What To Know About Gambling Age Restrictions in the US
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What To Know About Gambling Age Restrictions in the US

What To Know About Gambling Age Restrictions in the US

In some form, gambling is legal in nearly all of the United States. Hawaii only allows social gambling, such as a poker game in a private home, and in Utah, gambling is banned altogether. Other than that, all states have legalized gambling in some form.

However, gambling laws are state-specific and regulated at the state level. State laws vary when it comes to land-based casinos, sports betting, bingo, keno, lotteries, racing, skill games, and charitable events. That means, not all forms of gambling are legal in every state, and also, the legal gambling age can vary.

 

Gambling in the United States

Until the 1980s, gambling in the United States was almost entirely restricted to the states of Nevada and New Jersey. But, In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, clearing the way for tribal casinos. So, while casino gambling is technically illegal in some states, such as California, there are large, full-service casinos on tribal lands, such as the Morongo Casino. Today, tribal casinos are thriving all over the United States.

Twenty-three states now have commercial casinos, run by private companies on private land. Overall, around 450 commercial casinos are operating throughout the country.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, clearing the way for legal sports betting nationwide. Since then, 19 states have legalized sports betting, with more on the way. In some states, such as New Mexico and Oregon, tribal casinos are filling the gap, by hosting sportsbooks.

However, gambling on horse and dog racing is separated from sports betting in some states; in some states, betting on horse and/or dog races has been legal for decades, while in other states, it's not legal.

Online gambling is relatively new and is divided into at least three types, casino gaming, poker, and sports betting. Some states have legalized sports betting and poker, but not casino gaming, or vice-versa. As of this writing, only around a half-dozen states have legalized online casino games and poker. But, nearly a dozen have online sports betting, with more signing legislation. Also, when it comes to online gambling, you must be within the borders of a state to legally gamble. You can't try to sign up across state lines using a VPN.

As you can see, when it comes to gambling in the USA, what's legal and not legal is a state-by-state patchwork.

 

State-byState Legal Gambling Ages

While every state is different, generally, you must be 18 or 21 to legally gamble. The ages vary by state, as well as by the type of gambling. 

As more states legalize various forms of online gambling, what each state has to offer will change. So, be sure to check with your state gambling regulator to make sure you are of legal age before signing up online.

 

Alabama

The state of Alabama has three tribal casinos, with slot machines. However, table games are not legal. The legal age is 19 for all types of gambling. Greyhound and horse race betting is also legal, but only two dog tracks are in operation. Currently, online and mobile betting is legal on dog and horse racing only. Online poker and casino games are currently not legal.

 

Alaska

Legal gambling in Alaska is restricted to charity gambling, such as church bingo games and raffles. Most of the states' Native American tribes also offer bingo-type games, at tribal bingo halls. However, special groups can be authorized by the Alaska Department of Revenue to take bets on special events such as sled-dog races. Online casinos are not legal in Alaska; however, daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings and FanDuel operate in the state, since there is no specific legislation preventing it. The minimum age for gambling in Alaska is 19.

 

Arizona

There are many tribal casinos, on reservation land, all over the state. Slot games are legal, however, table games like baccarat, craps, and roulette are not legal, since they are purely games of chance. There are 10 tribal poker rooms across the state. Finally, sports betting, daily fantasy, and online gambling are not legal. The legal gambling ages are 18 for the state lottery and bingo, and 21 for other forms of gambling.

 

Arkansas

Online gambling has not yet been legalized in Arkansas. But, the state has land-based two casinos with slots and table games. Dog and horse racing are also legal. The minimum gambling age in the state for lottery and dog racing is 18 years old. The minimum age at the state's two casinos is 21 years old.

 

California

Between card rooms and Indian reservations, there are over 150 casinos in California. Horse racing is also legal, and the only form of online betting in the state is parimutuel betting on horses. Online casino games, poker, or sports betting are not legal in California. The minimum gambling age in the state is 18 for bingo and the lottery, and 21 for horse racing and casino gambling.

