Where Can You Gamble at 18?

Written by: Webster Lupton , Casino, Gambling, and Sports Journalist
4 minute read
Gamble at 18

We wish that governments could get together for uniform gambling laws. As it is, we have to tiptoe around the wide-ranging regulations around wagering, and age is one of those legal differences.

This guide provides a complete list of where you can gamble at age 18. We also cover the regulatory gray area for ages 18 – 21 that changes depending on the state and type of gambling. 

What is the Minimum Age to Gamble in the United States?


The minimum age for gambling in the US is 18. But, in most states, that applies to playing the lottery or certain bingo games. Most land-based casinos require you to be 21, and laws vary at most horse tracks across the nation.

Here are two essential things to remember about real money wagering and age in the US. First, if you are 21 or older, you are good to go for any legal gambling. Second, if you are under 18, you are prohibited from betting.

In What States Can You Gamble at 18?

There are 12 US states where you can engage in any type of legal gambling at 18 or older. But dozens of other states stipulate differences in the kind of bets you can make at age 18. Most of them draw the line at casino gambling, where you must be 21.

Here is a list of states that allow people to wager at 18 and the types of betting allowed. States such as Nevada are not listed because 21 is the minimum age for any gambling.

What States Allow Players to Gamble at 18 in Land Casinos?

The vast majority of land-based casinos in the US require you to be 21 for casino gambling. But individual casinos also differ, usually depending on whether they serve alcohol. Here are the states that allow age-18 bettors at commercial or Native American casinos:

  • California
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New York 
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia 
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

The Best Online Casinos for 18-Year-Old Players

Fortunately, the laws are more uniform at US-friendly online casinos. Their cutoff age is 18, and they emphatically discourage underage betting.

These sites will ask for your age, some will make you prove it, and others will flag you if they suspect you are using someone else’s credit card to deposit. They all are trustworthy, legit sites that stress security and fairness.

In the face of the mishmash of laws on age and gambling, our best advice is to make sure you know the rules of the state where you plan to bet. That applies particularly if you are under 21 or traveling with kids under 21. 

Or you should choose one of our suggested sites if you are 18 or older. Casinos enforce underage gambling rules because casinos can get their licenses revoked. But legal, responsible betting provides hours of great entertainment.

Gambling Age FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the gambling age.

How old do you have to be to gamble?

You have to be at least 18 to gamble. But the minimum age for certain types of wagering can be 21.

Can you gamble at 18 in Las Vegas?

You cannot gamble at 18 in Las Vegas. Nevada is a casino-heavy state and allows only people 21 and over to bet.

Can you gamble at 18 online?

You can gamble online at 18. Some non-US online sites may require you to be 21.

Can 18-year-olds play real money casino games?

Yes, 18-year-olds can play real money casino games. But that is mainly for online casinos.

Webster Lupton

Webster Lupton Casino, Gambling, and Sports Journalist

Webster Lupton is a journalist and expert sports and casino writer with over 30 years of experience. He is a seasoned researcher and a published author that enjoys the outdoors and birdwatching.

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