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Legal Gambling Age in US 2023

Last Updated on 01/22/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Gambling Age by State

Online gambling is certainly fun. However, ensuring that you’re of legal gambling age is vital to ensure a hassle-free betting journey. So if you’re interested in gambling but worried about the legal gambling age in your state, stay with us.

We have got all your doubts covered in this online gambling age guide with tips from our experts. By the time you finish reading this gambling age guide, you will know the legitimacy of betting in various betting verticals for all the states in the USA. This guidebook is a one-stop solution to start your gambling journey lawfully.

Key takeaways

Here is a quick overview to understand what information you can learn from this comprehensive legal age guidebook.

  • The legal gambling age varies from state to state
  • Usually, the legal betting age is 21 in most states, while the minimum gambling age is only 18 in some states
  • Some states have no written gambling age
  • Different forms of gambling have different age regulations

Online gambling age in the US

Until the success of New Jersey’s battle to legalize online betting, you had to visit brick and mortar casinos in the USA to place a bet, which was not available in all states. Moreover, except in Nevada, it came with strict regulations and limitations. But after the lifting of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in 2018, the gambling laws became overly simplified.

However, even though limitations on gambling were lifted, the final decisions regarding its legalization and regulations were left for the individual states. Therefore, the gambling age by state varies greatly, with the legal gambling age also being different for different forms of gambling. There is also an outright ban on gambling in some states.

Note: If you wish to know further about betting odds and sports betting bankroll management, you can check out the betting strategies and betting odds explained guidebook on our site as well.

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In this online betting guide, we will explain the different types of gambling and their regulations. However, keep in mind that a majority of states are yet to legalize and license all forms of online gambling.

Online sports betting is a relatively new concept among US residents, and if you’re among them, this sports betting explained guide would be a great read. Close to 20 states in the US have a complete ban on sports wagering, while the minimum sports betting age is mostly 21 in states that allow wagering on sports.

Although online casinos only became legal in the United States in 2018, a lot of states already had popular land-based casinos. Therefore, these states have the same rules for online casinos as they had for land-based casinos. The legal casino age in these states is usually 21, even in Nevada Las Vegas, which is well-known as a global gambling hub. However, there are some states in which you can gamble at 18 and above.

In some states like New York, the minimum age changes depending on the casino you choose. For example, if you are 18, you can gamble at places that don’t serve alcohol or have a liquor license. Similarly, in most of the states where the online betting age is 18, there are strict liquor laws or an outright ban on alcohol at establishments.

Poker rooms are largely legal in the online US gambling market, with a few exceptions. Like sports betting and casinos, we found that most states have a legal gambling age of 21 for poker, with some states having a minimum age of 18. However, some states like Alaska and Kentucky have an outright ban on poker irrespective of your age.

Besides, you will find that poker regulations are different in all states. Legality is associated with money in the case of poker. For example, some states only allow their residents to access the online poker sites with a sweepstakes system and not traditional gambling.

Usually, when you hear the word “gambling,” your mind tends to go to sports wagering, casino, and poker. However, there are many more forms of gambling that are quite popular in the United States. Online operators see a lot of traffic for these forms of gambling. So, here we’ve covered all the details in our guide to your advantage.

Horse and greyhound racing

Horse and greyhound racing are becoming quite popular across the country. However, betting on horse and greyhound racing comes under strict jurisdiction in almost all the states, and different states have different laws. The legal gambling age for horse betting in the majority of the US states is 18, with only a handful of states having a minimum horse wagering age of 21.

Lottery

The lottery is considered a soft form of gambling; therefore, there is hardly any jurisdiction when it comes to the lottery. The long-term risks associated with lottery are non-existent, so the minimum gambling age in most states is 18. Although, some states like Iowa and Louisiana have a minimum lottery age of 21. However, there are also a few states where the online lottery is completely banned. You will be shocked to know that Nevada in Las Vegas does not have a legal lottery system. It is illegal to buy a lottery ticket online in Nevada.

Although the lottery has largely been present in nooks and corners of America, the country does not have a hard form of the online lottery, just like online casinos, sports wagering, and poker. Instead, a lot of states have their own state-run lottery for games like scratchers and keno.

Bingo

It may come to you as a surprise that Bingo also falls into the gambling category. Numerous people prefer to wager on a bingo outcome; therefore, a lot of states have jurisdictions for bingo wagering. As per our analysis, there is even a legal age for Bingo in most states.

