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What Is a Legal Gambling Age in the United States

by Matt

Just like the rest of the world, the United States of America has its own federal as well as state laws. However, there is no uniform legal gambling age US. Due to the abundance of casino options nowadays, it is no wonder that many of you are asking, “How old do you have to be to gamble in the US?”. This is why this guide helps you get all the answers related to this topic. Tune in to learn all about the gambling age restrictions in the US.

How is Gambling Regulated in the US?

The federal government legalizes casino and sport betting activity, but local authorities are free to regulate or prohibit interstate and online gaming within their borders. The laws vary state by state in the US. A casino gaming control board regulates casino gaming in a state. In some jurisdictions, a lottery board or racetrack association may be in charge of regulating certain forms of gambling, such as the state lottery or pari-mutuel wagering. It is not a federal crime to restrict gaming. Regulators claim that each state is responsible for regulating or prohibiting the activity. State laws allow states to regulate or prohibit this activity as they see fit.

What Is the Legal Gambling Age in the US?

Depending on the location and the gambling type, the legal playing age varies from state to state. This is either 18 or 21 years of age in most states, although there are exceptions you can read about at playsafeus.com. Casinos, poker, and pari-mutuel betting are prohibited in Vegas for those under 21.

Since 2018, many US states have started to regulate online gambling legislation as well. Nevada legalizes and regulates online and mobile poker, and various other states allow and regulate mobile sports betting. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, and West Virginia all have 21-year-old gambling age laws, with online casinos in these jurisdictions also having the same age requirement. However, the minimum ages for sports betting and live casinos are different. In Colorado and New Hampshire, the legal playing age is 21, although you are permitted to wager at online and mobile sportsbooks if you are at least 18 years old.

Which States Have Casinos Open to 18-year-olds?

There are some states that allow 18-year olds to enter and place bets or spin the reel. Among them are California, Idaho, Michigan, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Washington, Wyoming, Florida, and Minnesota. Certain tribal casinos and card rooms in California allow players aged 18 and older. Most casinos in Idaho require that you be 18 years old to gamble, but a few are 21+ only. In addition, the minimum age to play at tribes casinos in Michigan is 18, but it’s 21 at the Detroit city’s commercial casinos. The gambling age for Georgia’s offshore cruises is 18, even though the state doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar casinos. Tribal casinos are 18+ in Montana, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wyoming. For tribal casinos in Florida, the legal age for poker and bingo is 18, but 21 for other casino games. Casinos in Minnesota allow a limited number of games for players over the age of 18.

Does Each State Have a Different Age Limit for Gambling?

There is a different minimum gambling age in each state in the USA, as mentioned previously. Casino activity is strictly state-regulated, regardless of federal law, which applies only in certain states. Legislators are free to come to a consensus regarding the legal age for wagering.

It is now legal in the US to gamble for real money if you’re either 18 or 21 years old. However, there are specific exceptions for tribal casinos. A commercial casino may require you to be 21, while a tribal casino may let you enter if you are 18. At present, 35 states limit these activities to individuals over 21, while 22 allow them to individuals 18 or older.

Can Americans Gamble Before They Turn 21?

A person’s legal standing is most likely influenced by how the law defines adulthood. Parents have responsibility for their children until they reach adulthood, usually at age 21. Therefore, if an underaged person were to gamble and end up owing a lot of money, the parents would be legally obliged to pay. Thus, in most jurisdictions, this age limit is set at 21 years, though this may vary based on what activity the individual is participating in and what age is considered suitable for this activity.

Gambling as a Minor

Young gamblers need to know they could be legally prosecuted or could get their guardians or parents into trouble if they gamble while underage. A person who violates the legal gambling age requirement is committing a crime, knowingly or unknowingly. It is interesting that offshore operators still operate sportsbooks, casino games, and poker rooms online even if they are not permitted to operate in certain states. Several of them only require a minimum age of 18+, so this can be a viable option if you’re under the age of 21. In any case, you should check with your state authorities first to make sure that it’s legal. There are different minimum age requirements in each state and different penalties for underage gambling.

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