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Utah Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 19, 2021

Every article, every expert, even sports handicappers have the same opinion – for the foreseeable future, sports betting is going to remain illegal in Utah. Add to that the unforeseeable future as well.

The state has a long-standing, consistent record of zero-tolerance regarding gambling of any kind. The state rid itself of gambling in the mid-1850s, briefly allowed betting on horses from 1925-27 and then revisited and made its criminal code stronger in 2012 to accommodate online wagering.

Utah has no casinos. When you type in “casinos” and “Utah” into a search engine it sends you to Nevada.

There are no poker rooms; no betting on horse racing; and no charitable gaming. There is no lottery. Bingo isn’t allowed either.

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In May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which opened the door to sports betting across the United States, Gov. Gary Herbert was firm that decision would have no impact on his state. “Governor Herbert appreciates the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of states’ rights to regulate gambling within their borders, a right Utah will exercise by continuing to prohibit gambling within our state,” his spokesperson said.

Between the state’s legislative history and its conservative religious values, residents wanting to wager on the NBA’s Utah Jazz need to set sights and their smartphone navigation on neighboring states where sports wagering is legal: Nevada and New Mexico.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No, and many predict it will never be legal in the state.

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