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Gambling in the USA: the procedure for carrying on the gambling business in America

Gambling in the USA is a branch of the economy that brings huge profit, which is much more than the profit from movies, music studious, and touristic spheres. However, only two decades ago, the gambling industry was illegal in forty-eight states. Now the situation has changed dramatically: gambling zones in the USA are growing and multiplying day by day. A complete ban on any gambling services is still valid only in Utah and Hawaii.

Online Gambling in the USA: the Legislative Regulation of the Industry

The gambling industry is the most profitable and popular business in the USA. Nevertheless, in America, there is no single regulation of this sphere of action. Control over gambling zones is entrusted to local authorities and is carried out individually without the intervention of federal agencies. This regulation is valid and is written in The Code of the Laws of the United States of America (paragraph 3001, chapter 15). The document allows local authorities to determine and change the list of allowed games independently and control the organisation of events. The only common point is the definition of the acceptable age of players.

Despite a lot of legal obstacles, gambling in the US always finds very original holes in the law. Statutory provisions of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Louisiana are an excellent example. The authorities of these states forbid categorically to play any casino on their lands. The result is that land-based gambling zones of the United States were moved to huge barges and floating facilities and carry on their business transparently because they are formally located not on the land of the state but on the water.

Gambling in the USA: the Main Stages of the Registration

Summarizing the features of the registration of enterprises in America, the procedure consists of:

  • submission of an application to the supervisory authority (the Secretary of the State), which indicates the legal address for receiving the official post and the company name;
  • registration of the company in the IRS tax department and acquisition of the registration number of a taxpayer;
  • the composition of a bank account.

It is important to know that the name of the future enterprise (regardless of the type of its activity) should not duplicate the names of already existing companies. If the business will be registered under the real name of the owner, the formal registration of the object is usually not required. If the company name does not consist of the owner's name, it must be registered by local authorities. This can be done by completing a special DBA form. All names that contain such words as "company", "association", "partners", and so on, are considered fictitious automatically.

The composition of a bank account is one of the main stages of setting up your own company. Despite the number of legislative measures, which aim is to attract new investors to the country and facilitate the entrepreneurial activity, the development of the gambling business can be slowed down exactly if the bank will reject the provision of a credit. Very few people have an extra couple of hundred thousand dollars to open a gambling establishment without a loan from the bank.

The License of the Operator of the Gambling Business

The gambling license is the main document that gives operators the right to provide gambling services.

There are two types of documents:

  1. Restricted Gaming License. It is issued to operators if their portfolio consists of not more than fifteen slot machines. They are not allowed to install slots or any other types of video games. This type of the permits is usually given to owners of small establishments – bars, clubs or restaurants.
  2. Nonrestricted Gaming License.

There can be two types of this document:

  1. N/R Slots Only – a license for the installation and the launch of an unlimited amount of equipment.
  2. N/R Games & Slots – an operator can offer users automatic slot machines and playing tables in unlimited quantities.
  • Slot Route Operator License (a special license). This permit is used if slot machines are located in gambling establishments that do not belong to the operator (this approach can be compared with the installation of coffee machines in Russia in malls or metro stations where the owner of the equipment negotiates with the owner of the premises independently on the terms of cooperation and other issues).

Not only operators but other participants of the industry are obliged to have a license – manufacturers of slot machines and software vendors, providers of equipment, and each employee. Moreover, absolutely all employees should have a permit – for both employees who are directly involved in the provision of services and personnel that is not engaged in the process of the creation of games.

Taxation of Gambling in the USA

The amount of fees and tax rates depends on the type of the license.

Taxes on the gambling business in the USA for operators with a limited license

The annual tax is two hundred fifty dollars for one kind of the equipment. Quarter rates are calculated with taking into account the total amount of equipment and can vary from eighty-one dollar (for one slot machine) to one thousand eight hundred fifteen dollars (the maximum possible number is fifteen devices).

Taxes on the gambling business in the USA for operators with an unlimited license

Monthly taxes are calculated on the basis of the gross income:

  • the first fifty thousand dollars from the time of the launch – payments in the amount of 3.5%;
  • the following income, which reached eighty-four thousand dollars is taxed at the amount 4.5%;
  • for the income that exceeds one hundred thirty-four thousand dollars owners need to pay 6.75% of taxes.

Operators with unlimited licenses pay off fixed taxes:

  • slot machines – twenty dollars per quarter and two hundred fifty dollars per year;
  • tables – the cost of annual fees can vary from one hundred (for one element) to sixteen thousand dollars (for seventeen objects). For more than seventeen slot machines, operators are required to pay another two hundred dollars. The amount of fees per quarter varies from twelve dollars and fifty cents to seven hundred fifty dollars (for owners of no more than ten locations) and from one hundred twenty-five to twenty thousand three hundred dollars (for operators with thirty-five or more locations).

The information on tax payments is presented on the basis of the free data of the state administration of Nevada. In other regions, the figures may be different.

Gambling in the USA: Indian Casinos

The state pursues a loyal policy towards the aborigines. The gambling industry of the country is prosperous in most states.

