How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble in the US?

Asking the minimum age for gambling in the US may seem like a simple question, but the answer is actually quite complicated. Because gambling laws are state-by-state and also specific to the type of gambling, the real answer can vary based on which state you want to gamble in and how you want to gamble. Here, we’ll answer the question for you so that you have a go-to guide to check age requirements for any type of gambling, in any state that legally offers it.

Keep Learning: Online Casino School

Gambling States & Their Minimum Age

StateOnline CasinosRetail CasinosPokerSports Betting
AlabamaN/A21+21+N/A
ArizonaN/A21+21+21+
ArkansasN/A21+21+21+
CaliforniaN/A18+ (21+ at some locations)18+ (21+ at some locations)N/A
ColoradoN/A21+21+21+
Connecticut21+21+21+21+
Delaware21+21+21+21+
FloridaN/A21+18+21+
IdahoN/A21+N/AN/A
IllinoisN/A21+21+21+
IndianaN/A21+21+21+
IowaN/A21+21+21+
KansasN/A21+21+21+
KentuckyN/A21+21+21+
LouisianaN/A21+21+21+
MaineN/A21+21+21+ (not yet launched)
MarylandN/A21+21+21+
MassachusettsN/A21+21+21+
Michigan21+18+ (21+ at some locations)18+ (21+ at some locations)21+
MinnesotaN/A18+18+N/A
MississippiN/A21+21+21+
MissouriN/A21+21+N/A
MontanaN/A18+18+18+
NebraskaN/A21+N/A21+
NevadaN/A21+21+21+
New HampshireN/A21+21+18+
New Jersey21+21+21+21+
New MexicoN/A21+21+21+
New YorkN/A21+21+21+
North CarolinaN/A21+21+21+
North DakotaN/A19+19+19+
OhioN/A21+21+21+
OklahomaN/A18+ (21+ if alcohol is served)18+ (21+ if alcohol is served)N/A
OregonN/A21+21+21+
Pennsylvania21+21+21+21+
Rhode IslandN/A18+18+18+
South DakotaN/A21+21+21+
TennesseeN/AN/AN/A21+
TexasN/A21+21+N/A
VermontN/AN/AN/A21+ (not yet launched)
VirginiaN/A21+21+21+
WashingtonN/A18+ (21+ at some locations)18+ (21+ at some locations)21+
West Virginia21+21+21+21+
WisconsinN/A21+21+21+
WyomingN/A18+18+18+

If you don’t see your state on the table above, it’s because there are currently no forms of legal gambling. Georgia, for example, only allows gambling on an offshore cruise. When it comes to Alaska online casinos and other states like Hawaii, South Carolina, and Utah, no form of real money gambling is legalized yet. Hawaii and Utah have the strictest gambling laws in the country given the fact that they don’t even offer a state lottery.

Why is There an Age Restriction on Gambling?

Gambling age restrictions are created to protect people who are still at a vulnerable age, and for good reason. According to sources compiled by Frontiers in Psychiatry in their publication looking at age restrictions targeting youth online gambling, “an early age of gambling onset is associated with developing gambling problems, particularly for males, and more severe gambling problems later in life.” To help prevent this from happening, age restrictions have been set on all types of gambling, including online gambling. In addition to the risk of addiction, early gambling is also associated with negative psychological, social, financial, and substance use problems.

Who Regulates Gambling Age by State?

Gambling in each state is regulated by an agency specifically appointed by the state’s government to handle the creation of laws, licensure, regulation, and monitoring of all gambling activities conducted within that state. To legalize any form of gambling in a state, legislation must be passed. Within that legislation, lawmakers will always set forth a minimum gambling age. That age is then upheld by the specific agency that handles gambling activities within each state.

Governing Body: Birmingham Racing Commission

Alabama Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Alabama Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Alabama Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Alabama Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Arizona Department of Gaming

Arizona Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Arizona Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Arizona Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Arizona Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: California Gambling Control Commission, Bureau of Gambling Control

California Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

California Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

California Poker Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

California Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Colorado Division of Gaming

Colorado Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Colorado Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Colorado Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Colorado Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Connecticut Division of Special Revenue

Connecticut Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Connecticut Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Connecticut Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Connecticut Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Delaware Gaming Control Board

Delaware Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Delaware Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Delaware Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Delaware Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: District of Columbia Lottery

Washington, D.C. Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Washington, D.C. Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Washington, D.C. Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Washington, D.C. Sports Betting Minimum Age: 18+

