The current gambling infrastructure in the United States owes a lot to the Native Americans and their pursuit of legalized gambling on their land. This was possible due to the fact that Native American land is sovereign and, therefore, not subject to the laws of the United Staes.
Any way, why are casinos not illegal?
Generally speaking, gambling is not illegal in the US. That's because there is no federal law banning gambling throughout the country. That said, the full story is a lot more complicated. The US does have specific laws, such as the Federal Wire Act of 1961, that prohibit gambling that takes place across state lines.
Anyways, why do casinos not allow cameras? The number one reason is actually not security but privacy. The casino has tons of cameras on the gaming floor and hallways for security reasons, but this footage can only be used for security reasons in case of cheating, robbery or other criminal activity. Not everyone likes to be seen in a casino.
Further to this, can casinos be on land?
Yes, casinos can be on land in the United States, but again, there are certain restrictions. How those restrictions work varies on a state-by-state basis. In some states, the only truly legal land-based casinos are owned by Native American tribes and are on tribal land.
Is it illegal to take pictures inside a casino?
Most casinos are pretty relaxed about cameras but obviously discourage close ups of other people. General shots should be OK, always best to ask. By and large videos are not permitted.