States without a single casino - population and revenue

Many people think that gambling and casinos are illegal in the United States, but that’s far from the truth; in fact, you don’t have to leave US soil to go to a land-based casino in many states.

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While some states have just one or two major casinos, others have hundreds of them, making it hard for players to choose where to gamble. As of 2023, there are 28 states without a single casino. However, this number doesn’t mean much if you like gambling because all states allow certain forms of gambling, even if they don’t have brick & mortar casinos.

In this article, we will talk about states without casinos and their gambling options. Let’s jump right in!

Why Would a State Not Have Casinos?

Before we list states with no casinos, let’s first talk about why there are no casinos in those states. The short answer is that not everyone likes gambling and its effects on people. So, if a state doesn’t want to have any gambling (or certain types of gambling), they can simply make it illegal.

However, the vast majority of states in the US have come to realise how beneficial gambling and casinos can be. Gambling generates enormous amounts of tax revenue, which helps fund important state projects.

When a state decides that casinos shouldn’t be allowed, that means no land-based casino can operate within its borders. That does not mean that residents cannot gamble online, as offshore online casinos are accessible almost anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, some states chose to limit gambling to Native American reservations, meaning that non-Native Americans are not permitted to enter and gamble there, thus making the venue “a casino without cities”. 

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States With No Casinos (2023)

As we have said before, most US states have legalised at least some form of gambling. Below, we have listed all the states with no casinos.

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • South Carolina
  • Alaska
  • South Dakota
  • Idaho
  • New Hampshire
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

If you are wondering how many people live in these states without casinos, the number is over 175 million. To put things into perspective, that equals more than half of the US population. These states cover a total area of 2,1 million square kilometres, which makes up about 9% of the country.

The states without casinos have different demographics. For example, Texas has nearly 30 million people living inside its borders, while other states without casinos, such as Vermont, Wyoming, and Alaska, have fewer than one million people.

Even though these states do not have casino gaming floors, locals still enjoy gambling and games of chance. If you live in one of these states, you may take advantage of various gambling options.

What Are the Alternative Gambling Options in States Without Casinos?

Although these states do not have any traditional casinos, the law allows certain types of gambling. In fact, residents and visitors can engage in numerous gambling activities. If you find yourself in one of the states without casinos, you can try:

  • Charity Events. Most states permit charitable organisations to hold raffles, lotteries, and other games. This type of gambling is very common across the nation, and it does a lot of good by raising money for various charities and humanitarian causes.
  • Social Gambling. People have been playing card games against each other for centuries, long before the first casino was built. Social gambling is when a few friends sit down and play poker or blackjack for money. It is entirely legal across all 50 states, but keep in mind that host state gambling laws apply.
  • Fantasy Sports Leagues. Over the past decade, fantasy sports leagues have exploded in popularity, becoming an industry worth billions. According to recent statistics, roughly 65 million individuals in the US play in daily or weekly fantasy sports leagues. Unfortunately, only 15 states have yet to regulate the activity, so participating in FSLs might be considered social gambling or illegal.
  • Bingo. Bingo games are held across the country, especially among senior citizens who enjoy spending time together and playing this easy game. There are even large bingo halls with multiple bingo sessions throughout the day and progressive jackpots that can reach millions of dollars.
  • Horse Racing. Horse racing dates back to the 1800s and remains popular today. While there are no race tracks in some states, neighbouring states often have them, making it easy to travel and place bets on horse racing. Additionally, horse racing betting takes place online and over the phone.
  • Dog Racing. Dog racing tracks can also be found across the country. They work on the same principle as race tracks; you pay to get in, find a spot, and watch the races while eating hotdogs. Of course, you can place your bets on your favourite dog(s).
  • Lottery. Data gathered in 2021 showed that 45 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia offer lotto to adults. When it comes to states without casinos, Hawaii and Utah are the two exceptions because they are Mormon countries, and gambling goes against their religion. However, both permit lottery sales in other states.
  • Tribal Casinos. Some states without casinos actually have tribal casinos, but only for Native American patrons. Non-Natives are not permitted to enter and gamble. While this can seem odd, Indian Gaming is a thing and governed by the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
  • Video Poker/Poke Machines. Video poker and poker machines can be found in bars, restaurants, and similar establishments. While these venues are not considered casinos, the games offered are undoubtedly casino games.
  • Sports Betting. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1993 (PASPA) banned sports betting across the country, except in the state of Nevada, and a few exemptions. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, allowing each state to create its own regulations regarding . Today, almost every state has legal sports betting options available to residents and tourists.
  • Offshore Online Casinos. We have saved the best for last. If you live in a state without a casino, you can always open your laptop, pick a , and start playing your favourite games. All you need is a stable internet connection and a computer or mobile device. Offshore casino sites accept players from the USA and welcome them with open arms.

As you can see, people in states without casinos can engage in various forms of gambling. If none of these options appeal to you, you could try going to nearby states with the most .

Neighbouring States Matter

When picking a place to live, many people consider the cost of living, job opportunities, schools, and proximity to hospitals. However, if you enjoy gambling and visiting casinos, you should look at the surrounding states and their gambling options.

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Some states share boundaries with casino superstates that have dozens of land-based gambling venues, while others have none. Below, we have listed all the states without casinos and their nearest casino neighbours.

  • Alabama: Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee
  • Georgia: South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida
  • Hawaii: Pacific Ocean
  • Kentucky: Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee
  • North Carolina: South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
  • Oklahoma: Kansas, Colorado
  • Tennessee: Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina
  • Texas: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana
  • Utah: Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho
  • Vermont: New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
  • Virginia: West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina
  • Wisconsin: Iowa, Minnesota
  • South Carolina: North Carolina, Georgia
  • Alaska: Yupik Folkways – Non-Profit, British Columbia, Canada
  • South Dakota: Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana
  • Idaho: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Nevada
  • New Hampshire: Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont
  • Montana: Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota
  • Oregon: Nevada, California, Idaho, Washington
  • Washington: Idaho, British Columbia, Canada, Montana
  • Wyoming: South Dakota, Montana, Idaho
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As you can see, some states share extremely long borders with casino states. For example, Tennessee shares borders with Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri, most of which have casinos. On the other hand, Alaska, Vermont, and Virginia seem to be in trouble.

It’s good to know that states without casinos have plenty of gambling alternatives, so residents do not have to travel long distances to play roulette, blackjack, slot machines, or other games. You could also check which state has the closest casino and how far away it is. If the distance isn’t too great, going to a brick-and-mortar gambling establishment could be a fun weekend activity.

States Without Casinos Can Gamble Online

We have reached the conclusion of this blog post, and we would like to summarise everything that has been said. The United States is huge and diverse, with each state having its own customs, traditions, culture, and opinions. Some states agree with gambling, while others believe it is a bad influence on society.

Of course, the governments that allow gambling do so because of the significant financial gain. Casino taxes help fund important state projects that benefit the entire community.

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As of 2023, there are 28 states without casinos, but that doesn’t mean their residents cannot participate in various forms of . If you are ever in one of these states, feel free to try local attractions and, of course, visit the nearest casino. And if travelling is out of the question, open your preferred web browser, search for ‘online casinos’, and pick one of the sites that rank highly.

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