 

Colorado

All forms of gambling are legal in Colorado. Three towns, Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City have full-service casino resorts, and there are two tribal casinos in the state. Online sports betting daily fantasy and pari mutuel race betting are legal in the state. However, online casinos and poker have not yet been legalized. Casino players must be 21 years of age. Bingo and lottery players must be 18 years of age.

 

Connecticut

While horse and greyhound racing is legal, there are no tracks operating in the state. However, Connecticut has two of the most popular casino resorts on the East Coast, the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Both tribal casinos offer slot machines, card rooms, and table games. Other than horse racing, online gambling is not legal in Connecticut. The legal gambling age is 18 for the lottery and bingo, and 21 for the casinos and horse racing.

 

Delaware

The state has three horse racing tracks, and each also has a full slate of casino games, including slots, table games, and card rooms. All types of online gambling are also legal. The legal age for bingo and the lottery is 18, and 21 for horse betting, sports betting, and casino gambling.

 

Florida

The Seminole Tribe operates seven casinos around the state, which offer slots, poker, and table games, except for craps and roulette. Horse race betting is also legal, and betting on the ponies is the only legal form of online gambling. Online casinos and sports betting are not legal. The legal age for playing bingo or the lottery is 18, and 21 for betting on the horses and casino gambling.

 

Georgia

Other than the state lottery and charitable bingo, no form of gambling is legal in Georgia. You must be at least 18 to play the lottery or bingo.

 

Hawaii

There is no legal gambling at all in Hawaii.

 

Idaho

There are seven tribal casinos in Idaho, which only offer slot machines. Table games are not legal. The state also offers a lottery and charitable bingo. The only form of online gambling is horse racing. The legal gambling age for the lottery and bingo is 18 and 21 for the tribal casinos.

 

Illinois

Offers a full range of gambling, from horse racing, lotteries, casinos, and slot machines are even available in bars, restaurants, and even gas stations. Online sports betting is also legal, but online casinos are not. You must be 18 to bet on racing or to play bingo or the lottery. Players must be 21 for casino gambling and the video lottery.

 

Indiana

There are a dozen land-based casinos around the state, featuring slot machines, poker, and all types of table games. Horse racing and lotteries are also legal. Sports betting, both retail and online, are also legal. However, online casinos have not yet been legalized. The legal gambling age is 18 for bingo, lotteries, and horse racing, and 21 for sports betting and casinos.

 

Iowa

Horse and greyhound racing, with casino gambling at the racetracks, is legal. There is also a state lottery and charitable gambling. The only form of online gambling is off-track race betting and sports betting. The legal age for any type of gambling in Iowa is 21.

 

Kansas

There are three casinos in the state-run by the state lottery. Also, Kansas has five tribal casinos located on reservations. There is also a state lottery and charitable gambling. The only online gambling in the state is daily fantasy sports and off-track betting. You must be 18 to play the lottery and participate in charitable gambling. People in Iowa must be 21 for casino and racetrack gambling.

 

Kentucky

Horse racing and state lotteries are the only forms of gambling in Kentucky. The only type of gambling is off-track pari-mutuel betting on the horses. The gambling age in Kentucky is 18.

 

Louisiana

Every type of gambling is available in Louisiana, from casino resorts, horse racing, off-track betting, and charitable gaming. Also, around half the parishes have video poker at bars and truck stops. But, the only forms of online gambling are off-track betting and daily fantasy sports. The legal age is 18 for charitable gambling and racetracks, and 21 for casinos, fantasy sports, and lotteries.

 

Maine

There are three horse tracks in Maine, which also feature slot machines and table games. Maine also has a state lottery and charitable gambling. However, there is no online or mobile gambling in the state. For race betting, the lottery, and bingo the legal age is 18 years. For the land-based casino games at the racetracks, it's 21.

 

Maryland

The state has a lottery, as well as several resort casinos, and horse racing. Charitable bingo and raffles are also legal. However, online gambling is not yet legal in Maryland. Bingo, horse racing, and the state lottery have a legal age of 18. To gamble at the casinos, you must be 21.

