Culture: How Legal Gambling Age Differs per State

Although gambling is now a legal practice in most of the states within the US, this does not mean that all adults – those that have reached the age of 18 – are able to actually place a bet themselves. In fact, the legal gambling age is really dependent on where a young adult finds themselves – with the legal age ranging from eighteen to twenty-one.

Therefore, for those aged eighteen it is always advisable to check the US legal gambling age information provided within the state that they are in, as it may be that they need to have reached nineteen, twenty – or even twenty-one – before being able to partake in their desired gambling field.

The Minimum Gambling Age in the US – per State
With gambling having been legalized in most of the nations’ fifty states – each of these states has their very-own age restrictions when it comes to gambling. For example, in the likes of Georgia, Hawaii and Kentucky, anyone that has reached the age of eighteen is allowed to legally gamble. However, in states such as Nevada, an individual needs to have reached the age of twenty-one to be able to partake in any form of gambling whatsoever.

Each Form of Gambling and its Age Restrictions
Gambling usually broken down into a number of different categories – with each of these – in some states – having different age restrictions.

The gambling categories are as follows:

  • Casino
  • Poker
  • Bingo
  • Lottery
  • Horse Racing
  • Sports Betting

It is important to note that the ‘casino' category refers to land-based casinos – and does not refer to online casinos, which may have different age restrictions applied to them. If you want to find out more about the advantages of gambling at a land-based casino compared to an online casino – you can do so by checking here.

Although some states have the same age restriction (eighteen or twenty-one) for all of the above forms of gambling, other states have different age restrictions for each of these forms of gambling.

For example, in Montana, Virginia and Washington DC, an individual needs to have reached the age of eighteen to be able to gamble in any sector.

Whereas, in states such as South Carolina and Texas, you can bet money playing bingo and the lottery when you are eighteen, however, in order to legally be able to place a wager in a casino – or play poker – you are required to be at least twenty-one.

States which Allow 18-Year-Olds to Play in Casinos
The majority of states within the US require their visitors to be at least twenty-one in order to enter their premises – and partake in gambling.

However, there are some states that allow individuals, aged eighteen, to visit their casinos – and here are some of the states that follow such protocol:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Oklahoma

One thing to note is that the majority of casinos – that do welcome visitors from the age of eighteen – will usually not sell alcohol,as the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages in the US is twenty-one. Land-based casinos are, however, starting to feel the hit from the continuing emergence of online casinos, which are hitting the market by storm.

Who is Responsible for Regulating the Gambling Industry?
In the US, gambling has been made a legalized practice under federal law. However, states are in a position where they can place their own restrictions on who – and who cannot partake in acts of gambling.

The rules and regulations for gambling are different from state-to-state – with each of the governments within the states setting these. If an individual – who is under the legal age for gambling in their state – is caught partaking in an act of gambling they can be punished. This may involve them being issued with a fine, as well as being handed with a misdemeanor for such an illegal act.

For casinos that allow underage visitors onto their premises – to partake in the act of gambling – they can also be fined, as well as having their gambling license withdrawn from them, especially if they are found to be repeat offenders.

And, right now we are witnessing more and more states in the US beginning to legalize online betting and casinos.

Weighing Up Differing Legal Gambling Age in the USA
As you can see, it really is dependent on the state when it comes to knowing what the gambling age restrictions are in a particular part of the US.

In some states, once you reach the age of eighteen you are able to partake in all forms of gambling. However, in other states you may need to be one, two or three years older (nineteen, twenty or even twenty-one) to be able to legally gamble.

It is also advisable for an individual to check the age restrictions on a particular form of gambling that they wish to partake in, as in some states each of these can have a different age limit attached to it.

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