Utah has a strong aversion to gambling, with the state’s constitution prohibiting most forms of the activity due in part to its Mormon heritage. While pari-mutuel horse race betting was legalized in 1925, Utah legislators have remained steadfast in their opposition to other forms of gambling, refusing to sign compacts with Indian tribes and declining to establish a state lottery when other states were doing so.
Although Utah was once home to a state-run lottery, it was repealed in 1927 following public outcry, and the state has remained completely gambling-free ever since. Rather than relaxing the state’s stringent gambling laws, lawmakers have continued to tighten them, ensuring that Utah remains a state without any legal form of gambling.
However, the Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino in Nevada is a popular a gambling destination for Utah residents. Located in West Wendover, Nevada, just across the state line from Utah, the casino has a wide variety of electronic gaming machines, including slot machines, video poker, and electronic table games, with popular titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Gold.
The casino itself is spacious, with over 800 games. The casino opened in 2004, and players can expect to pay a small entrance fee to enter the venue.
In addition to gaming, Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino has several dining options, including a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, and a cafe. There’s also a bar and a lounge on site. For visitors who want to stay overnight, the casino has a hotel with over 500 rooms and suites. The hotel features a fitness center, pool, and hot tub, as well as a complimentary airport shuttle service.
Utah Gambling Revenues
Utah is one of only two states in the United States that does not allow any form of gambling. As a result, there are no legal gambling revenues generated in the state. While other states have used revenues from gambling to fund public projects, such as education or infrastructure, Utah has not had that option. Instead, the state relies on other sources of revenue to fund its public programs and services.
According to a report from the American Gaming Association, in 2020, the 24 states with legal commercial casino gaming generated a total of $30.3 billion in gaming revenues. In addition, the 29 states with legal tribal gaming operations generated $27.8 billion in gaming revenues. However, none of these revenues came from Utah as the state has no legal gambling.
In Utah, the state’s budget is primarily funded by taxes on income, sales, and property. The state also receives funding from the federal government for various programs and services. Without any gambling revenues to supplement its budget, Utah has to rely on these other sources of funding to support its public programs and services.
While there may be some who argue that legalizing gambling could provide a boost to Utah’s economy, others believe that the social costs associated with gambling would outweigh any potential benefits. Ultimately, it is up to the citizens and lawmakers of Utah to decide whether or not they want to legalize gambling and bring in additional revenue for the state. However, as of now, Utah remains one of the two states in the United States without legal gambling.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Utah
In Utah, there are no commercial casinos, but there are Indian gaming tribes. Utah has one federally recognized Indian tribe, the Ute Indian Tribe. The tribe operates the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s gaming facility in Towaoc, Colorado, which is located about 100 miles southeast of Moab, Utah. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe also operates a casino in New Mexico, the Sky Ute Casino Resort.
The history of Indian gaming in Utah is relatively short, with the first tribal casino opening in 1992. Since then, the Ute Indian Tribe has been the only tribe in the state to operate a casino. In recent years, the Ute Indian Tribe has had disputes with the federal government over the operation of their casino in Towaoc, Colorado. The tribe has argued that the government has interfered with their sovereignty and their ability to operate their gaming facility as they see fit.
Aside from the Ute Indian Tribe, there are no other Indian gaming tribes in Utah. While there have been discussions about other tribes potentially seeking to operate casinos in the state, there has been no progress on this front as of yet. It remains to be seen whether or not any other tribes will seek to establish gaming operations in Utah in the future.
Indian gaming tribes in Utah:
- Ute Indian Tribe
Note: While the Ute Indian Tribe operates a casino in Towaoc, Colorado, it is located near the Utah border and may be of interest to some people in Utah.
A History of Gambling in Utah
Utah is one of two states in the United States that does not allow any form of gambling, and the state has a long history of opposition to gambling. In fact, the state’s constitution includes a provision that bans all forms of gambling. The opposition to gambling in Utah has its roots in the state’s Mormon history, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have long been opposed to gambling on moral and religious grounds.
Despite the state’s prohibition on gambling, illegal gambling operations have been a part of Utah’s history for decades. In the early 20th century, illegal gambling was prevalent in the state, with underground casinos, slot machines, and other forms of gambling being operated in secret. This led to a crackdown on illegal gambling in the state, with law enforcement cracking down on these illegal operations and making numerous arrests.