Indian gambling business in the USA

The largest casinos in the Indian reservations

  • Pechanga Resort and Casino is a Californian gaming club near the city of Temecula. Its total area is one thousand one hundred square metres. The gambling establishment was founded in 2002, and today it offers more than three thousand four hundred video slots and one hundred thirty tables.
  • WinStar World Casino and Resort – the largest Indian casino in Oklahoma. It has about seven thousand four hundred slot machines and a full range of related services – restaurants, shops, and a spa zone.
  • Foxwoods (Connecticut). The Pequot tribe owns the business. It was founded in 1986. Its total area is thirty-two square metres. Gamblers can try their luck by playing four thousand eight hundred slot machines and on three hundred eighty tables.
  • Mohegan Sun (Montville, Connecticut). It is included in the top of the largest gambling zones in the USA, and its total area is thirty-three thousand eight hundred square metres. Also, the gambling establishment provides the round-the-clock access to five and a half thousand slot machines and three hundred seventy-seven places to play table games.
  • Treasure Island Resort & Casino is the largest gaming club in Minnesota. The Indian casino was founded back in 1984, and today it offers entertainment in the form of two thousand five hundred slot machines and forty-four tables.

Gambling in the USA: States Where People Gamble the Most

The biggest locations of the American gambling industry are the legendary casino cities. For example, in Nevada, it is the world capital of casinos – Las Vegas. And the most famous part of New Jersey is Atlantic City.

Las Vegas: the world capital of casinos


Gaming clubs can be found in Arlington, Tacoma, and Renton. A special attention should be paid to the most atmospheric casinos owned by Native Americans – 7 Cedars Casino and Angel of the Winds.


Locations under the protection of Indians hold leading positions. Indian casinos belong to the largest gambling networks – Comanche and Cherokee.


The state has a successful competition with New Jersey – the number of gambling establishments is growing rapidly. Natural specifics of the region make it possible to develop floating gambling locations and expand their activity.


Each casino in this state is an embodiment of luxuriance and a large scale. In the region, there is an official permit for poker, so there are many thematic gaming clubs.

Gambling in the USA: the Conclusion

Considering the gambling industry as the most rapidly growing business in the United States, it is possible to highlight the general statutory provisions that govern this industry:

  • The gambling business is regulated by local authorities.
  • This business requires operators to have a license.
  • The procedure of the acquisition of licenses and the regulation of the operation of gambling zones in the United States is defined by local legislative provisions and is not subject to federal intervention.
  • Licenses are issued according to a specific address. It is worth noting that local authorities have the right to refuse to grant a license. For example, your business can be banned if the club is located too close to the church, educational facilities, hospitals, sports centres or administrative offices.

Smart Money: the Invaluable Help in the Launch of an Online Gambling Legal Business

Land-based casinos are still popular nowadays but conducting this business on the Internet is an equivalent that is today a popular choice among operators. Online gambling in the USA and in other countries is also legal and profitable.  

The Smart Money company is ready to provide its assistance in the opening and promotion of the gambling establishments.

We offer you the following services:

  • the implementation of gaming systems, as well as the rent and sale of the licensed software, which is ready to be launched;
  • the sale or rent of online casinos. Cooperating with Smart Money, you will definitely get platforms with a full set of tools (the multilingual capability, integrated payment systems, and much more);
  • the development of unique gambling projects;
  • the sale or rent of the equipment and furniture for land-based locations;
  • products for live casinos and bingo halls.

Smart Money has fifteen years of experience in the implementation and promotion of gambling online websites. We are ready to provide a full range of tools and services for the development of the gambling business, as well as the high-quality technical support for your virtual and real locations.

If you have any questions, you can contact us via any form of communication that can be found in the section "Contacts" on the Smart Money website.

The Main Things about the US Gaming Industry

  • The American entertainment market is a unique high-income economic model. Despite the absence of a unified industry regulation program, the total revenue of gambling enterprises exceeds the profitability of the movie and music industries in the country.
  • Legal barriers do not prevent investors from carrying out legitimate gambling activities. An example of a unique legal collapse is the flat ban on the opening of casinos on the lands of the states of Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, and Iowa. The owners of the gambling zones moved their businesses to the water, continuing to interact with customers and formally not breaking any law.
  • The United States has unique restrictions on the name of a gambling establishment. The title of a new brand should not repeat the existing names of the objects. Moreover, the ban applies to all areas of business. However, if a company is entered in the register under the real name of the owner or founder, additional formalities are not required.
  • Gaming devices can be placed in establishments that are not owned by casinos. For example, it is possible to install slot machines in cafes, gas stations, nightclubs, and other public places. To do this, it is enough to obtain special permission — Slot Route Operator Licence.
  • The Native American gambling business is thriving in most states. The state provides the indigenous population with special benefits and concessions. For example, the top list of the largest gaming projects in the United States includes the Native American casino Mohegan Sun with an area of 33.8 thousand square meters.

You can find out more about the specifics of entering the American gaming market by contacting the specialists from the Smart Money studio. We guarantee prompt response and professional support in any issues associated with the organisation and conduct of gambling start-ups.

The latest market novelties are available to our clients:

  • live games;
  • Telegram casinos;
  • Bitcoin casinos;
  • mobile content;
  • VR casinos, and many other offers.

Get one step closer to your dream iGaming project now!

Hans Adrian

B2b Gambling Business Advisor & Strategist


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