All across the world, different cultures have different standards on what age is appropriate to engage in certain activities. For example, the legal drinking and tobacco use age differs from country to country, and even state to state. The same is true for gambling. In the United States of America, the average legal age for being able to place a wager is 18 years old.
Some states allow 18 year olds to bet on the horses at a track, but must be 21 to play a casino game. Also, many places in the States will allow 18 year olds to play bingo and make bets on the outcome. It really all depends on where one is located to determine what age one must be to gamble. The rules are similar for online casinos.
You can only play online casino games online for real money from within the US if you are over the age of 21, any person under the age of 21 is not allowed by law to gamble online. When you sign up to any site you are going to be subject to an age verification process, this can often be done automatically but if the site is unable to verify your age you will be requested to send in some form of identification documents to prove your age. Your account may be locked until such a time that you send in age verification documents as requested.
Online gambling age limits
When searching for online casinos, game rooms and betting parlors, the aspiring gambler can easily run into some barriers or have some questions on how things work. For instance, what is the lawful age to gamble? It varies from state to state, even by type of game to the next, but for online it’s pretty cut and dry.
- Physical Casinos: 21.
- Online Casinos: 18
- Bingo Halls: 18 (mostly)
- Horse Track: 18/21 (half of the United States allows 18 year olds, half restricts folks until they are 21)
- Sporting Event: 18/21 (same situation as the horse tracks)
The reasoning behind the age laws in mainly alcohol. Brick and mortar casinos in the United States are infamous for being parlors in which men drink the devil’s juice until they can hardly stand, giving them quite the negative connotation. The horse track may have some beer, but some states allow parents to allow their children between 18-21 drink beer and wine under their supervision, making it okay (in some states) for a young man just out of high school to place a buck or two on a horse in some states.
Bingo halls are most certainly not going to have alcohol. Lastly, sporting events that take wagers on the outcomes, such as NASCAR and boxing matches, are an environment in which children are brought, making most states allowing 18 year old people to bet on sports.
With online gambling, there is obviously no environmental issues to be concerned with. There is not going to be a foxy cocktail waitress selling cigarettes and scotch, no sickly-sweet cigar smoke, so there’s no harm in an 18 year old to be in on the fun. Be careful when signing up, however, as it is officially up to the site and the state in which the website is established and in which you live.
Most sites allow players age 18 and up; they don’t want to lose out on any profit, after all. They must abide by the law, however, and will typically have a disclaimer along these lines:
“Laws relating to gambling differ from area to area. The player is responsible to ensure that he/she is in accordance with local and federal regulations within their residence.”