may not take an open alcoholic drink in any other vehicle in Las Vegas.
What About Online Gambling in Nevada?
You’ll likely find a live poker game any time of day or night in most of the largest resorts. You can also play online poker for cash legally in Nevada. Some casino sport books allow mobile sports betting as long as you are inside the state lines, too.
Only Hail Cabs from Designated Areas
Although not related to gambling, one fundamental law to note in Vegas is that you cannot hail a cab from the street, even in the unlikely event that it doesn’t have a fare. This applies to ride-share services like Lyft and Uber, too.
Instead, you must pick up a cab from a designated area typically near the valet entrance at all the hotels. Don’t forget to tip the attendant for hailing a cab – especially if they help you with our bags, too.
If you thought that was strange…
One or two “ancient” laws remain in place, even if they seem a little outdated. Such as the fact it is still illegal to take a camel on the highway. And if you happen to visit the town of Eureka, be sure not to kiss a woman if you happen to have a mustache.