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Betting Culture in the Deep South

Gambling is not an unfamiliar word in the Deep South. Even though some states don’t have walk-in casinos, many online casinos and bookmakers render their services within the region. If we’re going to be generous about it, the Southern states have the best societies that openly accept betting as a practice for entertainment.

Some states actively participate in national sporting activities and some host traditional sporting events that are followed nationwide. The annual Kentucky Derby horse racing event and World Championship Cardboard Boat Race in Arkansas are good examples.

Despite these states’ sports participation similarities, we can’t say the same for their gambling habits. Perhaps this is because there’s no accurate metric to compare the extent to which locals in each state gamble. Meanwhile, platforms like Wetten that provide betting guides often get a sizable amount of visits from IP addresses registering their location in the South.

Similarities and Differences in Laws Guiding Betting in the South

When it comes to the Deep South, the only similarity between betting laws is that they all operate independently—each state has its own unique laws. If you’re looking to set up a casino in any of these states, you will want to check in with the local authorities about the rules governing the state.

As of 2020, there were 10 states where native casinos were prohibited, not because gambling is entirely forbidden, but just the aspect of having a physical building where people would gather to gamble. Meanwhile, five other states that allow physical betting restrict it to selected sports. Here are quick summaries of laws governing betting in some states.

Alabama’s gambling laws are fairly restrictive. Betting is only limited to greyhound dog and horse racing. There are no in-house casinos, nor does the state permit lottery games.

Arkansas limits gambling to horse and dog racing events. Even though there are two “racinos” (places to bet on dog and horse racing), regular gambling houses are prohibited. Meanwhile, Arkansas regulates lottery houses independently from gambling, allowing lottery gaming within the state.

Florida is not as stringent as most other states regarding betting rules. While casinos are limited to Indian reservations, everybody can bet on horse races.

Kentucky is relatively lenient with its restrictions on betting. The state allows betting on horse racing events. They also permit the operation of casinos, but only for charitable purposes.

Surprisingly, Texas is one of the strictest states in the South prohibiting all forms of casino activities—despite the state’s name featuring in a type of poker game. The only form of betting permitted is horse racing, and that’s because it’s part of traditional practices in the state.

Virginia gambling laws are much like Kentucky’s—horse racing and off-track betting at licensed facilities are permitted. However, any form of casino gambling is prohibited unless it’s for a charitable cause.

Regardless of the laws guiding each state, stubborn gamblers still get to find their way around. Many online casinos and bookmakers offer services to people living in states where casinos are prohibited.

In cases like this, the government can’t be responsible or serve as a mediator if any problem happens between the casino platform and the gambler—thus, they usually advise that all citizens steer clear. If you must game with money, the government recommends you engage in any of the classic games of all time, as some allow you to spend cash within the game.

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