How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble Online?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble Online?

Are you an online gambling enthusiast with dreams of landing big wins like a pro? Or perhaps you enjoy the thrill of playing online slots and table games right from the comfort of your home. No matter the reason behind your interest in gambling, you must consider one crucial aspect before diving right in – your age. Having this info at your fingertips might imply a little delay to your gambling dreams, but you’d learn to do what you love without breaking any laws.

Age restrictions vary for different jurisdictions. It also depends on the gambling activity you want to engage in. For instance, in New Jersey, the legal age to play at online casinos is 21, while you only have to be at least 18 to play bingo.

Simply put, age limits for online gambling aren’t a one-size-fits-all thing. So, you must consider your location and what betting activities you prefer before determining if you’re of the right age to play. Without further ado, l will take you on a trip to learn more about the legal gambling age in the United States.

Minimum Gambling Age in the USA

Primarily, gambling laws in the US depend on your state; the same applies to the minimum age criteria. While some jurisdictions let you play games and bet on dog racing at 18, others require you to be at least 21.

Using my years of expertise in the gambling scene, I prepared the table below to help you find details about the legal gambling age for all US states.

#️ S/N🇺🇸 State🏈Online Sports Betting & Casinos🎰Casino🏇Sports betting/horse racing/dog racing🃏Poker rooms🎱Bingo🎟️Lottery
5.California-18/21 (depends on the casino)1818/21 (depends on the poker room)1818
22.Michigan2118/21 (depends on the casino)18181818
29.New Hampshire-2118181818
30.New Jersey212118211818
31.New Mexico-2118211818
32.New York212118211818
33.North Carolina-21211818
34.North Dakota-2118211818
39.Rhode Island212118211818
40.South Carolina-21181818
41.South Dakota-18 (at Indian casinos)
48.West Virginia2121211818

Note: As you can see, the legal age limit to gamble ranges between 18 and 21. For online casinos and betting sites, the same is set at 21 by all regulated and licensed operators. States where online casino or sports betting are yet to launch are expected to follow the 21 minimum age.

Gambling Markets in the US & Their Limits

To get up and running with the gambling laws in the U.S, you also need to understand the different age limits associated with each gambling market. The United States boasts a diverse gambling landscape, catering to the varied interests of its enthusiastic players. From online casinos to poker rooms and sports betting sites, there’s something to suit everyone’s preferences.

I’ve provided details below on each of these markets and their corresponding age restrictions, so you can stay within the legal boundaries while having good fun with confidence and style.


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Casinos, including sweepstakes casinos, hold a special place in the hearts of American gamblers, with land-based establishments found in most states. Their online casino gaming scene is also impressive; no wonder US players spend millions yearly on offshore and local online casinos.

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If you want to join the online casino flock, know that the age limit varies by state. For legal online casinos in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, and Connecticut, the age limit is set at 21. Commercial land-based casinos set their age limit at 21 years old. The age bracket is 18 for online sweepstakes casinos.

Sports Betting

DraftKings Sportsbook

Since the Supreme Court permitted states to legalize sports betting, the activity has become popular. This is understandable, considering Americans deeply love sports, particularly football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.

The age requirement for sports betting depends on the respective state’s legislation and the site’s minimum playing age. It’s 21 for Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In Nebraska, the age requirement is 19 years old. Other states where sports betting is legal open their sportsbooks’ doors to those who are at least 18 years old.

Poker Rooms

Video Poker

Though poker might not be as popular as casinos, it’s a well-known game among US players. Online poker sites in the country are limited, but several land-based locations still offer the card game. Players will find peer-to-peer online poker in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Delaware. The minimum age for playing in these states is 21, except for Michigan, which sets its limit at 18.



If you’re searching for a classic game enjoyed by US players from all walks of life, here you have bingo. The game can be played both at local venues and online. Interestingly, bingo games are accessible in some states that prohibit other forms of real-money gambling, contributing to their widespread popularity.

Most states permit those who are at least 18 to play bingo. For Iowa, Nevada, and Texas, 21 is the minimum. In Ohio and Alaska, the age requirement is 16 and 19, respectively.


