Utah

With Hawaii, Utah is one of the only two U.S. states that bans all major forms of gambling.

Utah’s staunch anti-gambling position is directly related to its Mormon history. In the 1840s, Brigham Young led a group from the conservative gambling opposed Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) to settle in Utah. Today, more than 65% of Utahans identify themselves as Mormons, an automatic anti-gambling majority.

Consequently, you won’t find a legal tribal casino, commercial casino or a state lottery in the Beehive State. Utah laws even prohibit social/private gambling at home.

Sports betting is not yet a reality in Utah, however, participation in online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions is legal for residents and visitors.

 

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

Utah is a traditional anti-gaming state but does allow gamblers legal DFS competitions, and some limited Poker Leagues and charitable gambling options.

Sports & Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
No
No
Casinos
No
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
Yes (Limited)
No
Horse Racing
No
No
Lottery
No
No
Bingo
Yes (Limited)
No

Utah Sports Betting Tax Rates

There is no state tax on gambling winnings in Utah, as technically no legal gaming options are available

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Utah

DFS has a legal minimum age limited of 18 years-of-age in Utah. Poker Leagues and Charitable Bingo are so limited, no age limit is actually known.

Sports & Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
N/A
DFS
18
Casinos
N/A
Horse Racing
N/A
Poker
?
Lottery
N/A
Charitable Bingo
?

Betting on Sports in Utah

While it is considered highly unlikely, Utah’s State Legislators can now theoretically consider the possibility of introducing legal sports betting to the Beehive State.

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court handing back sports betting laws to the states to determine for themselves began in May 2018, Utah’s lawmakers are unlikely to legalize sports betting in the short term at least.

When considering the potential of legal sports betting in Utah, the state’s strict anti-gambling laws need to be closely examined. It’s not simply a matter of setting some regulations, applying sports betting taxes and opening for business. Codes on Anti-Gambling are written deeply into the Utah State Constitution and intermeshed into the social fabric of the strict Mormon State.

The state’s lawmakers will need to undo the State Criminal Code before even looking at sports betting, as Section 76-10-1102 of the Utah Criminal Code defines gambling as a Class B misdemeanor.

Whilst sometimes changes can occur suddenly-and-swiftly, don’t bet the house on legal sports betting being introduced to Utah anytime soon. In the meantime, it’s great that sports betting aficionados in Utah have the option open to them of playing DFS competitions for real money.

Utah Online Sports Betting Laws

Given Utah’s stern anti-gambling laws, it’s no surprise to learn that the Beehive State does not currently offer legal online sports betting for its visitors or residents.

The Federal Government of the United States have actually decided that gambling online is legal, however, each state is required to pass legislation to regulate and license online casino operators and all online gambling under their own state laws.

In a radically contrary move to the spirit of the Federal Law, in 2012, Utah’s State Legislature passed the bill HB 108 for the express purpose of making online gambling and online poker illegal. Utah’s HB 108 goes as far to include a clause in the law that reinforces the independence of the Utah Law;

“if any federal law authorizes internet gambling in the states, this state shall opt out.”

Finally, as if to drive home the point in Utah, rather than open a loophole to allow sports betting in the state in 2018, lawmakers successfully sought to close all loopholes in the state’s gambling law by passing SB 0225.

It all goes to underline that players in Utah should not expect online sports betting anytime soon in Utah. In fact, if you’re looking for online gaming opportunities try;

States with Legal Online Poker and Casino Sites:

  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Utah residents can play DFS online. All major DFS sites accept players from the state of Utah.

Online Fantasy Sports in Utah

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) have been determined by U.S. Federal Government to be ‘contests of skill’ rather than gambling competitions. DFS are accordingly then, immune from any Federal gambling regulations and/or legislative determinations.

Over the last half dozen years, across the United States, state governments have been exercising their state rights, and many have legalized DFS through their own respective state legislation/s.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly to many, Utah’s lawmakers have never moved to deem DFS illegal in the State. On the other hand, they have not moved to make DFS legal either.

Utah’s definition of gambling specifies that a game is considered to be gambling if it is “based on an element of chance.” It appears then that the state of Utah must consider DFS a “contests of skill,” in accordance with Federal take on DFS. Whilst there is always a possibility that the legal situation could alter, for now at least, DFS sites are free to offer their competitions to residents of, and visitors to, the state of Utah.

Esports Online Betting Laws

When legal sports betting eventually becomes reality in Utah (after much future lobbying and government debate we imagine), a new generation of tech savvy gamblers in the Beehive state will have access to fully transparent and ‘family-friendly’ betting markets untarnished by the illegal betting past.

What are eSports?

‘eSports’ (short for electronic-sports), has transformed video game play at the highest professional levels as a slick-run world tour played in full stadiums where champion players are signing multi-million-dollar contracts to compete for glory. Rather than competing for individual honors, eSports are usually played by teams across tournament formats.

The collection of games themselves in the overarching concept of eSports are roughly equivalent to different sports types. For example, in eSports, the games, Rocket League and CS:GO, compare to MLB and NBA.

The amounts wagered on eSports is experiencing enormous growth each year. Global Sportsbooks now offer a range of betting markets and tournaments have been transformed into worldwide-networked betting events with the advent of live streaming technology.

When sports betting turns up in your eventually-legal Utah sports book, watch for legal eSports wagering to play a prominent role in your regular and available betting types.

Horse Racing in Utah

Whilst it is currently illegal to place a bet on horse racing in Utah (either trackside, off-track or online), there have been recent moves made to spur the State Government into legalization action on the topic.
The Utah Quarter Horse Association encourages the state’s citizens to breed horses and visit racetracks in the nearby legal states. The organization is also lobbying the Utah State Legislature to consider legalization legislation (unsuccessfully to date) for horse racing in the Beehive State.

Trackside Betting

There are no legal or licensed horse racing tracks currently operating in Utah.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Utah

OTB betting is not offered to residents or visitors to Utah.

Online Horse Racing in Utah

As yet, online racebooks are not available whilst within the geolocator limits of the State of Utah.

Visit our page on Utah’s online casinos for reviews of the most popular casino sites for players in the Beehive State

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