 

Massachusetts

The state has a few commercial casinos, a lottery, live racetrack, and off-track betting and charitable gambling. Online gambling in Massachusetts includes Daily Fantasy Sports and off-track pari-mutuel betting. To play the state lottery, charitable gambling, or horse racing, you must be 18. To play in the casinos, you must be 21.

 

Michigan

There are more than 40 casinos around the state, as well as horse racing, charitable gambling, and a state lottery are also available. Michigan recently legalized all types of online gambling too. The minimum legal age for horse racing, lotteries, charitable gambling, and casinos that don't serve alcohol is 18. The age to gamble in casinos that do serve alcohol is 21 or older.

 

Minnesota

The state has several tribal casinos, with slot machines, video poker, and blackjack. There is also horse racing and a state lottery. However, the only online gambling is off-track race betting. The legal gambling age is 18, but some casinos have a set age of 21.

 

Mississippi

The state has riverboat casinos and charitable bingo. However, internet gambling is not legal. The legal age is 18 for bingo and 21 for casinos.

 

Missouri

The state has a lottery, charitable gambling, and more than a dozen commercial casinos, seven poker rooms, and one tribal casino. There is no legal sports betting or internet gambling in the state. The age is 16 for charitable gambling, 18 for the lottery, and 21 to play in the casinos.

 

Montana

The state has a lottery, and you'll find bars and several modest tribal casinos with video lottery machines and poker tables. But table games are illegal in Montana, as well as any type of online and mobile betting. The legal gambling age is 18 but, most places with video lottery machines and poker tables have set a minimum age of 21.

 

Nebraska

A state lottery, horse racing, and charitable bingo, and keno are the only legal forms of gambling in the state. Online and mobile gambling are prohibited. The minimum gambling age is 18 for horse racing and charitable games, and 19 for the state lottery and keno.

 

Nevada

Known for its fabulous casinos and many sportsbooks, all forms of gambling are legal in the state. Legal online gambling in Nevada includes horse race and sports betting as well as online poker. However, online casinos are not legal. The legal gambling age for charity gambling is 18, and 21 for everything else.

 

New Hampshire

Horse racing, the state lottery, and charity games are the only forms of gambling in the state. Charity games include poker. Online race betting is the only internet or mobile option. To play the lottery or bingo, the minimum age is 18, and for racing and poker, it's 21.

 

New Jersey

The state features a lottery, horse racing, and of course, the casino resorts and sportsbooks in Atlantic City. New Jersey also has legalized all forms of online gambling, from casino games, poker, daily fantasy sports, sports betting, and parimutuel horse betting. The legal age for bingo, horse racing, and the lottery is 18. To play in the Atlantic City casinos, you must be 21.

 

New Mexico

More than two dozen tribal casinos dot the state, and two commercial casinos, with slots and a full range of table games. The state also features horse racing and a state lottery. But, the only online gambling in New Mexico is off-track horse betting. The legal gambling age is 18 for the lottery and horse racing and 21 to play in a casino.

 

New York

There are 20 casinos, mostly in Western and Upstate New York, as well as horse racing, a state lottery, and charity gambling. However, online gambling has not yet been made legal. The legal age for playing the lottery and betting on the horses is 18. The legal age for casino gambling is 18-21. There is no minimum age for charity gambling.

 

North Carolina

There are only two casinos in the state, both owned and operated by the Cherokee tribe. They only offered video poker, slot games that required skill, and electronic table games. There is also a state lottery and charity raffles and bingo. The minimum age to play the lottery is 18, and 21 for the casinos. There is no minimum for raffles or bingo.

 

North Dakota

Horse racing, the state lottery, charity gaming, and tribal casinos are all legal. Charity gaming can include blackjack. The only online betting is on horse races. You must be 18 for the lottery and to place bets on live horse racing, and 21 for the casinos and off-track betting.

 

Ohio

The state has four casino resorts and seven racinos. In addition, there is the state lottery and eight horse tracks. Except for betting on the horses, online gambling is not legal in Ohio. You must be 18 to play the lottery and bingo or to bet on the horses, and 21 for casinos.