You need to be 18 to wager in a game of Bingo, with the exception of Texas, where the legal age for Bingo is 21. Of course, there are a few exceptions in Bingo gambling as well. New Mexico has no legal age for Bingo betting, while the minimum age is 16 in Ohio. The legal age for Bingo in Alaska is 19.

The US states which have recently legalized gambling still keep a close eye on the regulations. Therefore, it is essential for you to know the legal age before getting into online gambling. Now that we have discussed the gambling age in different types of betting markets, we can now look at the gambling age specifically by state and betting market through this table.

State Casino Poker Bingo Lottery Horse Racing Sports Betting
Alabama 21 19 18 18
Alaska 21 19
Arizona 21 21 18 18 21
Arkansas 21 18 18 18 18 21
California 18/21 18/21 18 18 18
Colorado 21 21 18 18 18 21
Connecticut 21 21 18 18 18
Delaware 21 21 18 18 18 21
Florida 21 18 18 18 18
Georgia 18 18 18 18 18
Hawaii 18 18 18 18
Idaho 18 18 18 18 18 21
Illinois 21 21 18 18 18 21
Indiana 21 21 18 18 18 21
Iowa 21 21 18 21 21 21
Kansas 21 21 18 18 18
Kentucky 18 18 18
Louisiana 21 21 18 21 18
Maine 21 21 18 18 18
Maryland 21 21 18 18 18
Massachusetts 21 21 18 18 18
Michigan 18/21 18 18 18 18 21
Minnesota 18/21 18 18 18 18
Mississippi 21 21 18 18 21
Missouri 21 21 18 18 18
Montana 18 18 18 18 18 21
Nebraska 21 21 18 19 18 18
Nevada 21 21 21 21 21
New Hampshire 21 18 18 18 18 21
New Jersey 21 21 18 18 18 21
New Mexico 21 21 18 18 18 18/21
New York 18/21 18 18 18 18 21
North Carolina 21 21 18 18 18
North Dakota 21 21 18 18 18
Ohio 21 21 16 18 18
Oklahoma 18/21 18/21 18 18 18 18/21
Pennsylvania 21 21 18 18 18 21
Rhode Island 18 21 18 18 18 21
South Carolina 21 18 18 18
South Dakota 21 21 18 18
Tennessee 21 18 18 21
Texas 21 21 18 18 21
Utah 18 18
Vermont 18 18 18 18 18 18
Virginia 18 18 18 18
Washington 18/21 18 18 18 18 21
Washington DC 18 18 18 18 18
West Virginia 21 21 18 18 18 21
Wisconsin 18/21 21 18 18
Wyoming 18 21 18 18

This is one of the common questions among gamblers. A lot of punters are confused as to what happens when they cross state lines as the laws differ from state to state. If you have the same doubt, remember that the age restrictions will depend on the state where you are in, not the state you are from.

Therefore, when you are physically within the borders of a state, you have to abide by their gambling laws and restriction. For example, if you are in New Jersey, you can place a wager online through your phone as soon as you turn 21. However, your account will be blocked temporarily if you enter a state which prohibits online gambling.

Conclusion – be mindful of the strict verification processes

As discussed, the minimum gambling age averages around 21 across the US, with a few exceptions. Don’t think that gambling operators won’t be able to track your age. They are always on a watch! When creating a gambling account, you will have to go through a strict verification that requires various documents, like age proof, government-issued ID, a bank statement, or a utility bill. This comprehensive sign-up process allows operators to track your legal age. So for all our readers, we always suggest playing responsibly and following the gambling rules of the state you’re in.

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💡What is the minimum age for gambling online?

The minimum gambling age in the US varies greatly with the state you’re in, as well as different forms of gambling. So, to learn more about the legal gambling age in your state, check out our guidebooks at TheGruelingTruth.com.

🔞Can I gamble online for real money?

As there are a lot of regulations behind online gambling which can vary with individual state laws, you need to be very careful when pursuing it. To learn more about the regulations for gambling in your state, check out our comprehensive legal gambling age guide.

💵 Can I gamble online if I am below 18 years old?

Even though online gambling is only allowed for adults in most cases, a few types of games allow you to gamble at 16 years old. To learn more about it, go through our guidebooks at TheGruelingTruth.com.

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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

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