What Are the Age Restrictions to Gamble in the United States?
There is not a consensus age requirement for gambling in the United States. Gaming rules and age restrictions are different, depending on the type of gambling in specific states and on tribal lands.
Casino.org created a quick list of gambling age requirements to clarify any questions you might have if you’re headed to a casino, playing online poker, or interested in placing an online sports bet.
The American gambling industry takes age minimums seriously. Teenagers do not always make judicious decisions, especially with money, which is why there’s a 21-year-old age requirement for a majority of gambling establishments.
As a general rule of thumb, most gambling in the United States — both live casino gambling and online gambling — has a minimum requirement of 21-years-old, with some exceptions at tribal casinos, where the minimum age is 18-years-old. Of course, there are several exceptions, which we will detail below.
If you want to visit a casino in America, you will have to at least 21-years-old. This includes gambling destinations like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Tunica, and Biloxi.
However, there are four states with an age minimum of 18-years-old to gamble in live casinos: Rhode Island, Wyoming, Montana, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, casinos that do not sell alcohol can allow 18-year-olds to gamble. However, if casinos in Oklahoma want to serve liquor and beer to patrons, then all gamblers must be at least 21-years-old.
Tribal lands do not adhere to local state gambling laws and set their own age requirements. Most casinos on tribal lands have a minimum gambling age of only 18-years-old. Those casinos can be found on tribal lands in California, Idaho, Washington, New York, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Turning Stone Casino is located on Oneida Indian Nation tribal land in upstate New York. Turning Stone has been a popular destination for college students in the Northeast that cannot legally gamble in Atlantic City, or in Connecticut.
Only six states have legalized betting in online casinos. That exclusive list includes New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. All six states have a minimum age requirement of 21-years old.
Nevada offers online poker and online sports betting, but they want their residents to visit real brick-and-mortar casinos rather than gambling in a virtual online casino.
In Europe, horse racing is considered the sport of kings and royalty. Prior to her death, Queen Elizabeth II was a renowned horse bettor and astute handicapper.
In the United States, horse racing has been dying out. It reached its peak of popularity with the baby boomer generation, because it was one of the few legal gambling options in America after World War II. Racetracks were prevalent across America before individual states legalized gambling.
With the horse racing industry trying to remain relevant with a younger generation, most racetracks in America have a minimum age requirement of 18-years-old, with a handful of exceptions.
You must be 21 or older if you want to bet on horses in Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, and Texas. In every other state, 18-year-olds can legally wager on the ponies.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Over the last decade, daily fantasy sports, or DFS, has become a popular past time. Many states view daily fantasy sports as a game of skill, which is why most states in the union have a DFS age requirement of 18 and older.
There are a couple of exceptions, of course, where aspiring DFS bettors must wait until they turn 19 to fill out their daily fantasy rosters. That includes Alabama and Nebraska.
DFS Minimum Age Requirement (19 and Older)
- 19+ in Alabama, Nebraska
- 21+ in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts
There are four states — Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Louisiana — where you must be 21 or older to participate in daily fantasy sports.
You can legally wager on sports in 20 states plus Washington, D.C. Sports betting has a 21-year-old age requirement in 16 states.
There’s an under-21 exception in five markets. Residents of Rhode Island, Oregon, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC are allowed to place sports bets at age 18.
Washington, D.C. is a little weird. You can only place sports bets in person at kiosks near Capitol One Arena and Nationals Park. If you’d like to place online sports bets, you’re limited to a specific app called GambleDC.
Only six states can legally host online poker as of 2022, and all participants must show proof of being 21 or older.
Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan are the only states where you can play legal online poker.
International Age Requirements
In the United Kingdom and Australia, there’s a minimum age requirement of 18-years-old to legally gamble.
You must wait until you’re 20-years-old to gamble in New Zealand, unless it’s horse racing. where 18 is the cutoff.
In Canada, the minimum age is 18 or 19, depending on the province and/or activity.
Most of Europe has an 18-year-old age requirement to gamble with three notable exceptions. Gamblers must be at least 21-years old in Germany, Belgium, and Ireland.
Greece has the strictest gambling regulations, with a minimum age requirement of 23-years-old.
In Asia, 21 is the consensus age requirement in casinos, especially in hotspots like Macau, Singapore, and the Philippines.
However, South Korea has a gambling requirement of only 19-years-old.
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