 

Oklahoma

There are sixty tribal casinos in the state, all on reservation land, and many near the Texas border. There is also the state lottery, charity bingo halls, and horse racing. The only online gambling is off-track betting on the horses. The minimum gambling age in casinos that serve alcohol is 21. For all other gambling, the minimum age is 18.

 

Oregon

The state has several tribal casino resorts on reservation land, a state lottery, and horse racing. Oregon has also legalized online sports betting and pari mutuel horse race betting. However, online casino games are not yet legal in the state. The legal gambling age is 18, and 21 for casinos that serve alcohol or that have video lottery machines.

 

Pennsylvania

The state has a dozen casinos, including three resort-style casinos, as well as the state lottery, horse racing, off-track betting, and charity games. Online casinos and internet off-track horse betting are offered in the state. The legal age is 18 for the lottery, horse racing, and bingo, and 21 for casino gambling.

 

Rhode Island

There are two horse tracks in the state, one of which offers slot and table games. There is also the state lottery and charity gaming. Rhode Island has both retail and online sportsbooks too. But, real-money online casinos are not yet legal. The legal gambling age is 18 across the board.

 

South Carolina

The only legal forms of gambling in the state are the lottery and charity bingo games. The legal age is 18.

 

South Dakota

Casinos operate in the town of Deadwood, as well as on tribal lands. Horse races and sports betting are also available. However, the only form of online gambling is horse racing. You must be 18 to buy lottery tickets, and 21 to play the video lottery machines, race and sports betting, and casino gambling.

 

Tennessee

There are no casinos in the state, but Tennessee did recently legalize sports betting. There is also the state lottery. Online sports betting, horse race betting, and daily fantasy sports are all legal. The gambling age in Tennessee is 18.

 

Texas

The tribal casino on the Kickapoo reservation, near the Mexican border, is the only casino in the state. Other than that, there is only the state lottery, horse racing, and charity bingo. The only form of online gambling is pari-mutuel wagering on the horses. The legal age is 18 for the state lottery and charity bingo, and 21 for horse racing and the Kickapoo Casino.

 

Utah

There is no gambling of any kind in Utah.

 

Vermont

The state has a lottery, including video lottery machines in convenience stores. Charities can also host bingo games and raffles. There are no casinos, and no horse tracks, but off-track horse betting is allowed. Online sports betting and casinos are not legal. You must be 18 to gamble in Vermont.

 

Virginia

The state lottery and charity gaming are the only live gambling in the state since there are no casinos. Technically, horse race betting is allowed, but there are no horse tracks in Virginia. However, online and retail sports betting was recently legalized. The state also authorized as many as five commercial casinos, which have yet to be built. The legal gambling age in Virginia is 18.

 

Washington

The state has several full-service tribal casinos, poker rooms, a state lottery, and charitable gambling. While there are plenty of retail options, online gambling in any form has yet to be legalized in Washington State. The legal age is 18, however, at some casinos that serve alcohol, it's 21.

 

Washington DC

There is a lottery in the nation's capital, but that's about it. The legal age to play the lottery is 18.

 

West Virginia

The state has half a dozen casinos and poker rooms, as well as the state lottery, charity bingo and raffles, horse and greyhound racing. West Virginia also offers online casinos, sports betting, and poker. To play charity bingo, the lottery, racing, the legal age is 18. For casino gambling, sports betting and video lottery machines, the legal age is 21.

 

Wisconsin

There are nearly two dozen tribal casinos around the state. There is also the state lottery and charity bingo. While betting on horse and greyhound racing is legal, there are no tracks in the state. However, betting on races online is legal. There is no other form of legal online gambling in Wisconsin. For the state lottery, charity bingo, and racing, the age is 18 years. However, to gamble in the casinos, you must be 21 years old.

 

Wyoming

The state has a lottery, horse racing with off-track betting, and three tribal casinos. No online gambling has been legalized yet. You must be 18 to gamble in Wyoming.


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