Casino Gambling in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Casino Guide
If the first thing you think about is cheese when you hear the word Wisconsin, you're not alone. The state is famous for its cheesehead-wearing Green Bay Packers fans. But residents of the state go crazy for more than just dairy products. In Wisconsin, they love their gambling. And that's obvious with the state's 17 legal casino properties. But while they're all run by Native American tribes, the game selection varies from property to property, forcing a lot of Milwaukee and Madison players to choose Wisconsin online casinos over the land-based ones. Read on for the whole deal.
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- Population: 5,726,398
- Land Size: 54,157 sq. miles
- Population 18+: 76.8%
- Gambling Age (Casinos): 18
- Gambling Age (Lottery): 18
- Number of Casinos: 24
- Nickname: Badger State
- It's the birthplace of Phil Hellmuth, one of the world's top poker player
- The Republican party was founded here
- It's illegal to kiss on a train
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LCO Casino13767 County Hiway K
Hayward, WI 54834
North Star Mohican CasinoW12180 County Road A
Bowler, WI 54416
Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison4002 Evan Acres Rd
Madison, WI 53718
History of Wisconsin Gambling
Gambling history in Wisconsin doesn't begin with Wisconsin online casinos. Sure, they started serving gamblers in the late '90s, gaining popularity in the mid 2000s. But Wisconsinites were fascinated with gambling way before then. Wisconsin once had a thriving greyhound and horserace industry, but when Native American casinos opened up, the tracks became doomed. Since then, it seems that the residents have been focused on casino games and not much else.
The state started its lottery in 1988, and while residents actively play the lottery, including Powerball and Mega Millions, the focus continues to be on Wisconsin online casinos and the state's Native American casino properties.
Local Casino Venues
You've heard of state compacts. They're the agreements between a state government and Native American tribes that permit them to open a casino and offer certain classes of games. There's Class I games, Class II games, and Class III games, with the latter usually including games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. Wisconsin online casino players don't usually have to worry about this because virtually every Internet gambling site offers everything you could want.
Across most of the US, every Native American casino offers the same class of games. But not in Wisconsin. That's because instead of the compact outlining which games can be offered, voters within the community that the reservation sit have final say. That's why no two legit casinos in Wisconsin are alike in terms of casino game selection. Some casinos offer a full suite of Vegas style gaming while others only offer table games that involve some level of skill and use cards (no dice). Some don't even allow live dealers, instead opting for machines to simulate everything. It's for that reason that gambling online in Wisconsin is so popular. When you hop on the Internet, you know you're getting the best variety.
Casino Gambling Age Restrictions
No matter what game you like to play, be it poker, casino games in a Native American casino, or Wisconsin online casino games, you must be 18 years old to legally play. Players who enter a live casino will need to show ID to hit the floor. The same is true online. Many younger players think they can bypass the system because there's no human interaction, but the truth is Wisconsin Internet gambling sites are famous for being incredibly strict about enforcing gambling age requirements. In many cases, you'll need to send in a scanned copy of your driver's license or other government-issued ID to verify your identity. Even the sites that don't require this will verify your age against your credit card.
Famous Wisconsin Gamblers
Maybe it's the colder climate that keeps people indoors at the gambling tables. Or maybe there's something in the water. Whatever it is, Wisconsin breeds some incredible poker and casino games players. The most famous and successful is arguably Phil Hellmuth, Jr. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Hellmuth is the world's top poker player, with 13 World Series of Poker bracelets to his name.
The State of Online Gambling in Wisconsin
Wisconsinites are famous for gambling, online and off. Today, they do so at Wisconsin online casinos that are regulated outside of the state. Many of the big casinos and poker rooms attract Wisconsin players from Madison to Green Bay, and are licensed and regulated by international gambling authorities like those in Malta, Gibraltar, and Antigua. There are no current plans to create a government-run or state-licensed Wisconsin online casino. However, a recent report revealed that state gambling revenue has declined for the fourth straight year. If fewer people continue to gamble at the state's Native American casinos, it could cause the state to reexamine how they offer casino games to their residents.
The Future of Wisconsin Casino Gambling
Even as revenue has reportedly dropped, gambling revenue still sits well over $1 billion a year. That means players are gambling, and the drop might just have to do with the economic downturn. Those who want to gamble less will choose to do so. And those who want to gamble more will continue to have options. With a healthy amount of revenue, there are no plans to close casinos. Yes, expansion plans might be hindered, but Wisconsin online gambling fans have tons of online casinos to hit if they'd rather not play offline.
Gambler's Note: Wisconsin casino laws are always changing. The information on this page is for informational purposes only. Always consult Wisconsin state law and local regulations before playing at an Wisconsin online gambling site.
National Council on Problem Gambling/WisconsinLinks to Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon, and a self-help workbook for problem gamblers are all easily accessed on this page.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services/Compulsive Gambling Awareness ProgramToll-free hotline, diagnostic testing to assess your level of gambling problems, and many other handy resources can be found on this website.