In Utah, the legislature has seen fit to label gambling a sin. This is unfortunate news for players that like to indulge in games of chance, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any options for wagering real money. The laws in Utah are some of the harshest in the country, but there are many overseas gambling establishments that millions of Americans use every day.
In this article, we will shine a light on the complicated legal language of Utah, and relay what it says in plain English. There are options out there that many Utah residents might not be aware of, so we will also point you in the direction of some of the best places which facilitate legal Utah gambling. Sit back, relax and get ready to learn!
Utah has some of the harshest gambling laws in the nation, as evidenced by the lack of a single land-based casino being located within Utah's borders. Since state code can be hard to decipher, and tedious to dig through, we've taken the liberty to search out and provide easy-to-read translations of the most important sections within Utah's gambling statutes. Included are reference numbers where users can find the exact language of each gaming law to interpret for themselves.
76-2-202. - This section claims that anyone taking part in gambling in any way is liable for legal action. This is direct and to the point, and reflects much of the way the Utah state code is. The fact is, gambling within the state is definitely illegal. It does not directly mention online gambling sites, however. There has never been a conviction for using an online gambling site, so the statistics are in your favor.
76-10-1102. - This section further broadens the definition of gambling. If you give or take a bet in the state, you are subject to penalty. The state laws are harsh, but the statistics are in the gamblers favor. While you will want to be extra careful in land-based operations, thousands of Utah residents use the online counterparts every day, and there has never been a conviction for it.
76-10-1103. - This section is similar to many states laws including the ones that allow gambling. The point of the language is to limit the proliferation of illegal gambling operations by penalizing the contractor. This section does not target the average gambler, and is should not affect them.
76-10-1107. - This section further restricts the operators of gambling establishments by restricting the purchase of gambling devices. Many illegal gambling rackets procure their technology from illegal dealers, and this section criminalized the buying or selling of this technology.
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Wire Act – The Federal Wire Act of 1961 was the first major law to regulate gambling in the states. The Act banned the use of wire communication devices involved with gambling activities. This was brought about to limit the amount or organized crime that pervaded the gambling industry. The Wire Act effectively prohibited the amount of stolen, laundered, and illegal money transferred between nefarious organizations.
PASPA – The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 regulates sports betting. Congress deemed sports wagering a “national problem”, and PASPA effectively banned sports betting in every state except for Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. These states were “grandfathered” in as exemptions to the law because they had legal sports betting operations before the law was passed. As of now, you will not find a legal sports betting establishment in Utah because of this legislation.
UIGEA – During the internet boom of the early 2000’s, online gambling had become big business. This spawned many illegal online operations throughout America, which the federal government needed to regulate. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 criminalized the acceptance of funds by operators of most online gambling websites. This effectively shut down all online gambling sites in the nation, leaving players wondering where to play. Luckily, the UIGEA doesn’t extend overseas, where there are many legal online gambling sites for Utah residents.
Utah does not have a legal gambling age because gaming remains unregulated in the state. Most of the Utah gambling sites require users to be 18 in order to register for a new account. It is strongly recommended that Utah players follow these rules, as the repercussions for underage gambling online can result in the forfeiture of deposited funds, as well as account suspension.
Although the state outlaws gambling, there are many offshore websites that offer legal opportunities. These sites serve millions of Americans every day, and there has never been a conviction tied to online wagering. The odds are in Utah residents favor when it comes to playing online. Check our individual review sections to read about the best sites available.