Utah is a western state known mostly to people as being the home of the Mormon church. What you may know as well is that as a result, this is a state that is one of the most conservative about many topics, but specifically when it comes to gambling. This is a very short overview of the gambling laws in Utah and what this leaves residents with by way of options for betting.
Sports Betting in Utah
We’ll start our look at gambling law in Utah with a look at sports betting. Sports betting has been illegal in the United States except Utah’s neighbor Nevada for decades, but recently that law was repealed, leaving states to decide on their own as to whether or not they want to create regulations. Given how restrictive Utah is on all other gambling fronts, it is very unlikely that residents will see a sports betting bill anytime soon.
Online Sports Betting
There is an option for Utah residents that doesn’t involve traveling to Nevada, and that is the world of online sportsbooks. There are many online sportsbooks today that are open for business to American players regardless of what the laws say in their state. These illegal sites offer no protections to players and therefore it is a bad idea for Utah residents to gamble at them.
As there is almost no chance for sports betting to become legal in Utah, the best bet for residents will remain to travel to Nevada to gamble.
Horse Betting in Utah
This one is pretty simple: there is no horse racing in the state, and as a result, there is no legal form of pari-mutuel betting. Anyone who wants to watch the ponies live and maybe make a bet or two on them will have to travel to another state to do so.
Online Horse Betting
Some states have allowed companies like Twinspires and XpressBet to take online horse bets from players even though those companies are not licensed in each state. As of the time of writing this page, this is not the case in Utah, as all of these sites have blocked players from Utah from registering for accounts.
Casino Gambling in Utah
The rules that apply to horse racing also apply when it comes to casino gambling in the state – that is to say that there are no legal casinos in the state. This is a surprisingly conservative approach, as many states offer casino as a way to generate revenue for the state. This is not likely to change anytime in the future, so once again anyone who wants to sit at a blackjack table will have to go elsewhere.
Online Casinos in Utah
Of course, the outright ban to all things gambling in Utah applies to online casinos. There are no legal online casinos in the state and players are left with the poor option of playing with illegal offshore casinos. This is unfortunately a situation likely to perdure in Utah.
Lottery in Utah
Here is the most shocking fact about Utah – there is not even a lottery. This is somewhat confusing, as the lottery in other states was designed to raise money for social programs within the state borders. You would think that this money would also come in handy in Utah – we can’t imagine this is a state without any need for funds for education, for example – but the state government sees things differently. This means that when you hear that someone has won hundreds of millions of dollars in the Powerball draw, you can eliminate the winner being from Utah!
Utah Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Utah?
Absolutely not. In fact, there is nothing from a gambling perspective that is legal in the state. Now, for the time being, you can indeed play daily fantasy sports at one of the operators in the U.S. like Draft Kings, but any other form of sports betting is illegal.
When will sports betting be legal in Utah?
At our best guess, we would say “when pig’s fly.” Seriously though, this is one of the most conservative states in the country, and it would require moving mountains to get the state to approve legal sports betting. Think of it this way: this is a state that doesn’t even have a legal lottery, which is a pure game of chance that is meant to raise money for good causes. We wouldn’t suggest holding your breath for regulated gaming of any form in the near future.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Utah?
Well, its easy to say any sportsbook would be good for residents given the fact they have no other gaming options. There is likely not going to be legal online sportsbooks in Utah for the foreseeable future so the best sportsbook for Utah resident will be a land-based sportsbook in nearby Nevada…