Gambling. All states regulate gambling. As used in this chapter, the term gamblingAgreements in which parties pay consideration (money placed during bets) for the chance, or opportunity, to obtain an amount of money or property. refers to agreements in which parties pay consideration (money placed during bets) for the chance, or opportunity, to obtain an amount of money or property. Industry officials, however, prefer to use the term gaming.
While gambling is illegal in most states, some allow casino gambling, notably Nevada, New Jersey, and Louisiana. Some allow certain other types of gambling, either intentionally or through legal loopholes. For example, given California’s definition of gambling, betting on draw poker is legal. Some states make other exceptions, such as for horse tracks, casinos on Native American reservations, or state-run lotteries, which, although most people do not consider them to be such, are a form of gambling.
Sabbath Laws. A large number of states still have Sabbath, Sunday, or blue laws on the books. Sabbath LawsA law that prohibits the performance of certain activities on Sundays. limit the types of business activities in which parties can legally engage on Sundays. In Colonial times, these laws prohibited store operations and all work on the “Lord’s day” (Sunday). Today these laws vary by state. Most prohibit the sale of all alcohol, or specific types, either all day or at particular times on Sundays. Some Sabbath laws also make it illegal to enter into any contract on a Sunday. However, an executed, or fully performed, contract created on a Sunday cannot be rescinded.
There are exceptions to Sabbath laws. Most states allow the performance of charity work on Sundays. In addition, the laws typically do not apply to contracts for obtaining “necessities,” including prescription medication, food, and anything else related to health or survival.
Regardless of how widespread Sabbath laws are, the vast majority of states do not enforce some or all of their Sabbath laws. In fact, some have been held to violate the First Amendment. If they are on the books, however, they can be applied, and some states do apply them. Prudent businesspersons should always find out whether Sabbath laws exist in their state and whether authorities enforce them.