Whether you want some real money or super shots of excitements, you’ll get them by playing the lottery. Lottery fans find it appealing because it has the potential to pay out massive amounts to lucky winners.

The good news is that a similar minimum age restriction that applies to casinos, sports betting platforms, and the like also applies to state and national lottery draws. In Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana, 21 is the minimum age limit, while it’s 19 in Nebraska. Other states that permit lotteries allow players who are at least 18 years old to engage in the activity.

Real Money vs. Sweepstakes Casino Gambling Age Limit

For US players, there are real money casinos and sweepstakes casinos. On both platforms, you’ll find a variety of gambling games, including the most popular slots, baccarat, and blackjack titles. However, they operate differently.

Real Money sites let you play casino games with actual currency. You can cash out whatever you win, provided you meet the platform’s terms and conditions. On the other hand, you don’t use real money but virtual currencies to play at sweepstakes casinos. You can then redeem your winnings for prizes.

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Due to the distinctions in their structure, gambling authorities approach them differently. The legal framework for real money casinos is strict; hence, they’re only legal in six states: New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut. Meanwhile, sweepstakes casinos can operate legally in 49 US states, with the only exception being Washington.

When it comes to age minimums, there’s also a slight difference. In all six states where real money casinos are permitted, the legal online gambling age is 21. For sweepstakes casinos, the minimum gambling age requirement in several states is 18 years.

Can I Gamble If I’m Not of Legal Age?

I understand that gambling can be tempting, even for those who haven’t yet reached the legal age to participate. What you should note is that underage gambling comes with repercussions you wouldn’t love to deal with.

First, engaging in these activities is a crime if you’ve not met the age requirement. Also, underage gamblers face legal prosecution and could get their parents or guardians in trouble with the authorities.

You can opt for offshore platforms if you’re up to 18, but the minimum gambling age in your state is 21. These operators offer casino, sports betting, poker, and bingo services even to US players, but most require you to be 18.

On the flip side, there’s a higher risk of falling victim to sham sites because they aren’t licensed in your jurisdiction. That’s why I recommend settling for social or sweepstakes casinos instead. Most of these platforms also have an 18+ age requirement. They are much safer and operate legally in almost every state in the US.

Does the Gambling Age Differ for Land-Based Casinos?

It’s necessary to know that gambling age can differ for land-based casinos depending on your local regulations. In many states, for instance, the legal gambling age for land-based casinos is 21 years old. However, there are exceptions, like Washington, where the minimum age requirement is 18.

Essentially, always bear in mind that differences in state age restrictions will always exist because each region can establish its gambling laws, including those governing land-based locations. Therefore, prioritize research and adhere to the specific age requirements set by the jurisdiction in which the land-based casino is located.


  • Can you gamble at 18 in the States?
    The minimum gambling age in the United States varies by state, with some allowing gambling at 18. For example, almost all online sweepstakes casinos accept players 18+.
  • Can I gamble at 18 in Vegas?
    No, the minimum gambling age in Las Vegas, Nevada, is 21.
  • Can an 18-year-old go to a casino in Indiana?
    You must be at least 21 years old to play at a casino in Indiana. In other words, you can't visit these locations if you're 18.
  • Yes, gambling is legal in New York, but a person must be at least 18 years old to participate in most of these activities.
  • Can a person at the age of 20 enter a casino?
    It depends on the jurisdiction. You can't enter a casino in some states if you're under 21.
  • What states can I gamble at 18?
    Idaho, Alabama, Illinois, and Kansas are some states where you can gamble at 18.
  • What is the gambling age in New Jersey?
    The gambling age in New Jersey is 21 years old for both land-based and online casinos.
  • What is the gambling age in Texas?
    The minimum age criteria in Texas vary, ranging from 18 to 21.
  • What is the gambling age in Florida?
    In Florida, 18 years old is the minimum age requirement to access bingo halls, while it's 21 years old for casinos.
  • Do you need to be 21 to enter a casino?
    In many states, the minimum age to enter a casino is 21, but some allow entry at 18.
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