Legal Gambling Ages In The USA

If you are wanting to gamble, it is extremely important that you know the legal gambling ages in the USA. Here is the fact of the matter – trying to gamble underage is against the law. If you are caught doing so, you will face various consequences. They can be as simple as being kicked out of a casino, receiving a fine, or even some jail time. No matter how much you want to gamble, it is not worth possibly getting into legal trouble over. But the question is, how old do you need to be to make your bets?

Well, the legal gambling age depends on where you live. The legal gambling ages vary from state to state and that is not the only variance that you might see. Some states even have inconsistencies when it comes to the legal gambling age online versus going to any gambling facility and making your bets. So, what do you do? We suggest that you continue reading this page and all of our other pages on this site. We will give you as much information as we can to make sure you know what the legal gambling age is for your state or wherever you currently are in the United States.

Required Age For Land-Based Gambling

If you are wondering what is the legal gambling ages for land-based gambling, then you have come to the right place. Due to how the United States is structured, there is no federal gambling age. Each state needs to decide for themselves what the legal gambling age is. On this site, we have listed off the legal gambling age for land-based gaming for every state. Generally speaking, so long as you are 21 years or older, you are safe all over the country. There are no states that have a legal gambling age over 21 years old.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Gamble Online?

If you want to know how old you have to be to gamble online, then you have to check with your local laws. The fact of the matter is, every single state in the country decides for themselves what the legal gambling age is supposed to be set at. Generally speaking, most states do not differentiate online gambling age from retail gambling age. That would further complicate things and would create an unbalanced market. If you are looking for the safest age gamble online, it is 21 years or older.

Types Of Legal Gambling

Mobile Gambling

As technology has evolved over the years the ability to gamble from anywhere is possible. Whether wanting to bet on sports or play your favorite casino games online, a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop is all you need to begin mobile gambling. In order to access many of the sites needed to mobile gamble you will have to be at least 18 years old. If you are in a state where the legal gambling age is 21 then that is the age you will have to be to gamble from a mobile device. All things considered the convenience of mobile gambling is the driving factor behind why it has become so popular over the past couple of years.

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Types Of Legal Gambling

There are many types of legal gambling and not all of them have the same gambling age. The legal gambling age for your game of choice will depend on what the lawmakers in your state have decided. For example, there are many states that allow for betting on horse races. A majority of these states say you need to be 18 years or older to bet on the ponies. However, many of these same states say you need to be 21 years or older to bet on sports or go to the casino. On our state pages, we have listed out the various gambling ages for each state so you know how old you need to be to bet on the ponies or bet on your favorite sports team.

Sports Betting

sports-bettingSports betting is regulated at the state level just like every other form of gambling. In both online and land-based sports betting options, bettors must be at least 18 to wager on sports. However, this is only true in a handful of states, as the majority of the country requires bettors to be 21 to bet on sports. When using a state-licensed sportsbook, bettors will have to ensure they fall within the minimum sports betting age requirement set by the state. This will be clearly posted on their online platform or within their sportsbook venue. When it comes to offshore sports betting sites, bettors still must follow the local laws, even if the site allows players to join at age 18.

Casino Gambling

Casino GamblingThe biggest difference surrounding casino gambling ages is the type of venue that you find yourself at. Casino gaming is also regulated at the state level, however, there are a few different regulatory bodies that one states can abide by. For example, bettors in New York are able to visit the upstate commercial casinos and begin wagering at 21 years old. Those who are 18 though can visit any of the tribal casinos sprinkled throughout the state to engage in casino gaming. No matter which method you go (offshore gambling sites included) be sure to follow the local laws.


poker-cardsPoker rooms generally require bettors to be 21 years old but there are a few states that accept players as young as 18. California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington State all have at least one venue that allows the younger gamblers to join. Some of these states may require an age of 21 at certain venues depending on their alcohol policies or when betting at a commercial casino versus a Native American casino.


lottery-ballThe lottery is generally set as a game that players only need to be 18 to play. While this form of gambling has less to do with any skill or attention to detail, bettors can have fun by playing their numbers right when they become a legal adult. Keep in mind that every state is different, and in states like Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana require that players be 21 or older to buy a lotto ticket. Also, some states do not have a legal industry at all.


bingo-ballWhile bingo is a game that many played as a kid, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on the game as well. These bingo halls are often seen in movies but they actually do exist in more locations than you may think. Bingo is another game that is generally the same across the board – allowing players to participate for real money at age 18. However, states like Alaska, Iowa, Nevada, and Texas make it so players must be at least 21, while other states allow bettors to play at age 16 or before.

