Wisconsin, one of the first states to establish treaties with nearby Native American tribes, has enjoyed a thriving casino industry for more than 20 years. Tribal casinos located throughout the state offer electronic and table games to both locals and visitors.
However, the law is not very hospitable to bettors who wish to place bets outside of these casinos that are approved by the government. Wisconsin is not the best place for sports bettors to gamble because it is against the law to place a wager on a game of skill or chance, and there are even regulations against internet gambling.
Wisconsin’s Gaming Laws
Whether or not tribes in the state of Wisconsin would be permitted to build casinos was unclear in the early phases of the legalization of tribal casinos on a national scale.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was enacted at the federal level in 1988. It granted Native American tribes the authority to own and run casinos in states that permitted other Class III gaming, such as slot machines, horse racing, lotteries, and table games. In 1989, the state of Wisconsin started talks with its tribes to create compacts, although opinions on whether or not casino gaming was permitted in Wisconsin varied.
Ultimately, it was decided that Wisconsin’s legal state lottery qualified as Class III gaming, meaning that the state’s tribes could construct and run casinos there. Wisconsin entered into agreements with its tribes to monitor and control the state’s casino industry. Wisconsin Act 196 allowed for the establishment of the gaming compacts in 1989, and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior approved them in 1992.
When the compacts were renewed in 1998, the minimum age for casino patrons was raised from the original 18 to 21 years old.
Wisconsin Sports Betting
Wisconsin has strict rules against sports betting, and it is illegal to gamble on sports there. Wisconsin does not distinguish between players who place bets and bookies, unlike many other states that penalize bookmakers more severely. Although they don’t specify any particular punishments, the Wisconsin Statutes define bookmaking as “receiving, recording, or forwarding of a bet or offer to bet.”
In contrast, section 945.02 just declares that “Anyone who enters or remains in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, or (1) makes a bet,” is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. This statute is in place, but it is rarely enforced, which makes it difficult for Wisconsin sports bettors to use it.
Although gambling in Wisconsin is restricted, citizens from this state can always choose to play with an offshore sportsbook or casino such as YouWager.lv.
Wisconsin Betting: Poker and Casino
Wisconsin established the groundwork for casino gambling in the early 1990s because of its relatively swift adoption of Native American gaming through agreements with the state’s tribes. Wisconsin residents have many options for playing slot machines and table games, with over a dozen tribal casinos spread out around the state.
In Wisconsin, there are currently nine poker rooms in total, however most of them are quite tiny, with only two casinos having a poker room with more than eight tables. With twenty tables, the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is the biggest poker room in the state. At most of these venues, there are cash games and small tournaments.
Play Poker Online
Outside of tribal casinos, it appears that playing poker is prohibited in Wisconsin. According to the state, a bet is “a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.” However, it is unlawful to place bets. Poker would seem to be included in this.
Most offshore poker clubs, which are outside of Wisconsin’s legal jurisdiction, welcome players who are prepared to take the chance of playing poker online.
Additional Wisconsin Betting Options
Wisconsin does not provide live horse racing, but there are a few Native American casinos across the state where gamblers can place their bets off the track. These venues provide legal opportunities for horse bettors to gamble on national simulcast races.
Lottery in Wisconsin
Under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the Wisconsin Lottery was established in 1988. Wisconsin residents can buy scratch cards, wager on in-state drawings, and participate in multi-state draws like Powerball and Mega Millions. Although other online gambling is prohibited by state law, it is permissible to purchase Wisconsin Lottery tickets online.
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