5 types of Gambling That Legally Are Not Considered Gambling

There are a number of illegal gambling activities, depending on the region you live in and the context in which a gambling game is played. If you like playing games or engaging in activities that could potentially win you a significant amount of money, if or you simply like the thrill of finding out whether you made the right bet, chances are you’ve engaged in several forms of gambling.

There are forms of legal gambling that you can take advantage of at casinos when you play games like blackjack or roulette. Of course, this is one of the reasons that people love going to places like Las Vegas. In addition to all the great entertainment venues and restaurants in the city, Las Vegas is known for its elaborate casinos, and people from all over the world go there to “try their luck” and, hopefully, leave with lots of cash. Slot machines are also legal in most casinos, and you can participate in gambling by buying lottery tickets at a local convenience store. A number of people support their local lotteries because the money goes toward community initiatives and educational programs for children, and there are some gambling games that can benefit nonprofits, as well.

If you’re not sure whether the gambling you’re engaging in or considering engaging in are legal, here is some information that will help you determine how to enjoy gambling responsibly.

State-Approved Gambling

State-Approved Gambling

One common type of illegal gambling involves activities or games that are simply not legal in your jurisdiction but would be legal in another area.  There are also some states that recognize certain gambling games in practice only, so even though it’s technically illegal to play the game in the state, you probably won’t be fined or arrested for it. So, before you engage in betting or card games that you’re not exactly certain of in terms of legality, it’s best to steer clear of them before you check the laws in your state or city. There are even some areas in which a casual betting game with friends could be illegal, since the stipulations of the game could change and cause one or more parties to take legal action against the other parties. Video poker games are also not considered legal anywhere so, unless you have permission from the local government and the facility you’re gambling in has legal documents and licensure to permit certain games, the games are considered illegal.

Betting On Fights and Games

Betting On Fights and Games

Activities like cock fights and dog fights are illegal in most areas because the games can be very dangerous and are considered animal cruelty, since the games involve the serious injury or death of animals. However, if you bet on games like dog or horse racing or bull fighting, these events fall into a different category and are often not considered illegal. However, different states have different rules concerning this, as well as different penalties for participating in gambling.

If you bet on sports games, you’ll need to check with your state to make sure you’re participating in a legal activity. Any game you attend could potentially turn into a gambling activity, and since the principle of chance is incorporated into the outcome of the game, you may have to obtain government registration if you want to gamble legally. In some cases, sports betting is illegal, such as college sports for example, because people will often coerce players into intentionally losing by paying them so that one or more of the people betting can win the bet.

Gambling Taxes

There are taxes associated with gambling and if you fail to pay them, your activity could be labeled as illegal. If you’re gambling at an establishment in which your winnings are $600 or more, the establishment has to report the winnings and you’ll have to pay taxes on what you’ve won. The winnings have to be reported on your federal and state tax returns.

Online Gambling

Gambling by computer is prohibited in a number of states. This type of gambling is classified as a game, a lottery or an activity in which a person is at  risk of losing money or anything of value if the game is lost or has the chance of gaining a profit if the game is won while accessing the Internet. There are some state governments that will prosecute you for up to six months, or you could pay a fine of up to $500.

Gambling Age

While the actual gambling activity you’re engaging in may be legal, you’re gambling illegally if you’re doing so while underage. If you want to bet on activities like horse races or if you choose to buy a state lottery ticket, you must be at least 18. If you want to gamble in a casino, the minimum age is 21. Some states also have riverboat casinos, which are also considered legal, but there may be different stipulations for the games you can play on the riverboat and the games that are permitted in a traditional casino.

How to Know If a Game Is Legal?

If you’re still not certain which games are legal and which ones aren’t, there are a couple of factors to look for that will help you determine which games are safe.

For instance, if the game is a game of skill, gambling as part of the game is likely legal. Games of chance, however, tend to be illegal, since there is little room for leniency. You should also make sure that all the players have an equal chance of winning. If there is a house income or house odds involved in the game, it’s most likely rigged and illegal. Look at the stakes of the game, as well. If the game has penny stakes or if you may win a few hundred dollars, you’re likely gambling legally. However, if the stakes are five or six figures, you should be wary. Check the location of the gambling, as well. If you’re gambling in a public place other than a casino, you should take special care to make sure you’re gambling legally. If you’re gambling in your home, it’s most likely legal gambling, unless you’re playing games or activities for profit online that are prohibited by state or local law.

Legal Assistance

If you find out that you’ve participated in illegal gambling after winning or losing money or if you’ve traveled to an area where certain gambling games aren’t legal but are permitted where you’re from, you may need the help of a lawyer. Business attorneys and criminal defense lawyers can most likely help you to figure out if you have a legitimate case and assist you in court if necessary. This can keep you from having to pay steep fines or spending time in jail for illegal gambling. If you are required to do jail time or pay for gambling illegally, which is a misdemeanor charge, you may be able to have this charge reevaluated to improve your criminal record. The more you learn about gambling and the loopholes or caveats that are often associated with this activity, the less likely you are to engage in illegal forms of gambling in the future.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.