Governing Body: Florida Gaming Control Commission

Florida Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Florida Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Florida Poker Minimum Age: 18+

Florida Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Georgia Lottery

Georgia Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Georgia Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Georgia Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Georgia Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: N/A

Hawaii Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Hawaii Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Hawaii Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Hawaii Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Idaho State Racing Commission

Idaho Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Idaho Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Idaho Poker Minimum Age: 18+

Idaho Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Illinois Gaming Board

Illinois Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Illinois Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Illinois Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Illinois Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Indiana Gaming Commission

Indiana Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Indiana Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Indiana Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Indiana Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission

Iowa Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Iowa Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Iowa Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Iowa Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission

Kansas Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Kansas Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Kansas Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Kansas Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Kentucky Lottery

Kentucky Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Kentucky Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Kentucky Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Kentucky Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Louisiana Gaming Control Board

Louisiana Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Louisiana Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Louisiana Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Louisiana Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Maine Gambling Control Unit

Maine Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Maine Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Maine Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Maine Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+ (not yet launched)

Governing Body: Maryland State Lottery

Maryland Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Maryland Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Maryland Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Maryland Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Massachusetts State Lottery Commission

Massachusetts Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Massachusetts Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Massachusetts Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Massachusetts Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Michigan Gaming Control Board

Michigan Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Michigan Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

Michigan Poker Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

Michigan Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Minnesota Gambling Control Board

Minnesota Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Minnesota Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Minnesota Poker Minimum Age: 18+

Minnesota Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Mississippi Gaming Commission

Mississippi Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Mississippi Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Mississippi Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Mississippi Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Missouri Gaming Commission

Missouri Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Missouri Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Missouri Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Missouri Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Montana Department of Justice Gambling Control Division

Montana Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Montana Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Montana Poker Minimum Age: 18+

Montana Sports Betting Minimum Age: 18+

Governing Body: Nebraska Lottery

Nebraska Online Casinos Minimum Age: 19+

Nebraska Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Nebraska Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Nebraska Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Nevada Gaming Commission

Nevada Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Nevada Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Nevada Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Nevada Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: New Hampshire Lottery

New Hampshire Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

New Hampshire Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

New Hampshire Poker Minimum Age: 21+

New Hampshire Sports Betting Minimum Age: 18+

Governing Body: New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement

New Jersey Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

New Jersey Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

New Jersey Poker Minimum Age: 21+

New Jersey Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: New Mexico Gaming Control Board

New Mexico Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

New Mexico Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

New Mexico Poker Minimum Age: 21+

New Mexico Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: New York Gaming Board

New York Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

New York Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

New York Poker Minimum Age: 21+

New York Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: North Carolina Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

North Carolina Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

North Carolina Poker Minimum Age: 21+

North Carolina Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: North Dakota Attorney General Gaming Division

North Dakota Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

North Dakota Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 19+

North Dakota Poker Minimum Age: 19+

North Dakota Sports Betting Minimum Age: 19+

Governing Body: Ohio Casino Control Commission

Ohio Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Ohio Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Ohio Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Ohio Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Commission

Oklahoma Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Oklahoma Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ if alcohol is served)

Oklahoma Poker Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ if alcohol is served)

Oklahoma Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Oregon State Police Gaming Enforcement Division

Oregon Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Oregon Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Oregon Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Oregon Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Pennsylvania Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Pennsylvania Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Pennsylvania Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation

Rhode Island Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Rhode Island Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Rhode Island Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Rhode Island Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: South Carolina Department of Revenue Bingo Licensing and Enforcement

South Carolina Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

South Carolina Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

South Carolina Poker Minimum Age: N/A

South Carolina Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council

Tennessee Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Tennessee Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Tennessee Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Tennessee Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Texas Lottery Commission

Texas Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Texas Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Texas Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Texas Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: N/A

Utah Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Utah Retail Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Utah Poker Minimum Age: N/A

Utah Sports Betting Minimum Age: N/A

Governing Body: Virginia Lottery

Virginia Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Virginia Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Virginia Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Virginia Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Washington State Gambling Commission

Washington Online Casinos Minimum Age: N/A

Washington Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

Washington Poker Minimum Age: 18+ (21+ at some locations)

Washington Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: West Virginia Lottery

West Virginia Online Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

West Virginia Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

West Virginia Poker Minimum Age: 21+

West Virginia Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Wisconsin Department of Administration – Gaming

Wisconsin Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Wisconsin Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 21+

Wisconsin Poker Minimum Age: 21+

Wisconsin Sports Betting Minimum Age: 21+

Governing Body: Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission

Wyoming Online Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Wyoming Retail Casinos Minimum Age: 18+

Wyoming Poker Minimum Age: 18+

Wyoming Sports Betting Minimum Age: 18+

Online Casinos vs. Retail Casinos vs. Tribal Casinos Gambling Age

You may have noticed in our table above that some states have varying gambling ages within the casino category. There are a few common reasons for this, which we’ll detail below.

