Why Utah Doesn't Have a State Lottery

Why Utah Doesn't Have a State Lottery

Many U.S. states run lottery systems which are a form of legalized gambling. You may be familiar with some of the well-known games such as "Powerball" or "Super Lotto." What state lotteries all have in common is strict regulation by government authorities. Some states forgo the bureaucracy all together by prohibiting lotteries by law. Utah is such a state.

Utah's Lottery Prohibitions

Utah is not alone as a lottery-free state. There are actually 5 other states that have made state-run lotteries illegal. These include Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, Nevada and Alabama. In Utah, citizens are not even allowed to buy out of state lottery tickets within the jurisdiction. Thus, when a Utahn wants to buy a lottery ticket he or she needs to travel to nearby Idaho or Wyoming.

The Utah Constitution & Gambling

Those wondering why Utah does not have a state lottery just need to look at the state constitution. In Article VI, Section 27 the state legislature is strictly prohibited from authorizing lotteries or games of chance.

The Crime of Illegal Gambling

The Utah code provides criminal sanctions for gambling violations. Under section 76-2-202, any person who "solicits, requests, commands, encourages, or intentionally aids another person to engage in” gambling will be held liable in the criminal justice system. Gambling is defined as the act of risking an item of value on the outcome of a game of chance.

The Utah Code which specifically addresses gambling is section 76-10-1102. Under this section a person can be found guilty for engaging in any gambling act. This section also makes it illegal to gamble online. Those who permit gambling to occur or facilitate the game can also be charged with a crime.

Criminal Punishments

Gambling is a class A misdemeanor in Utah if one provides internet gambling opportunities to a resident of the state. The crime is considered a class B misdemeanor when one engages in the act of gambling. The code also addresses cases of gambling fraud and the promotion of gambling activities.

Help With Gaming Law

If you are involved with a legal issue involving gaming law, contact an experienced attorney at Spencer and Collier, LLC. Receive a professional consultation by calling today.

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