Legal Gambling Ages By State

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Each state in the United States of America has the right to make its own laws respecting USA online gambling, so long as they don’t supersede or contravene federal government law on the same subject. For this reason, many states have different gambling ages for various types of activity or even the same types of activity. For some states, they offer a legal gambling age of either 18 or 21 depending on which location you are playing. For example, in New York bettors can play casinos at 18 in the tribal casinos but must be 21 in the commercial casinos.

State Lottery Parimutuel Casinos Bingo Online Poker DFS Sports Betting
Alabama n/a 19 19 19 18 n/a 19
Alaska n/a n/a n/a 19 18 21 19
Arizona 21 21 21 18 18 n/a 21
Arkansas 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
California 18 18 18-21 18 18 21 18-21
Colorado 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Connecticut 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Delaware 18 18 21 18 21 21 21
District of Columbia 18 n/a n/a 18 18 21 21
Florida 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Georgia 18 n/a 18 * 18 18 21 21
Hawaii n/a n/a n/a n/a 18 n/a 18
Idaho 18 18 18 18 18 n/a 21
Illinois 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Indiana 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Iowa 21 21 21 21 18 n/a 21
Kansas 18 21 21 18 18 21 21
Kentucky 18 18 n/a 18 18 21 18
Louisiana 21 18 21 18 18 n/a 21
Maine 18 18 21 16 18 21 21
Maryland 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Massachusetts 18 18 21 * 18 18 21 21
Michigan 18 18 18-21 18 18 21 18-21
Minnesota 18 18 18-21 18 18 21 18-21
Mississippi 21 n/a 21 18 18 21 21
Missouri 18 18 21 16 18 21 21
Montana 18 18 18 18 18 n/a 18
Nebraska 19 18 21 18 18 21 21
Nevada n/a 21 21 21 21 n/a 21
New Hampshire 18 21 21 18 18 21 21
New Jersey 18 18 21 18 21 21 21
New Mexico 18 18 21 no age limit 18 21 21
New York 18 18 18-21 no age limit 18 21 21
North Carolina 18 n/a 21 no age limit 18 21 21
North Dakota n/a 18 21 no age limit 18 21 21
Ohio 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Oklahoma 18 18 18-21 16 18 21 18-21
Oregon 18 18 18-21 18 18 21 18-21
Pennsylvania 18 18 21 18 21 21 21
Puerto Rico 18 18 18 18 18 21 21
Rhode Island 18 18 18 18 18 21 18
South Carolina 18 n/a 21 * 18 18 21 21
South Dakota 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Tennessee 18 18 n/a 18 18 21 21
Texas 18 21 21 * 18 18 21 21
Utah n/a n/a n/a n/a 18 21 18
Vermont 18 n/a n/a 18 18 21 18
Virgin Islands 18 n/a 21 n/a 18 21 21
Virginia 18 18 18-21 18 18 n/a 18-21
Washington 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
West Virginia 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Wisconsin 18 18 21 18 18 21 21
Wyoming n/a 18 18 18 18 21 18

* Only when on Casino Ship

States Where You Can Gamble At 18

Depending on the type of event, as seen in the chart above, you can gamble in many jurisdictions at the age of 18. For example, in Wyoming, you can play bingo, or bet on sports, simply by being 18. Jurisdictions are fairly simple – if you’re in a state, you’re subject to the laws of that state – but are important to keep in mind to make sure you are following the laws of whatever state you are in. Make sure you check both state and federal laws before engaging in these behaviors – the last thing we want is for anything bad to happen to you.

There are also states in which you can gamble at age 18 at certain casinos, and at age 21 at others. These situations usually arise out of a conflict between tribal casinos and state-based commercial casinos. In these cases, tribal compacts allow the tribes to offer gambling at 18, but these same compacts do not apply to any casino not run by them.

Legal Sports Betting Age

Legal Sports Betting Age

The legal sports betting age is a common topic of discussion amongst the gambling community. The basic way it works is that each state has a specific age at which it is allowed to bet on sports, but not before. This age could be the same age as for other types of gambling, or it could be totally different, depending on how the lawmakers in that state approached the legalization and regulation of sports betting. One thing to keep in mind is that some states do not have state-sanctioned sports betting yet. In this case, it is best to follow the online betting sites' terms and conditions.

