To a certain extent, there are restrictions to gambling activities in the United States. However, gambling is rising in popularity and is establishing itself as a strong market force in both the physical and digital realms of the economy. Much of the regulations surrounding gambling in the United States cover gaming operations like casino establishments, poker houses, and sports betting operators. At the same time, they also cover average consumers who look to engage in gambling in both a recreational and professional capacity.
When people typically think of gambling as a form of recreation, one of the first places that come to mind is Las Vegas, Nevada. Many people all over the world dub Las Vegas to be the mecca of gambling culture. With the picturesque casinos lined up on the iconic Vegas Strip, it would be safe to say that Nevada has fully embraced gambling as a vital thread in the state’s economic fabric. However, just because Nevada has a relatively liberal approach to gambling regulation doesn’t mean that it’s the same in the rest of the United States. The country approaches gambling legislation on a state-by-state basis. This means that each state has the mandate to create and implement their own gambling laws however they see fit. This is not an odd system of governance as similar policy structures exist in other countries like Canada and India. In these nations, individual states or provinces have the freedom to create their own gambling regulations for their individual jurisdictions. For example, not all states in Canada will allow for the establishment or operation of a land-based casino establishment. However, many provinces won’t make it hard for their citizens to access an online casino in Canada.
Gambling in Arizona
Given that individual states are free to make their own specific regulations surrounding gambling, certain states may take more liberal or more conservative approaches. In the United States, 49 states have varying levels of gambling regulation. Only Utah imposes an all-out ban on gambling as a form of recreation or commerce. When it comes to land-based casinos in the country, there are typically two classifications they can fall under, commercial casinos and native tribe casinos. Commercial casinos are typically those that are attached to luxury hotels and can be found in the gambling cities of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Native tribe casinos are more prominent with approximately 500 of them operating in 30 out of the 50 states.
Arizona is a state that has more Native American land than any other state in the country. In fact, roughly around 27% of Arizona’s entire land base is considered to be tribal lands. That adds up to approximately 20 million acres. Any gambling that takes place on these Native American lands is under the regulation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which is a federal law.
As directed by the provisions of the IGRA, gambling is permissible within Indian reservations as a result of compacts signed between the states and the official tribes. Any revenues acquired from gambling are mandated to be used for tribal governmental and charitable ventures. As of the moment, there are 15 tribes that operate a total of 22 casinos that are scattered across the state of Arizona.
Considering that Arizona has a very strong and vibrant Native American culture, it also happens to be one of the most liberal states when it comes to gambling regulations. Within Arizona, the minimum age for legal gambling is 21. This covers tribal casinos, state lotteries, and horse races. When it comes to taxation, Arizona imposes certain taxes on gambling winnings. Aside from that, Arizona casinos only offer casino games that require a certain level of skill to them. As such, games like craps, roulette, and baccarat, which are games that rely entirely on chance are not allowed within the state. One popular example of a skill-based casino game is poker. There are currently more than 10 poker rooms scattered around Arizona which are all run by native tribes.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in 1988 and is considered a relatively up-to-date piece of legislation when it comes to the gambling industry. There are current talks of a land-based sports betting facility to be established within Arizona, but there are no definitive developments on this matter yet.