Utah is the most anti-gambling state in the entire country. The local regulations prohibit Utah residents and visitors from participating in any games of chance for money. Even bingo, charity gambling events, raffles, and home games are banned.
Utah doesn’t have a state-controlled lottery – and if that wasn’t enough, the local authorities do everything in their power to enforce the current regulations. As you’ve probably already guessed, Utah doesn’t have a regulated iGaming market. In addition, playing on offshore sites is explicitly prohibited.
Online Gambling in Utah
Utah is pretty much the only state that doesn’t offer any safe, legal gambling options. Unfortunately, this also applies to online play. The local laws used to be somewhat ambiguous when it comes to offshore gambling sites, but the local lawmakers have changed that by banning them in 2012. Furthermore, Utah politicians have already declared that they’re going to pass more anti-gambling laws if any iGaming-friendly regulations are introduced at the federal level.
Getting caught playing on offshore gambling sites for the first time will net you a misdemeanor charge. However, subsequent offenses are going to put you in a whole lot of trouble and might even land you in jail. All in all, if you’re in Utah, you should avoid visiting any gambling sites altogether. Playing real money games from Utah is a really bad idea, but there’s nothing to stopping you from having some fun on offshore gambling sites while you travel or visit other states.
If you’re looking for a poker room, you should always focus on the sites with the best traffic stats, as networks with more active players allow you to take advantage of 24/7 cash games and bigger tournament prize pools. If you’re looking for a casino, you should focus on bonuses and game selection instead, as the number of active players doesn’t really affect anything beyond progressive jackpot dynamics. Finally, if you’re looking for a sports betting site, the best course of action would be to pick a few high-profile sites and compare them in terms of prices, event coverage, and live in-play betting options.
Casinos in Utah
Gambling is illegal in Utah (UT), and there are no casinos in the state. While much of the country has started loosening their gambling laws, the opposite is actually happening in UT. State legislators are working hard to close legal loopholes, with nearly unanimous support from fellow lawmakers.
Online gambling and online casinos are also prohibited by a law passed in 2012 to close another loophole. It is expected to stay closed, regardless of what other states in the region decide to do.
Utah Sportsbooks & Sports Betting
According to Utah Senator Todd Weiler, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing states to set their own sports gambling laws is a good thing, but he would not support legalization. “The Utah legislature is not inclined right now, and probably won’t be in the near future, to allow sports gambling in this state.”
The federal law the Supreme Court overruled was originally sponsored by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in 1992.
Fantasy Sports Gambling
When it comes to daily fantasy sports (DFS), the situation in Utah is far more muddled. All forms of gambling are illegal, but UT lawmakers seem to be operating under the assumption that DFS isn’t gambling. They have no specific laws to address it so far, and there is no legislation currently in the works.
As it stands today, all major DFS companies have been operating under the same assumption, and have made themselves available to customers in the state.
Perhaps the state will decide this is another gambling loophole that needs to be closed, but since there are no bills in Utah regarding DFS currently on the table, a change in legal status isn’t likely to happen soon.
You can still find the occasional horse race in Utah. There’s a track in Beaver that runs races four different days in the summer. The town of Hurricane hosts the annual Dixie Downs meeting in April.
There is absolutely no legal gambling allowed at any horse race in the state.
Utah is home to a number of greyhound rescue and adoption associations, but the racing of greyhounds in the state is also illegal.
Utah Poker Games
One of the most famous cinematic poker scenes of all time, the opening sequence of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, featured one of Utah’s most famous residents, Robert Redford. Since cash-on-the-table poker rooms are illegal in UT, residents won’t be able to act out his depiction in the movies.
In Salt Lake City, however, there is the Wasatch Poker Tour, which hosts 15 nights of poker a week.
How do they do it legally? You don’t have to pay to play, just register at the bar hosting. You receive points for winning, not money. Prizes are then awarded based on the points accumulated over the course of a season. Utah’s enforcement agencies have looked into the games, but so far there haven’t been any legal challenges.
Not only does the state not have a lottery, the constitution specifically forbids it in Article IV, Section 27, which reads, “The Legislature shall not authorize any game of chance, lottery, or gift enterprise under any pretense or for any purpose.”
For the foreseeable future, residents will continue to travel to their neighbors in Idaho and Wyoming if they want to purchase lottery tickets.
Utah has no legal bingo, and there is no charitable carveout in the law for nonprofit organizations.
There may be a restaurant or two that will pass out bingo cards for the price of a meal, but strictly speaking, those are illegal.
Utah Online Gambling FAQ
How Do I Get Started?
Signing up for an offshore site from Utah might be a bit of an issue, as not every site accepts Utah residents. In the end, it’s probably best if you complete the entire process from out of state. Once you’re ready, simply open an account, confirm your identity by submitting a scan of some kind of photo ID, make the first deposit and that’s it – your account should be ready for real money games.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
Getting your winnings back is very simple – all you need to do is open the cashier menu, enter the amount of money that you’d like to withdraw, select the banking method to be used and confirm your request. Most requests are processed within 24 hours. This means that if you used the default wire transfer, you’re going to receive your money within less than two weeks.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Utah?
Most offshore sites require their customers to be at least 18 years old.
How do I open an account?
All you need to do is visit the gambling site in question and fill out a registration form. You’ll have to submit some basic personal information, including your name and billing address.
Where can I open my account from?
Some sites won’t allow you to open a gambling account from Utah, but you shouldn’t have any issues with creating a new account from out of state.
From where can I access Utah online gambling sites?
You shouldn’t mess with your account when you’re in Utah. Most Utah-friendly sites will allow you to log in from anywhere in the US.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Utah?
If you want to marvel at the complete list of Utah gambling bans, read Section 76 of Utah Code.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
Most offshore sites rely entirely on credit card payments. Visa and MasterCard cards have proven to be extremely reliable for online gambling purposes.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Most sites allow you to choose between a wire transfer and a check by courier.
Is my money safe?
Your money is guaranteed to be safe with all the sites listed here, but if you’d like to try a different operator, we recommend that you do your own research before making a financial commitment.
What body regulates gambling in Utah?
Gambling in Utah is prohibited, so there is no regulatory body.