Nevada State Lotteries Laws
Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated June 20, 2016
Maybe you saw a news segment about a man from Michigan winning a Mega Millions drawing. Or maybe youвЂ™ve heard about friends in California playing scratch-off games. And youвЂ™ve dreamt about a chance to turn one little $2 ticket into a life on easy street. But Silver State residents are out of luck on the lotto front: there is no state-sanctioned lottery here. Here is a quick introduction to lotteries laws in Nevada.
Lotteries Laws in Nevada
All but six states have a state-run lottery, and Nevada is one of the six. The others are Bible Belt states Alabama and Mississippi, regional outliers Alaska and Hawaii, and eastern neighbors Utah. Although it may seem odd to allow so much gambling and gaming while outlawing a state lottery, NevadaвЂ™s state constitution is clear: вЂњno lottery may be authorized by this State, nor may lottery tickets be sold.вЂќ While it is not illegal for Nevada residents to purchase tickets for out-of-state lotteries, the sale of lottery tickets from other states is prohibited within state lines. NevadaвЂ™s state lotteries prohibition is listed in the table below.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue
Additional Purpose of Lottery
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition
Prohibited Related Activities
Lotteries Laws, Generally
State lottery laws (in the states that allow a government-sanctioned lottery) regulate everything from where, how, and to whom tickets can be sold, to how long a winner has to claim a prize and which state-funded programs will receive lottery revenues. The majority of states allocate their lottery proceeds to a general fund, and from there the lottery revenue is earmarked for specific projects like transportation infrastructure projects, public education initiatives, or environmental protections. States are permitted to participate in national lottery pools, like Mega Millions and Powerball, and multi-state contests like Monopoly MillionaireвЂ™s Club along with their own state-specific lottery games.
Related Resources for Nevada State Lotteries Laws
Even in the states that have them, lotteries laws can vary. And the line between illegal lotteries and legal gaming and gambling isnвЂ™t always the easiest to understand. You can consult with a Nevada gaming law attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance regarding a lottery or gambling law matter. You can also visit FindLawвЂ™s section on Gaming Law for additional articles and information on this topic.
Chart providing details of Nevada State Lotteries Laws
Lottery in Nevada (NV): FAQs and How to Play
Is there a lottery in Nevada?
No. Nevada is among 5 US states that do not have a state-operated lottery, together with Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah.
Why Nevada Doesn’t Have a State Lottery
For a state where gambling and casino culture is so prevalent, it might seem strange that a state lottery is not present in Nevada. But as it is, Nevada’s state constitution outlaws such games of chance – stating that “no lottery may be authorized by this State, nor may lottery tickets be sold.”
Additionally, while Nevada lawmakers have been floating the idea of a state-sponsored lottery for the past 3 decades, every effort to amend current laws has failed. This is mostly due to resistance from the local gambling industry as well as various religious groups.
Can you buy lottery tickets in Nevada?
No. With the absence of a state-sponsored lottery, and the fact that US federal law does not permit the sale of lottery tickets across state borders, it is currently not possible to buy lottery tickets within the state of Nevada.
However, some evidence seems to indicate that a few locations within the state do in fact sell lottery tickets for certain multi-state games. According to some reports, establishments that operate with an unrestricted gaming license do sell tickets to games like Powerball.
How can people in Nevada play lottery?
Nevada residents will have to go out-of-state to purchase lottery tickets for games like Powerball and Mega Millions. Neighboring states Arizona, California, Idaho, and Oregon all permit lottery sales, so those would be the most convenient places to go to.
Can you win the lottery if you live in Nevada?
Yes, you can, but you’ll have to pay additional state taxes on top of any standard taxes that already apply.
Will Nevada ever get the lottery?
The idea of a Nevada-sanctioned state lottery has been suggested by lawmakers in the past, but due to massive opposition from the local gaming industry, this seems unlikely to happen anytime in the foreseeable future.
Find out why Nevada doesn’t have a state lottery, and if it will ever have one. Also, we go into detail about you can play if you’re from Nevada.