Utah State

Located in the south-west of USA, Utah is widely defined by its never ending range of deserts and the Wasatch Range Mountains. Boasting an enormous population of over 3 million residents, Utah is currently the 13th largest state in Western America. Having a considerably large amount of residents prompts the question, what amenities are on offer to keep locals entertained? Online gambling and free fun online slots have stepped up immensely, especially since technology has advanced so much that practically everything can be done online - only bigger, and better. Gaming providers for mobile social casinos, Facebook casinos and free play online casinos’ time to shine is now. Having the latest in technological software, modern movies and famous fables to reinvent, the possibilities as to what can be achieved with online gaming is endless. However, playing for real money will require you to exercise some caution, as gambling in itself has never been declared fully legal in the US. If you’re playing free fun online slots at mobile social casinos, Facebook casinos, or free play online casinos, then of course, there is nothing precarious about having some online fun. So what is perfectly lawful to partake in, and what has legal implications when it comes to gambling online? Exploring these very questions will be the focus here. Discussing the history of gambling in Utah, and what has developed since then will be closely explored in this article.

The History of Gambling in Utah

Roughly 62% of Utahns belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, which has a significant influence on Utahn culture and daily rituals. Utah is the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church.  This tradition has been on-going since 1847, when Mormon pioneers first established themselves in what later came to be known as the Beehive State. Today, the State is famous for a range of accomplishments: welcoming people, mesmerising valleys, and the most beautiful grand canyons. But, the influence of the religious culture is so deep seated that it left the state with a strong anti-gambling attitude, one that discourages Utahn developing gaming industries from progressing, even in the slightest form. Gambling within Utah has seen little to no flexibility since the inception of the state.

Unbeknownst to most Utah residents, casual betting (like social pools on sporting events or a small stake on a round of golf) is quite common amongst locals. However, the state of Utah has a zero tolerance policy towards casino games. Locals who want to pursue on-site gambling will have to travel west on the interstate 80 to the border of Nevada, if the urge to gamble is upon them. Wendover, Nevada, has become a host to 5 on-shore casinos, attracting over 700 000 gamblers from Utah annually. Bingo can be enjoyed in restaurants, whereby they offer complimentary cards with standard meals, which return cash prizes. Poker is allowed in bar leagues, on condition that they do not charge an entry fee for their tournaments. Because there is no entry fee, authorities are more open minded towards these popular games. Home games are also safe to play, as long as the players are socially acquainted and no one plays with the intention of making a profit from the games. It’s not surprising then that existing anti-gambling laws were strengthened in 2012. During this year, an act was implemented, making gambling on the internet illegal. The wording for this bill ensures that internet gambling would remain illegal, irrespective of whatever federal regulations subsequently came into existence.  

What Forms of Gambling are Legal in Utah?

Gambling in all forms has not necessarily been declared outright illegal, but residents of Utah are quite restricted in terms of what is legal and what is not:  

  • Casino Games: No. The closest on-shore casino gambling facility is in Nevada, which borders both States, and assists Utah residents with making a two hour trip from the Salt-lake city area.
     
  • Online Casino Games: No, the state has specially outlawed online casinos.  
     
  • Online Social Casino Games: Yes. If low risk entertainment is what you’re after, and practice play interests you, you can always do a search for the following: the best social casino apps, fun play casinos, free fun online slots, mobile social casinos, Facebook casinos, how to play on Facebook casinos, and free play online casinos. These offer a perfectly legitimate online gaming experience. As no real money is being used, there are no legal consequences for interacting with fun play casinos.     
     
  • Live Poker: No, but there are bar leagues free of buy in requirements which offer spot prizes and cash rewards. Home games are tolerated, as long as nobody is playing to make a profit. 
     
  • Online Poker: No, this is now illegal.
     
  • Sports Betting and Online Sports Betting: No, sports betting is not allowed at all in this State.
     
  • Lottery Betting: No, there are no lottery betting facilities in Utah.
     
  • Bingo Games: No, but there are ways around this (restaurants that provide free bingo cards when you pay for a meal) although strictly speaking, it is illegal.   

Conclusion

While this might be the most anti-gambling State in America, residents of Utah should not despair. There are plenty of outdoor activities on offer that has the capacity to make surrounding States blush, and social casino apps are always another route to channel online entertainment. The gambling laws here have been clearly outlined, and colludes toward a zero tolerance around gambling sentiment. This is majorly influenced by the State’s religious and cultural reigns, which have moulded it to become the deeply religious and conservative State we know today. As a result of the 2012 bill pre-empting possible Federal legislations to legalize gambling in the near future, it is safe to say that Utah has placed regulating online poker and casinos on the back burner. However, Utah residents can still make use of mobile social casinos and free play online casinos outlets, as long as no profits are bagged by players. Facebook casinos and fun play casinos are great for those who are keen to experience the thrill of online gambling, while interacting with other players too.

Utah certainly has its reservations about gambling as a whole, and they have shown no interest in embracing the industry at all, which leaves locals with very little options to consider. However, those still itching to gamble always have the option of using social casino apps, and fun play casinos. If not, a two hour road trip to Wendover can be fun!