Horse Racing

horse-racingHorse racing is an industry that has seen its decline in recent years, yet some can not be taken away from the track. Betting on the ponies is generally accepted at age 18 but again, every legal gambling age is set by its own state. Only in Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Texas, and Wisconsin is the gambling age not set at 18 for pari-mutuel wagering. Keep in mind that many states have banned the activity entirely – meaning there are no laws on the books for a minimum horse racing betting age.

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

Minimum Legal Gambling Age By State

As you might already know, each state decides for themselves what the minimum gambling age is. The minimum gambling age has varying factors because the ages in Alabama differ from states like Minnesota. Generally speaking, being 21 years or older will be safe throughout the entire United States. That is the highest age we have seen so far. But other states will say 18 and there are even some that will say 19. It also depends on who is running the casino. Casinos ran by the state might have different rules than tribal casinos. This is true in areas like New York, Washington State, and others.

States That Allow 18-Year-Olds To Legally Gamble

18 years old is the youngest when you can start gambling and it is not the same for every state. Some states allow people the age of 18 to have a full range of the casino. Other states allow for people who are 18 to only bet on horse races and no other forms of gambling. It is important you know what you are allowed to do at 18 when you decide to visit a gambling facility so you don’t end up getting into legal trouble. Make sure to check out our reviews of the best legal online casinos for USA players, or legal online sports betting sites that accept bettors who are 18. Make sure to check out our reviews of the best legal online casinos for USA players, or legal online sports betting sites.

Other Countries Gambling Ages

The legal gambling ages in places like the UK, Australia, India, Canada, and China are not that different from what you see in the United States. In the UK, people can start gambling as soon as they turn 18. The same is true in Australia and India. In Canada, the general consensus is that you need to be 19 years or older to start gambling. China is a bit stricter because they say you need to be 21 years or older to have a full range of Chinese gambling. As you can see, legal gambling ages largely depends on where you live. Make sure you always keep up with local laws to know if you are old enough to gamble wherever you live.

Gambling Age For American Territories

When visiting a place that is technically outside of the USA but still falls under local laws, bettors may be unsure about the minimum age to gamble at these American territories. Not every type of gambling has been approved in certain American territories so don’t expect to always find the offering at a land-based venue. Through the offshore gambling sites though, bettors can find any type of wagering they desire. In possibly the most accepting America gambling territory (Puerto Rico), bettors can be 18 to wager on most games but some locales may ask that you be 21.

Legal Gambling Age For Riverboat Casino Cruises

Whether visiting an international casino cruise or hopping aboard a free-flowing riverboat casino, bettors must be aware of these ages to gamble as well. For the in-state casino cruises such as the ones that are popular in Missouri, bettors must be the age that the state requires. However, if you are venturing into international waters in cruises along the east coast, west coast, or the Gulf of Mexico, bettors will only need to be 18 years old to have fun. As always, be sure to check with the specific gambling establishment that you are wanting to gamble at.

Find more on the legal gambling age in the USA here along with other information about USA online gambling laws. You should be able to find the legal gambling age for all states on our website along with a list of gambling sites and venues that allow you to gamble at 18 or 21. They will all tell you when you try to sign up if you are under the legal age limit. Also check out to keep up with the legalization of sports betting in the USA. It looks like it may finally have some momentum and could be legal for US players real soon. Also check out the Legal Sports Betting Age for your state.

Legal Poker Gambling Age | Legal Sports Betting Age