Do I Have To Be 21 Years Old To Bet On Sports?

Simply put, you do not have to be 21 years old to bet on sports unless the laws of your state say so. There are 50 states in America, as well as territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and each of them has different rules about gambling. Make sure you check what the rules are in the state you are in.

Legal Casino Gambling Age

Legal Casino Gambling Age

Casino Gambling is one of the most important and interesting parts of the gambling ecosystem. In fact, most casinos are the most profitable type of betting for the people running them – the house wins a lot when you play the slots. That said, the appeal of a slot machine is obvious – it’s a low effort gambling medium that allows you to play a lot at once. Casinos exist all over the world, and are more than just slot machines – they have poker rooms, blackjack, roulette, sports betting, and more. In America, though, casino ages of majority tend to vary based on states. Each state has different rules and regulations and restrictions on who can enter a casino and what they can do while inside a casino. It’s not that hard to gamble in a casino if you are over the age of majority in your state. It’s also worth noting that some states have multiple ages of majority – one for commercial casinos and one for Native American casinos.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Enter A Casino?

The answer to this question depends on where you are located. You have to be 21 to gamble at casinos across some states, wherein others you can be 18 as long as you are at the right casino. Generally speaking, the Native American casinos tend to have lower age limits due to the way those agreements were drawn up, so that would probably be the first thing to check if you are in a state that has those casinos.

Legal Poker Gambling Age


Playing poker is a time-honored tradition, as poker is probably the most popular and well known of the games of chance. This section refers specifically to things like poker rooms in casinos, and USA online poker, as opposed to playing for quarters with your buddies in someone’s basement or man cave. As far as poker rooms go, the chart above should be useful – they obey the same rules as casinos in these states, and you should make sure to check your state’s policies before going.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Play Online Poker Or Enter A Poker Room?

Online poker tends to have an allowable age range of 18 years old, except where online poker is regulated and sanctioned by the states, which is in four states: Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In those states, the online poker age is 21. In other states, it tends to be 18, as the online poker networks accept people above the age of 18.

Legal Lottery Age

Legal Lottery Age

The lottery is the most directly state-sponsored form of gambling, and in many states is administered by a special lottery department. Basically, the way the states justify running the lottery is they say the money goes to education – it serves as a supplement to the education budget. It is worth noting, however, that this tends to simply keep education budgets above water, and allow these states to not raise taxes by raising funds via the lottery.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Play The Lottery?

In most states, you can play the lottery at age 18. This is likely because the lottery raises money for those states, and as such they want as many people as possible eligible to play it. Only Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa and Arizona restrict it to 21 and up but keep in mind that there are a few states that do not have lotteries at all.

Legal Horse Betting Age

Legal Horse Betting Age

Horserace betting falls under the category of Parimutuel betting and can be found under that category in the chart above. Horseracing wagers are some of the oldest types of wagers that have been placed in the United States, and are where many of our current wager types are developed from. Betting on the ponies or going to the track is a time-honored tradition, and one of the greatest ways to enjoy gambling on a wonderful afternoon.

Find the best USA online horse betting sites.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Bet On Horses?

The short answer is: generally, no. The long answer is it will depend on your jurisdiction – what state you are in – and the laws you are subject to within that jurisdiction. Many states allow pari-mutuel betting at the age of 18, Alabama restricts it to 19 and up, and several other states only allow you to bet on the ponies if you are over the age of 21. Make sure you check the laws and regulations of your state before placing any bets.

Legal Bingo Gambling Age

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Bingo, weirdly, is one of the most unique types of gambling, partly because many people don’t think of it as gambling. Largely it falls under the category of pull-tab games, wherein you are given a certain amount of numbers, and those numbers are called, and the game is entirely based on the luck of the call. Pull Tabs and bingo have different restrictions in many states, so keep an eye on that.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Play Online Bingo Or Enter A Bingo Hall?

As with many of these questions, the answer is something along the lines of: generally no, but make sure you check your state’s rules and regulations because in some cases the answer is yes. It’s hard to answer these questions without knowing the details of where you live when you ask the question, as each of the 50 states has different restrictions on bingo and those different regulations on wagering can change how each one governs these types of games.

Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Age

Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Age

Daily fantasy sports are a recent evolution in gaming and gambling and are one of the most fun ways to enjoy fantasy sports but on a more regular basis. They are generally regarded as games of skill, where knowledge and preparation are rewarded but are fundamentally also based on luck.

Do I Have To Be 21 To Play At DFS Sites?

This one is pretty cut and dry, across the board. You do have to be over the age of 21 to play at daily fantasy sports websites. When playing daily fantasy sports on these websites, please do not lie about your age – underage gambling can have severely negative consequences, and it’s better to wait until you are 21. There are a few states where DFS is not allowed to be played, so be sure you are able to play in the state you live in.

Side Effects Of Underage Gambling

The biggest thing to know about underage gambling is that you shouldn’t do it. Underage gambling carries severe risks to you, and to any money you may have made. Your money can be confiscated, and you can be charged with serious crimes depending on the jurisdiction you are in. No matter how well a gambler is doing, when it comes to handing over your ID, claiming your taxes, or collecting your winnings, bettors can find themselves on the outside looking in regarding their winnings. Some casinos and online betting sites will even permanently ban you should you be found gambling underage.

Legal Gambling Age In Vegas

In Las Vegas, the legal gambling age is 21, across the board. Vegas was, for the longest time, the epicenter of gambling in America, and it still is. The 21 year restriction was installed so that they could say they were doing everything possible to make it a responsible place. Now that other states are legalizing gambling at different levels, it could change, but for now, the Las Vegas gambling age is 21, no exceptions.

Gambling Ages FAQ's

When did the gambling age become 21?

The basic idea was that gambling was an adult activity, and casinos, by and large, all served alcohol. Because of this, the minimum age to get into a casino became 21 in 1984, when the minimum drinking age was raised, and it’s simply stuck since then. States can set their own guidelines, but they tend not to deviate too heavily from 21.

Is the online gambling age different than my state?

There are situations where this can happen, such as if you are playing online poker, a lot of those websites are headquartered outside the United States, and as such are bound by the restrictions of their jurisdiction. Generally, however, we recommend being above the age of legality no matter where the website you’re using is located.

What happens if I get caught gambling underage?

Anything from confiscation of profits to jail time via felonies. It’ll depend on what state you’re in, but the only thing you really need to know is it’ll be very bad for you, so don’t do it.

Are there any casinos where I can gamble at 18?

There are some Native American casinos where you can gamble at 18 due to the agreements with the tribes that gave them the right to establish these casinos in the first place. This is certainly something worth looking into if you are 18 and would like to gamble – making sure you are doing it legally is incredibly important.

Why is the gambling age 21?

That is generally regarded as the age of majority for things like this in the United States. For example, alcohol consumption age is also 21. I could speculate here about the United States’ puritan beginnings, or point out that it’s weird that you can sign up to go to war before you can drink and gamble, but I’m sure you’ve already heard that.

What is different about Native American casinos?

Well, basically, the agreements signed with the Native Americans entitled them to certain things, and in some cases, entitled them to open casinos with specified legal gambling ages that were not overseen by state agencies, and existed on tribal land. Thus, the laws are slightly different. Also, the majority (if not all) of tribal casinos do not serve alcohol if they let 18-year-olds in the door.

What is the gambling age in sports stadiums?

In a sports stadium, you’d simply need to refer to the age for sports betting. Many sports stadiums are working on implementing in-stadium betting, and it will obey the same laws as sports betting anywhere else would.

Why don’t they lower the gambling age?

Generally, the reasons boil down to concern for the welfare of children, which is a fair concern to have. That said, it’s worth noting that the age to join the military is 18 years old. Still, this would have to happen on the state level and legislators are definitely too focused on other higher priority changes.

What is the gambling age on cruise ships or in international waters?

On cruise ships or in international waters, the gambling age is whatever jurisdiction you are in. If you are in Costa Rica, you are subject to the laws and regulations of Costa Rica, for example. Over international waters, the age is set at 18.

Why is there a gambling age?

Because gambling is a risky activity, and we regulate certain risky activities by restricting them to people who are of a certain age. Gambling can influence the lives and welfare of people so governments ensure those who are old enough to make their own responsible decisions are the only ones who can gamble.