Gambling on horse racing and pro-sports has been legal in Nevada since 1949. It has been the only state to allow placing legal wagers on single sporting events in the United States, until 14th May 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA) federal law, offering all states the
Gambling on horse racing and pro-sports has been legal in Nevada since 1949. It has been the only state to allow placing legal wagers on single sporting events in the United States, until 14th May 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA) federal law, offering all states the opportunity to make sports betting legal.
The Nevada sports betting law – short history
Nevada was the first state to legalize gambling (1931), sports betting (1949) and the first state to regulate online poker games (2013). However, Nevada, more precisely, Las Vegas – the worldwide famous center of entertainment, didn’t always have a positive attitude towards gambling. Although gambling was legalized in 1931, race and sports betting remained illegal, which led to the creation of “Turf Clubs”, illegal bookies. Their activity was so popular inside and outside Nevada, that the Federal Government regulated the business and imposed an outrageous 10% tax.
After two decades, on 15th October 1974, the sports betting tax was reduced to 2%. With the new law, Turf Clubs were replaced by the sportsbooks at the major casinos. In 1975, Jackie Gaughan became the first person to open a sportsbook inside a casino at the Union Plaza, followed by bookmaker Frank Rosenthal, whose sportsbook inside the Stardust Casino with giant TV screens and hundreds of seats marked the prototype for the modern race and sportsbook.
On 1st January 1983, the tax on sports betting was cut to 0.25%. After the US Supreme Court decision on 14th May 2018, the withholding rate is now 24 percent, down from the previous 25 percent.
Sports betting taxes in Nevada
The sports betting taxes system in Nevada is different than the one for casino games and all sports book operators in Nevada are different. Theoretically, the state imposes a 6.75% tax the GGR (Gross Gaming Revenues). Since the casinos do not know how much money the gambler spent or what their income is, they withhold federal taxes (24%) when the winnings are above $5,000. In case of big winnings, gamblers receive an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2G from the casino which will ensure they pay the tax.
For sports betting, things can become a bit more complicated if not done right. Nor the IRS or the casino sportbooks track down every move of a bettor, every bet they place, win or lose; which means bettors need to report their winnings themselves, when necessary.
Online mobile sports wagering
Sports betting is authorized on the internet through mobile apps connected to sportsbook operators anywhere in Nevada. Every sports betting app must be set up at a physical casino initially and all the odds, tax policies and rules are the same on the app as they are at the casino. Some sportsbook operators even use software that allows bettors to make deposits and withdrawals from their online accounts, without having to return to the physical location. A lot of websites offer live odds and with these mobile apps, bettors can now wager on sports anywhere in Nevada.