Nevada "Dog Racing as Gaming Activity" Laws (NRS 207.235)
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

Under NRS 207.235, holding a dog race for the purpose of gambling is illegal in Nevada.  And not only does it carry high fines and potential jail . . . it looks bad on your record and may jeopardize you from obtaining or keeping a gambling license.

Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers understand that gaming may be a vital source of your income.  Therefore our goal is not only to successfully resolve your case but also to ensure that you keep your gambling license and livelihood.

To read more about the Nevada offense of holding dog races for gaming purposes including the law, penalties and how we can help, scroll down. You may also visit our pages on Nevada dog bite laws and Nevada dog fighting laws

Legal Definition of Dog Racing for Gaming Purposes in Las Vegas, Nevada

People may be surprised to learn that dog racing is an illegal form of gambling in a gaming Mecca like Nevada.  But the state actually prohibits many forms of gambling such as the Lottery in order to maintain the casinos' ascendancy.  But note that Nevada does permit horse racing for gaming purposes.

Conducting dog racing for gambling purposes wasn't always criminal in Nevada.  Back in 1981, the Las Vegas Downs track in Henderson briefly held dog races that patrons could place bets on.  But the state legislature formally outlawed the practice in 1997.

A handful of other states do allow dog racing for gaming purposes.  Casinos such as the Mandalay Bay Sports Book take bets on these out-of-state dog races.  Organizations such as the Greyhound Protection League serve to uphold safe dog racing practices.

Defenses to Dog Racing for Gaming Purposes in Las Vegas, Nevada

The best ways to defend against an allegation of illegal dog racing turns wholly on the circumstances of your case.  The following are just some possible strategies your attorney may utilize when fighting your charge:

  • No gaming:  Remember that NRS 207.235 outlaws dog racing only for gaming purposes.  If your attorney can show that no gambling was involved, then you're not criminally liable under this statute.
  • Lack of evidence:  The D.A. has the burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before he/she can be convicted.  Therefore your attorney would try to create a reasonable doubt by demonstrating how the state's evidence is inadequate, contradictory or unreliable.
  • Police misconduct:  If the cops may have violated your constitutional rights by conducting an illegal arrest, search or seizure, then your attorney can file a Nevada motion to suppress asking the court to throw out the evidence found from the cops' unlawful activity.  If the judge grants your Nevada motion to suppress, there's a good chance the prosecution will be left with insufficient proof and will drop the charges.
Penalties for Dog Racing for Gaming Purposes in Las Vegas, Nevada

Conducting a dog race for the purpose of gambling is a misdemeanor in Las Vegas.  The sentence for a misdemeanor in Las Vegas carries:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

Note that if any of the dogs were hurt or killed, you may face additional charges for animal cruelty.  Possible punishments include thousands in fines and several years in Nevada State Prison.

Also remember that a conviction for illegal dog racing may disqualify you from obtaining or maintaining a license from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Arrested?  Call . . . .

If you've been accused of holding a dog race for gaming purposes under NRS 207.235, call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to talk for free.  We may be able to get the charged dropped so your record stays clean.

Also see our article about the Nevada crime of keeping a vicious dog (NRS 202.500).

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