The gambling movement is gaining traction across much of the United States. However, many states are still working on legislation to allow gambling within their borders.
Here are five states without legalized gambling. A few of them may be working feverishly to open the gambling gates. Meanwhile, other states have clearly stated, “No gambling here.”
1 – Utah
Utah is one of the most absolutely beautiful states. From the awe-inspiring drive up to Monument Valley to the majesty of Arches National Park, Utah is a wonderful place to live.
Unless you’re a gambler of any sort, that is. Utah has some of the strictest gambling laws in the country.
Residents of Utah do not have access to a single casino within its borders, making it one of the 10 states without some form of commercial or tribal casino.
Even if the gambling laws began to relax considerably, it would be miles away from opening up to casino play.
Utah has no state lottery and does not participate in any of the multi-state lotteries. You can’t even by a scratch-off in Utah.
So, no casinos and no lottery of any kind.
What about playing bingo for real money?
Bingo has become a way for gamblers in states with no gambling to quell their thirst for some action. Most bingo halls will pay a considerable portion of their earnings to charity. Still, it definitely gives players the chance to cash in on the game.
This may seem like extreme measures, but Utah citizens don’t appear to mind too much one way or the other. Much of Utah’s population is of the Mormon faith, and their religion strictly forbids such activities.
Not all of the people living in Utah are of the Mormon faith, though. Surely residents are free to gamble in their homes.
That’s hard, “no.” If you live in Utah, you’re not even permitted to gamble on poker or the Jazz game in your own home.
Utah is also one of only a handful of states with a specific law prohibiting internet gambling. Utah has gone as far as to opt-out of any federal regulations legalizing gambling.
2 – Hawaii
Hawaii is unequivocally one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The soaring mountains covered in lush vegetation towers above the white sand beaches and perfectly blue waters.
I’ve never been playing a round on one of Maui’s illustrious golf courses or been diving in the waters off of Oahu and wished I were in a casino. This plays into the reasons behind Hawaii not having legalized gambling.
The natural beauty of Hawaii is all of the attraction needed to draw a booming tourism industry. Many believe a gambling industry may only serve to hinder their niche as a family vacation spot.
The Hawaiian culture puts a huge emphasis on family. Hence, Hawaiians largely view gambling as harming their community.
The proponents of legalized gambling in the islands’ chain argue that the casino industry could add over $25 million in new revenue each year. Of course, this pales in comparison to the over $1 billion generated annually via the tourism trade.
It’s easy to imagine the Maui coast dotted with beautiful casino resorts. What many Hawaiians can see is the added potential for things like pollution, crime, and traffic.
I specify commercial casinos for an important reason. You see, there has been legislation being debated over for sometime pushing for native gaming.
The Akaka bill would do much the same for native Hawaiians as the native American tribes have seen in the continental United States, meaning that natives would be permitted to offer gaming as a revenue source.
The Akaka bill seems to be all but dead, but some residents hold out hope.
In an ironic twist, the number one vacation spot for Hawaiians is Las Vegas, Nevada.
3 – Alaska
Alaska may be the home of the latest gold rush, but don’t travel to the last frontier expecting to strike it rich in the casinos.
Alaska has yet to outlaw internet gambling or daily fantasy sports specifically. I’d consider traveling to Canada or Las Vegas before testing the online casinos.
If the Alaskan authorities decide to prosecute a gambler in the state, a second charge is an automatic felony. I can’t imagine a single casino game or sporting wager worth catching a felony charge.
I suppose it isn’t surprising that Alaska has no legal gambling. In many communities and regions throughout the state, a strict prohibition on alcohol still exists.
So, if you think maybe you’ll test your luck at an offshore gambling site, remember that the Alaskan authorities are throwing people in jail for having bottles of liquor.
The lack of casinos likely won’t come as a shock to many of you. Alaska is known for its vast wilderness, and the tourism industry depends on it to survive.
The Alaskan residents don’t seem in any hurry to start littering the beautiful landscape with gaudy casinos. Honestly, it’s probably best to keep it that way.
If you’re heading for an Alaskan vacation, you’d better buy your lottery tickets before you get on the airplane or hit the Canadian border. All forms of the lottery are illegal in Alaska, including scratch-offs and PowerBall.
Alaska has a lot to offer anybody that wants adventure in the wild. On that note, if you’re looking to get rich quick in Alaska, stick to the gold panning.
4 – Texas
Texas has a lot going for it. The Lone Star state has a booming economy, and let’s face it, everything is bigger in Texas.
Sports are among the most popular activities in Texas. From little league to college athletics, passionate fans rarely miss a game.
Texas has eight professional sports teams from the big four sports. Yet, sports betting in Texas is illegal at the moment.
Many sports bettors turn to offshore betting sites to get their fix. While sports betting is prohibited, the use of the sites is not specifically outlawed.
In fact, nobody in the state has ever been brought up on charges resulting from play on one of the sites. Typically, law enforcement will focus on the sites operating illegally.
Texas is one of the largest states in both size and population. Unfortunately, the sprawling land is home to a single casino.
The Lone Star State’s lonesome casino is located on the Kickapoo reservation near the border with Mexico.
Texans still get their fill of casino gaming. Most of the most densely populated areas are within driving distance of casinos in neighboring states.
For years, Dallas/Fort Worth residents would travel to Shreveport, LA, to visit the riverboat casinos. They now have the largest casino in the world a short 90-minute drive north at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, OK.
Texas looks to be on the cusp of legalizing sports betting. However, this doesn’t open the door for casinos to begin breaking ground.
It simply means that in addition to the massive Texas lottery options, bingo halls, and Saturday night poker games, Texans enjoy, they can also bet on those Dallas Cowboys.
5 – Tennessee
Tennessee has a rich and vibrant culture that is distinctly its own. From Memphis’s city sounds to the Appalachian-themed Dollywood, Tennessee is a state that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Tennessee has ignored convention regarding gambling laws as well. The state has left the antiquated laws in place dating back to the 1800s.
That means the Tennessee authorities have not updated laws regarding online gambling. Like many states, online gambling is a gray area.
Gamblers in Tennessee do have nearby options. It simply means driving out of state. The riverboat casinos in Mississippi are a popular destination for Tennessee residents.
You would think the state officials would make changes to existing laws in an effort to keep some of those dollars in state coffers.
If you’re looking for a nice vacation with some gambling mixed in, avoid these states. The “No Gambling Here” sign may not last forever, but these five states without legal gambling haven’t made the change yet.