In the 1950s and 1960s, organized crime syndicates attempted to establish a foothold in Utah’s illegal gambling market. These criminal organizations, many of which were based in Las Vegas, saw Utah as an opportunity to expand their illegal gambling operations. However, law enforcement in Utah was successful in preventing these criminal organizations from gaining a significant foothold in the state.
In the 1970s, the state of Utah established a commission to study the feasibility of legalizing gambling in the state. However, the commission ultimately recommended against legalizing gambling, citing concerns about the potential social costs associated with gambling.
Despite the state’s continued opposition to gambling, there have been periodic efforts to legalize gambling in Utah over the years. In 1990, a ballot initiative to legalize a state lottery was put before voters in the state. However, the initiative was soundly defeated, with over 70% of voters opposing the measure. More recently, in 2019, a group of lawmakers proposed a bill that would have legalized sports betting in the state. However, the bill ultimately failed to pass the state legislature.
Today, Utah remains one of the two states in the United States without legal gambling. While there are no commercial casinos in the state, the Ute Indian Tribe operates a gaming facility just across the border in Towaoc, Colorado. Despite the state’s opposition to gambling, it remains to be seen whether or not Utah will continue to resist the tide of legal gambling that has swept across the country in recent years.
Gambling Taxes in Utah
As there are no legal forms of gambling in Utah, there are no gambling taxes for residents to pay. If you gamble in a state that does have legal gambling, such as Nevada or Colorado, you may be required to pay taxes on your winnings to that state. You may also be required to pay federal taxes on your gambling winnings, regardless of which state you won the money in.
In general, if you win more than $600 from a single gambling win, you will be required to fill out a W-2G form and report the winnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The casino or other gambling establishment where you won the money may also be required to report the winnings to the IRS. The IRS considers gambling winnings to be taxable income, and they will be subject to federal income tax.
If you are a Utah resident and you win money from gambling in another state, you will be required to pay taxes on those winnings to that state. For example, if you win $10,000 at a casino in Nevada, you will be required to pay taxes on those winnings to the state of Nevada. You will also be required to report the winnings on your federal tax return.
It is important to keep accurate records of your gambling winnings and losses, as you will need to report these on your tax return. You may also be able to deduct gambling losses from your taxes, but only up to the amount of your winnings. For example, if you win $5,000 from gambling but lose $7,000, you will only be able to deduct $5,000 of your losses on your tax return.
Utah Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Utah casinos before being taxed?
As there are no legal casinos in Utah, this question is not applicable. Utah is one of only two states in the United States that does not allow any form of gambling, including casinos.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Utah?
As there are no legal casinos in Utah, there is no need for self-exclusion programs. However, if you are concerned about a gambling problem, there are resources available in the state to help. The Utah Department of Human Services offers a variety of resources for individuals and families struggling with addiction, including gambling addiction.
Who regulates gambling in Utah?
As there are no legal forms of gambling in Utah, there is no regulatory body for gambling in the state. However, the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcing the state’s ban on gambling and cracking down on illegal gambling operations.
What is the minimum gambling age in Utah?
As there are no legal forms of gambling in Utah, there is no minimum gambling age in the state. However, it is illegal for minors to participate in any form of gambling, and parents can be held responsible if their children are caught gambling.
Can I gamble online in Utah?
As with all forms of gambling, online gambling is illegal in Utah. However, some offshore online gambling sites may accept players from Utah, but it is important to note that this is illegal under both federal and state law.
What types of gambling are legal in Utah?
None. Utah is one of only two states in the United States that does not allow any form of gambling, including casinos, horse racing, and lotteries.
How many casinos are there in Utah?
There are no legal casinos in Utah. The only casino within driving distance of the state is the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s gaming facility in Towaoc, Colorado, located about 100 miles southeast of Moab, Utah.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Utah?
If you win money from gambling in another state, you may be required to pay taxes on those winnings to that state, and you may also be able to deduct gambling losses on your federal tax return. However, as there are no legal forms of gambling in Utah, this question is not applicable to the state.