Wisconsin is one of the US’s northernmost states, and it’s bordered by a number of neighbours, including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. It also neighbours two of the Great Lakes: Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. As one can imagine, activities like speed boating, water-skiing and fishing are massively popular in Wisconsin, amongst both locals and tourists alike. Being so far north, the state also receives heavy snowfall in the winter months, which is when skiing, snowmobiling and ice-fishing become widespread. Other activities include biking, fishing, camping, hunting and golf. As with many of the US states that offer so many outdoor activities, one wouldn’t really expect residents to care much for being indoors and partaking in activities like gambling. Of course, this is an age-old hobby, and even those who reside in a beautiful state like Wisconsin are partial to a bit of winning here and there. So, what does the law say about it? Is it legal to gamble in this state? Are Facebook casinos and mobile social casinos permitted? Find out here.
Wisconsin Online Gambling Licences
When Wisconsin’s statutes were put into place back in 1848, the standard stance regarding gambling was: illegal. Of course, things change over the course of time, and while gambling is by no means completely legal, there are a few instances and loopholes that allow for residents to enjoy some betting here and there. As with many states in the US, charitable bingo and lottery games were the first to become permissible. Of course, these games are controlled in terms of their frequency and the maximum size of the prizes offered. They also require individual licences. Plus, while Wisconsin doesn’t offer video lottery terminal games, it has a very active lottery system, which includes inter-state games.
There’s an ironic twist when it comes to horse racing in Wisconsin. Initially, pari-mutuel betting only became legal in 1987, while surrounding states were enjoying the practice from as far back as the 1930s. For many years, betting at both horse racing and greyhound tracks was allowed, but the tracks started going into decline, with the last one closing in 2009. While the law now allows for bets to be placed at these race tracks, there are no tracks to bet at anymore! There have been attempts to transform these misused tracks into casinos, but the state was quick to reject the notion.
There are a number of tribal casinos in the state where it is perfectly legal to gamble, totalling 11, with class 3 games like poker and blackjack being completely permissible. Playing poker outside of the 50 poker tables in the state is not allowed, though, even if playing at home for no profit.
Gaming Options in South Carolina
As with many states in the US, the statutes of Wisconsin do not explicitly ban online gambling, only the operating of online gambling organisations. But, it’s generally understood that the laws have broad enough definitions to encompass the prohibition of online gambling. As such, many residents prefer to stick to fun play casinos, which come with some fun free online slots, or otherwise free play online casinos and social casino apps.
As previously stipulated, there are 11 tribal casinos in Wisconsin, where players can spin and win to their hearts’ content. What is very popular in these establishments is live poker, including poker tournaments. While playing at home is illegal, enforcement of this rule doesn’t seem to be very prevalent. Online poker is considered illegal, as mentioned above.
Online sports betting is not an option in Wisconsin, in accordance with online gambling being forbidden. Land-based sports betting is legal – except there are no locations in Wisconsin to make this is possible, resulting in a catch-22 situation.
Bingo and Lottery
Charitable bingo and lottery games are perfectly acceptable in Wisconsin, as is the case in many states. When we talk about such games being ‘charitable’, it means that the profits and proceeds go towards causes like education and community enterprises.
Despite so much to see and do outdoors in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, gambling is also a very popular pastime. While betting on sports and horse racing is allowed, there is nowhere for such activities to actually take place. Online gambling – as is the case in many states – is considered forbidden, which is why residents who wish to play from home or on their mobile devices often learn how to play on Facebook casinos and fun play casinos, where real money isn’t used and, therefore, no profit is incurred. There are also a number of social casino apps to download and play for fun. There may still be those residents who wish to register for real-money casinos, and, as long as they are offshore and not based in the state itself, it’s understood – albeit covertly – that this bypasses the laws in place against gambling. It’s always better to be on the safe side of the law, of course. Especially when there are land-based options available, even if getting to them may be less than convenient.
There are a number of tribal casinos where slots machines and poker games are allowed. Some states are home to land-based casinos where even games like poker are forbidden. This is not the case in Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, in comparison to some of the US’s more conservative states, Wisconsin can actually be considered quite liberal when it comes to getting its game on.