Best Online Casinos for Utah Players
The best Utah online casinos offer world class slot machines, table games and video poker, as well as superb customer support. However, online gambling laws in Utah mean you should probably choose a social casino, like Vegas World or Casino World, instead of a real money casino.
Utah territory was settled in the 1840s by a group of people from the Church of Latter Day Saints, better known as Mormons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as we all know frown upon and is openly opposed when it comes to any vice, especially drugs, sex, and gambling. Roughly 62% of Utah population identify themselves as Mormons today, which always gives them an advantage whenever the issue of gambling is mentioned by the public and government officials. The Beehive State has been maintaining the Mormon tradition since 1847, developing a deeply religious culture with little to no flexibility towards the slightest forms of gambling. Practically nothing, or very little, has changed since the inception of the state.
Utah history argues against gambling. During the state’s territorial days, there were some scarce underground fixtures and for a short period of time in the 1920s Utah legislation allowed betting on horse racing. It would be naïve to dismiss underground gambling activities today, because they must exist. Casual betting, such as social pools are quite common, but there are no lottery-selling facilities, no casinos, no bingo halls and no sportsbook venues in Beehive State.
To reaffirm what was already mentioned - Utah does not have a single casino facility within its borders. There are no brick and mortar casinos, as casino gambling is prohibited under Utah Criminal Code. Only a hypothetical massive change in demographics might affect the attitude of Utah towards placing wagers, because there won’t be any casinos as long as there are Mormons inhabiting it and the influence of religion is on such a high level. In the absence of commercial and tribal casinos, Utah residents have two options - to cross the state’s borders and pay a visit to land-based casinos in the neighboring states or settle for social clubs and underground poker games.
Northern Utahans are the closest to Idaho casinos near its southern border. Idaho is also a source of lottery entertainment - some magazines have reported that residents of Utah spend more than 6 million dollars annually on Idaho’s lottery. Wyoming and New Mexico are also favorable destinations with tribal casinos, racing tracks and lottery tickets. The most popular region, however, for Utah gamblers is Nevada and such cities as West Wendover and Las Vegas.
Poker tournaments are s offered in Utah, based on legal loopholes - the tournament organizers don’t charge players buy-ins and avoid the backlash from the law. The Wasatch Poker Tour runs poker tournaments at 15 sports bars and pubs in the Salt Lake City area, despite being protested by Stop Predatory Gambling. Anything remotely similar to a casino in Utah is Southgate Social Club, which offers free bingo cards over dinner.
Pro-gambling Utahans either travel to neighboring states or keep their preferences to themselves and looks for alternatives on the internet. However, Utah’s constitution directly mentions online gaming, and not in a liberal way. Mobile electronic devices are mentioned as means to access internet gambling options, are clear characteristics are given to what a computer, smartphone, or tablet as an illegal video gaming device would look like.
None of this stops Utahans to visit US-friendly casino sites such as Bovada Casino or Slots.LV. These particular websites are part of the Best Partners Group and offer high-quality software and easy ways to make deposits. They are hosted offshore and away from Utah or US federal jurisdiction. Bovada delivers a carefree gambling experience, allowing bets on horses, worldwide sports, slots, and virtual table games. Slots.LV follows with a wide range of slots made by Rival and Real Time Gaming and a mobile-compatible environment.
The section 76-10-1102 of the Utah Constitution states that locals are breaking the law by participating “in gambling, including any internet or online gaming.” Utah’s legislators went as far as to add the following clause in the 2012 HB 108 bill: “if any federal law authorizes internet gambling in the states, this state shall opt out.” This means that Utah would not recognize any future legalization of gambling on a federal level. That’s how much they oppose the evolution of gambling in their community.
Utah won’t even allow state lottery because it would probably pave the way towards the opening of tribal casinos, and who knows what else. In 2015, Utah House Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) which sought to ban online gaming across the United States. Sure, the Beehive State’s conservative culture was known to everyone, but why would someone take the issue to the national level is not entirely logical. The act did not progress.
In summary, Utahans have multiple safe choices in the form of offshore betting sites, and also a flourishing internet poker market in neighboring Nevada.