The age for online casino gambling is always set by the legislation that passed online casinos. You’ll notice that the age for online casinos in legal states across the board is 21+. This is due to their increased accessibility and ease of use as compared to visiting a retail casino.

Some states allow patrons aged 18+ to visit retail casinos, while most also sit at 21+. The difference between retail casinos and online casinos should be noted, however, as retail casinos take more effort and more presence to utilize than online casinos. Age limits at retail casinos are set by the state government and may include some more specificity than those set for online casinos. An example of this is Oklahoma, where patrons aged 18+ are permitted to visit retail casinos that don’t serve alcohol, but retail casinos that do serve alcohol are limited to 21+.

Unlike online and retail casinos, tribal casinos are not completely governed by legislation and state laws. Tribal casinos are operated via compacts, or agreements between state government and the tribe that operates the casino. For this reason, negotiation is a possibility in setting the minimum age, and you may find some tribal casinos that allow 18+ patrons. One example of this negotiation took place in North Dakota in 2022, where a new compact was signed to lower the gambling age at tribal sites from 21+ to 19+.

18+ Gambling Age States

California

Tribal casinos that do not serve alcohol are 18+, while casinos that serve alcohol are 21+. This also includes poker.

Michigan

Tribal casinos are 18+, while Detroit casinos are 21+.

Minnesota

Tribal casinos that do not serve alcohol are 18+, while tribal casinos that serve alcohol and commercial casinos are 21+.

Montana

All types of gambling within Montana are set at 18+.

Oklahoma

18+ to visit casinos, unless they serve alcohol. If alcohol is served, the age is 21+.

Rhode Island

All gambling options are available to players aged 18+.

Washington

The gambling age is 18+, however, some casinos have practiced their own discretion and set the age at 21+.

Wyoming

All types of gambling are set at 18+.

How Old Do You Have to Be for Sweepstakes and Social Casinos?

Sweepstakes casinos, also known as social casinos, allow players in most US states to redeem cash prizes from playing casino-style games. This makes them an appealing option in states that don’t yet have real-money online casinos. For social and sweepstakes casinos, players must be 18 or older to partake.

How Old Do You Have to Be for the Lottery?

In most states, the minimum age to play the lottery is 18. However, four US states have set older age limits – Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana have set the age at 21+, while Nebraska has set the age to 19+. Keep in mind that the lottery is still completely illegal in Hawaii and Utah.

What Happens to Underage Gamblers

Underage gamblers can face a multitude of penalties depending on the state they’ve gambled in, as underage gambling is often considered a disorderly persons offense. These penalties can include an added charge on their criminal record, hefty fines (up to $1,000 in NJ, for example), suspension of driver’s license, and even potential jail time in some states. Depending on sentencing, underage gamblers could also deal with probation and community service.

Perhaps even more important to consider than criminal charges, however, is the effect that underage gambling can have on a person. We covered this in detail in our age restriction section above, but to recap, underage gambling can play host to many negative psychological, social, financial, and substance use problems. In addition to that, the risk of developing a gambling addiction is significantly higher at a young age.

Gambling Age Restrictions and Responsible Gambling

Any legal gambling institution will have a primary focus on responsible gambling, and age restrictions are an extremely important part of that. Responsible gambling restrictions, advice, and tools are all put in place to help prevent and/or treat problem gambling, which can negatively affect not only the person themselves but everyone around them. Even small measures to raise awareness of playing responsibly can make a difference, as noted by Frontiers in Psychiatry regarding responsible gambling pop-up messages.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, never hesitate to get help. There are many resources available, including the below:

  • Gamblers Anonymous: Receive support from other anonymous people looking for help. Locate a meeting near you or talk to someone online with one click.
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: Operates a toll-free helpline that’s available 24/7, is completely anonymous, and totally confidential. The NCPG can be reached at 1-800-522-4700.
  • International Center for Responsible Gaming: The ICRG helps people around the world who are dealing with online gambling addiction. This is an especially useful resource for those who resort to illegal, offshore gambling sites to circumvent local laws.

More Like This

About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for Bonus.com. He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
Back To Top

Get connected with us on Social Media