The United States of America, has the largest and most developed gambling industry. U.S. citizens love gambling and play it willingly; moreover, the prohibition of certain types of such games was one of the causes of the American Revolution. You could say that the founders of the country fought, among other things, for their right to gamble. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), already in 2007 the total revenue of the gambling industry, proceeds of the enterprises minus payments to players, was 93 billion dollars. According to some projections, this figure will rise to 130 billion by 2019.

Gambling Laws and Regulation in the United States

Gambling of different kinds and casinos in particular are strictly regulated in the country. There is quite a complicated system of laws and rules in the USA, on the basis of which the establishments, offering gambling, work. Traditionally, the management and control of the gambling industry is in the hands of local authorities, with the exception of establishments that operate in Native American territories. They are managed and controlled by the NATIONAL INDIAN GAMING COMMISSION (, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the FBI, and other agencies. Native American territories have what is called “tribal sovereignty,” where state power is limited. The gaming industry there is regulated on the basis of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA).

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In the rest of the United States regulation is entirely in the hands of the states and local governments. Today in the country there are 384 departments in different states, districts, counties and cities which manage, license and regulate different types of gambling business. Only two states, Utah and Hawaii, have completely banned all forms of gambling. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is the United States legislation governing online gambling.

Land-based casinos in the United States

Regarding the casinos in the United States the legislation is quite strict. This country distinguishes 3 types of casinos: commercial land-based casinos, commercial riverboat, Native American casinos. Under the law, casino games, which in the USA are referred to the category of “class III gambling”, are forbidden in most states and territories. Only 24 states allow such establishments, of which only Nevada and Louisiana allow casinos to operate anywhere. In the remaining states, authorities geographically restrict these businesses, sometimes resulting in gaming zones, such as Atlantic City, New Jersey, or Tunica, Mississippi. This is not the case with Indian casinos.

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Riverside casinos were created by enterprising people in the past to get around the many bans and restrictions on gambling in some states (e.g., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Mississippi). They were often multi-story, well-finished riverboats that offered gambling. At first, laws in some states required such casinos to be on the move while operating. Now, riverboat casinos are universally allowed to operate while moored to shore.

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Indian casinos are the collective property of Native American tribes. The first Native American casino was built by the Seminole Nation in Florida in 1979. In 1981, the Seminole won a lawsuit against the county sheriff who was trying to shut down their business. The Indians won the right to operate their casino through years of legal battles. Numerous legal disputes and precedents across the country resulted in several Supreme Court and lower court rulings on the Indians’ right to operate a gambling business, despite prohibitions and opposition from the authorities of the territories on which their reservations are located. The right of tribes to open casinos was secured by the Indian Gaming Control Act passed by Congress in 1988. According to the National Indian Gaming Commission, as of 2011 there were 460 registered gambling establishments operated by 240 tribes. However, only 200 of the 562 federally recognized tribes have established gaming establishments with Class III gambling. The largest number of Indian casinos (113) are in the state of Oklahoma. WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, is the third largest casino in North America and is owned by the Chickasaw Nation.

There are also establishments in the country called Parimutuel Casino or Racino, from Race + Casino. Racino is a combination of race tracks with betting and casinos. In some cases, gambling in these establishments is limited to betting and slot machines, but many places set up table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette.