Your Guide to Gambling by US State

One of the most common questions we get from US players is, “What’s the legal gambling age in my state?” To help you, we’ve created a tool below where you can search for local casinos that allow players of your age. We’ve also made a table that outlines the minimum gambling age per state, and by gambling type. Additionally, we’ve included some helpful information on the gambling markets and bet types available to Americans.

Looking for somewhere to play? Visit our guide to the best casinos near you.

Minimum Legal US Gambling Age

Legal gambling ages vary across the US, with states setting the minimum at either 18 or 21. However, this can change depending on the type of gambling, and if you're playing at a Native American casino. See how the legal gambling age applies to your state:

Gambling Age Per Gambling Type
US State Casinos Poker Rooms Bingo Lottery Dogs & Horseracing Pari-mutuel
Alabama 21 21 18 - 18 -
Alaska 21 - 19 - - -
Arizona 21 21 18 21 21 21
Arkansas 21 21 18 18 18 18
California 18/21
(varies by casino)
18/21
(varies by
room)
18 18 18 18
Colorado 21 21 18 18 18 18
Connecticut 21 21 18 18 18 18
Delaware 21 21 18 18 18 17
Florida 21 18 18 18 18 18
Georgia 18 (cruises only) 18 18 18 18 -
Hawaii 21 21 18 18 18 -
Idaho 18 18 18 18 18 18
Illinois 21 21 18 18 18 18
Indiana 21 21 18 18 18 18
Iowa 21 21 21 21 21 21
Kansas 21 21 18 18 18 21
Kentucky - - 18 18 18 18
Louisiana 21 21 18 21 18 18
Maine 21 21 16 18 18 18
Maryland 21 21 18 18 18 18
Massachusetts 21 21 18 18 18 18
Michigan 18/21
(varies by casino)
32 18 18 18 18
Minnesota 18 18 18 18 18 18
Mississippi 21 21 18 - 18 18
Missouri 21 21 18 18 18 18
Montana 18 18 18 18 18 18
Nebraska 21 21 18 19 19 18
Nevada 21 21 21 - - 21
New Hampshire 21 18 18 18 18 21
New Jersey 21 21 18 18 18 18
New Mexico 21 21 No Limit 18 18 18
New York 21 21 18 18 18 18
North Carolina 21 21 28 18 - -
North Dakota 21 21 18 18 18 18
Ohio 21 21 16 18 18 18
Oklahoma 18 18 16 18 18 18
Oregon 21 18 18 18 18 18
Pennsylvania 21 21 18 18 18 18
Rhode Island 21 21 18 18 18 18
South Dakota 18 at Indian Casinos - - - - -
South Carolina 21 (cruises only) 18 18 18 - -
Tennessee - - 18 18 - -
Texas 21 21 21 18 18 21
Utah 21 21 18 - - -
Vermont 21 21 - - - -
Virginia 21 18 18 18 18 -
Washington 18 18 18 18 18 18
West Virginia 21 21 18 18 - 18
Wisconsin 21 21 18 18 - 21
Wyoming 21 21 18 18 - 18

What’s the Legal Gambling Age in My State?

The minimum age for gambling in the US varies between 18 and 21, depending on the state. If you want to find a casino near you, check out the map below to see every state’s minimum age for sports and casinos.

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Enter your location (zip code, state, town or street) below to find out.

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The Gambling Markets Available in the US

Casinos

Americans absolutely love gambling, and you’ll find land-based casinos in almost every state. Blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and slots are among the most popular games in the US. The same is true of online gambling, as American players spend billions every year playing online casino games at government-run and offshore casino sites.

Poker

Whether it’s live or online, Americans play poker in large numbers. The game exploded in popularity in the early 2000s after Chris Moneymaker won the world championship, and millions of dollars. Now there are fewer options to play poker online in the US, but it’s still available in land-based casinos in almost every state in the country.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is experiencing a renaissance in the US thanks to a huge decision by the Supreme Court to give each state the authority to legalize sports gambling. A handful of states have already started licensing casinos and sportsbooks, and more are following all the time. Americans love betting on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and tons of other sports, so expect to see big things coming soon for US sports betting.

Bingo

Bingo is a classic American game, and it’s not limited to retirees and church fundraisers. Americans all over the country play bingo in large numbers both locally and online. Bingo is also accessible in some states that don’t currently allow other forms of real money gambling, which has only added to the game’s popularity.

Lottery

Lotteries are big business in the US, and some jackpots are now reaching more than $1 billion! Lotteries are run by states, or groups of states, and offer players tons of different gambling options in addition to just picking numbers. Some state lotteries run sports betting pools and some offer other special games.

Common US Gambling Questions

You asked...
Who regulates the US gaming industry?
We answered...

Local casinos

There is little nationwide licensing or regulation of US gambling as a whole, with the exception of tribal gaming, which is authorized by the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Each US state is in charge of regulating its own gaming entities. Most states have established gaming commissions or lottery boards to oversee the gaming activities there.

Online casinos

The legality of online poker and casino sites in the US also depends on which state you’re in. Some states like New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have set up their own online poker and casino sites.

These state-run online casinos have the best safety and security for players because they’re subject to stricter licensing laws within the US. Some offshore casinos also accept US players and are regulated by various e-gaming licensing bodies located around the world.

You asked...
How many Americans gamble regularly?
We answered...

Local casinos

A 2005 study showed that 85% of adults in the United States gambled at least once in their lives, and 80% of them had gambled in the past year. The exact number of people gambling in the US is hard to pin down precisely, but considering that gambling is estimated to be a $250 billion annual industry that supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide, you can bet it’s a huge number.

Online casinos

In 2007, according to a Topline Findings report, 23 million Americans played poker regularly, and 15 million of them played online for real money. Of those, seven million of them played online poker at least once per month. The number of Americans gambling real money on casino games online is estimated to be even bigger.

You asked...
Is gambling online illegal in the US?
We answered...

No, but like all gambling in the US, the laws around online gambling vary state to state. Always check with your local authorities for the most up-to-date information.

You asked...
Are gambling ages different for online casinos?
We answered...

It will depend on which state you live in and where the casino operates from. We recommend checking with your local authorities before getting in on the action.

You asked...
Do I have to pay tax on my winnings?
We answered...

Local casinos

Yes. The United States government requires a 25% tax on gambling winnings that exceed $600 at a horse track, $1,200 at a slot machine or bingo game, $1,500 in keno, and $5,000 in poker tournaments.

Online casinos

The same rules apply to online casino winnings no matter where the internet gambling company is based. Players can often deduct losses to offset the amount of tax owed, but a tax specialist should help with that decision. In addition, state taxes are different in each state, so make sure you’re familiar with the local legislation.

You asked...
Can I use USD to bet?
We answered...

Local casinos

All land-based US casinos use USD for betting and cashing out. They’re also able to exchange any other major currencies for USD on premises.

Online casinos

Even though they’re based in other countries, many international online casinos and poker sites operate using USD because it is a globally recognized currency. Players can deposit, play and withdraw in USD.

You asked...
How do Americans know their money is safe?
We answered...

Local casinos

Casino gambling is heavily regulated in the United States, meaning all casinos and sportsbooks are subject to tons of oversight, rules and regular audits. Casinos are required by law to protect their customers’ money and pay out winning bets.

Online casinos

Players in the US who are concerned about playing at an international online casino or poker site should look for proper licensing, and a symbol from eCOGRA, when choosing which site to play at.

The eCOGRA symbol represents the approval of a major international oversight organization that conducts regular audits and ensures the site is operating fairly and protecting the safety and security of players.

You asked...
Are online casinos fair?
We answered...

Yes. The best online casinos that cater to American players use random number generators to ensure fair play. They also use encryption software to make sure that all player information is secure within the site. Check that the casino has a valid e-gambling license from an accepted regulatory body before you decide play.

You asked...
What should I do if I suspect unfair activity?
We answered...

Local casinos

If you suspect any unfair activity at a land-based casino, you can report it directly to casino security. You also have the option to contact the state gaming commission that oversees the casino you’re visiting.

Online casinos

Online gamblers can always report a site, or players on a site, to the company that holds the online casino license. Regarding off-shore casinos, Americans won’t be able to seek help from the US government because they don’t regulate them at the moment. But the licensing institution, along with any oversight organization like eCOGRA, will be responsible for looking into any concerns about unfair activity.

You asked...
What happens to underage gamblers?
We answered...

Just as the gambling laws in the US vary state to state, so too do the consequences for anyone caught gambling underage. In most cases, fines will be assessed and certain privileges, like a driver’s license, could be revoked. It can even involve prison time, so it’s best to ensure you know the minimum age in your area before placing any bets.

Responsible Gaming for Americans

Americans have many resources for responsible gaming and gambling addiction. Below we’ve listed a couple of places to start.

National Center for Responsible Gaming: Researching the field of gambling disorders and offering training to health providers, as well as youth and college programs.

Gamblers Anonymous: Offers several online resources to help with addiction, as well as ways to get in touch. Those with problems, or those concerned about a friend or family member, are free to use the search engine to find open or closed meetings located in every state.

Disclaimer: Online Gambling laws differ in each country around the world and are subject to change. We thus urge our readers to check their local laws before engaging in online gambling, and we do not condone any gambling in jurisdictions where it is not permitted. Casino.org is not a gambling operator, no gambling facilities are offered on this site, and we cannot be held responsible for activities engaged upon on third-party sites.