Last updated on: May 12th, 2022
Legal Sports Betting Age By State
For many new sports bettors, the minimum age requirement for legal sports betting is one of the single biggest concerns. Even at legal sports betting venues in 2022, underage gambling is viewed as a major offense that can prompt heavy fines or even jail time for sports betting operators, so sportsbooks are extremely strict about who they allow to gamble. Federal law provides fairly extensive guidelines for most forms of gambling, but it has always left the specificity of legal gambling age requirements to individual states. International online sportsbooks are free to set their own limits, but domestic providers are subject to state age requirements.
Some states offer limited forms of gambling (bingo, charity games, etc.) starting well before the age of 18, but all states require that players be at least 18 years old to bet on sports. 35 states set their legal gambling age higher than 18, which is unfortunate for sports bettors. Thankfully, even in these states, legal sports betting is available to all players who are 18 years old as long as they use international online sportsbooks.
Sports Betting Ages By State
Each of the states with sports betting is different, but the legal sports betting age by state is almost always 21, while the legal lottery and pari-mutuel betting age is usually 18 (except for Alabama, where all gambling ages are 19 for some reason). The following age minimums for sports betting are what you should stick to, listed alphabetically by state. (Note: The states with an age range indicate areas where there is a different limit for commercial vs. tribal casino gaming and betting, and you can typically err on the side of the lower age.)
- Alabama Betting Age – 19
- Alaska Betting Age – 21
- Arizona Betting Age – 21
- Arkansas Betting Age – 21
- California Betting Age – 21
- Colorado Betting Age – 21
- Connecticut Betting Age – 21
- Delaware Betting Age – 21
- Florida Betting Age – 21
- Georgia Betting Age – 21
- Hawaii Betting Age – 21
- Idaho Betting Age – 21
- Illinois Betting Age – 21
- Indiana Betting Age – 21
- Iowa Betting Age – 21
- Kansas Betting Age – 21
- Kentucky Betting Age – 21
- Louisiana Betting Age – 21
- Maine Betting Age – 21
- Maryland Betting Age – 21
- Massachusetts Betting Age – 21
- Michigan Betting Age – 21
- Minnesota Betting Age – 21
- Mississippi Betting Age – 21
- Missouri Betting Age – 21
- Montana Betting Age – 18
- Nebraska Betting Age – 21
- Nevada Betting Age – 21
- New Hampshire Betting Age – 18
- New Jersey Betting Age – 21
- New Mexico Betting Age – 21
- New York Betting Age – 21
- North Carolina Betting Age – 21
- North Dakota Betting Age – 21
- Ohio Betting Age – 21
- Oklahoma Betting Age – 21
- Oregon Betting Age – 21
- Pennsylvania Betting Age – 21
- Rhode Island Betting Age – 18
- South Carolina Betting Age – 21
- South Dakota Betting Age – 21
- Tennessee Betting Age – 18
- Texas Betting Age – 21
- Utah Betting Age – 18
- Vermont Betting Age – 18
- Virginia Betting Age – 18
- Washington Betting Age – 18
- Washington DC Betting Age – 18
- West Virginia Betting Age – 21
- Wisconsin Betting Age – 21
- Wyoming Betting Age – 18
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Legal Sports Betting Age At Land-Based Sportsbooks
Most land-based sportsbooks require bettors to be 21 years of age or older; however, some only require bettors to be 18 years of age. This factor is determined by state laws – unlike with online and mobile sports betting operations, all legal land-based sportsbooks are regulated through the state, requiring them to follow the state-prescribed age minimums. Some sportsbooks offer alcohol inside of their sportsbook; if that is the case, the minimum age for entry is typically 21 years of age, even if the state only requires individuals to be 18 years of age to bet on sports.
Legal Sports Betting Age At Online Sportsbooks
The legal sports betting age at online sportsbooks can be different depending on where you live. For example, Rhode Island, Oregon, and New Hampshire only require people who are using online sportsbooks to be 18 years old or older. However, in places such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, you have to be 21 years old or older in order to use legal sports betting sites. A general rule of thumb to follow is to check your state’s casino gambling laws as those are the ones usually used to define the required sports betting age.
When it comes to using online offshore sportsbooks, those sites usually require users to be 18 years old or older. However, if your state’s sports betting laws require bettors to be 21 years old or older than you will have to follow that guideline before using offshore options. This will ensure that you are totally safe when using these sites, otherwise, you may run the risk of running into trouble down the line. These offshore sites take underage gambling very seriously and those that are caught betting as a minor will have their winnings confiscated and their account terminated.
Betting Age To Bet On College Football
The legal betting age to bet on college basketball depends on each state. Most states require betting fans to be at least 21, but there are markets like Wyoming that accept wagers from bettors who are 18 years old or older. International licensed sportsbooks will host odds for all US players who are at least 18 years old, however, so regardless of the requirements of a state, betting fans can get in on the action.
How To Bet On NFL When 18 Years Old Or Older
There are a few sports betting sites that allow 18 year olds to bet on the NFL. Online sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie all require an age of 18 to sign up but may features restrictions if the state you live in has a 21-year restriction on legal sports betting. Only a few states offering legal sports betting at 18 so its best to wait until 21 before betting on the NFL this year. Players may not face legal issues if they bet on the NFL at 18 but there are other backlashes like losing your winnings, being banned for life from the sportsbook, and more.
Betting Age To Bet On Basketball
Those looking to partake in legal NBA betting and are curious about the required betting age have come to the right place. NBA betting, like betting on any sport, depends on each state’s regulation. Most states require bettors to be at least 21 years old or older. There are a few markets that accept bettors who are at least 18, however. Checking your state’s legal betting age is the best way to know the legal requirement to partake in basketball betting.
Age To Bet On MLB Baseball
The minimum betting age for MLB betting is 18 but most state-sanctioned sportsbooks require patrons to be at least 21. Online sportsbooks that accept all US bettors usually set their age requirement to 18 regardless of the state so these popular books may be the best option to those looking to wager in a state that requires you to be 21.
The Risk Of Underage Sports Betting
Underage gambling is strictly prohibited, and the act of such can result in real legal troubles. This is why knowing and understanding your state’s gambling laws is incredibly important. If you are caught attempting to bet on sports while under the required betting age by your state, then you run the risk of being permanently banned from the sportsbook, fined by the courts, or legally persecuted. Illegal gambling of any kind can result in misdemeanor or even felony charges. It Is an unnecessary risk to take place in underage gambling as the negatives are life-altering. Waiting until you are in the legal gambling age in your state is the best way to go.
Legal Horse Betting Age
Unlike sports betting, a lot more markets allow for 18-year-old betting fans to bet on horse racing as opposed to the 21-year-old requirement for traditional sports betting. Horse racing betting is usually done at a racetrack outside, so there are no bars that would restrict underage patrons from entering the way sportsbooks do. In fact, racetracks traditionally embrace the whole family coming and watching the events, so it’s understandable why many markets accept wagers from betting fans 18 years old or older. While most sportsbooks will still require you to be 21 years old at least, these states accept wagers from 18-year-old patrons.
Alabama – California – Hawaii – Kentucky – Michigan – Montana – Oklahoma – Oregon – Rhode Island – Tennessee – Utah – Vermont – Virginia – Washington – Wyoming
Why Is There A Minimum Age Limit To Bet On Sports?
When it comes to betting on sports inside of a casino sportsbook, there is often an age restriction because the sportsbook will serve alcohol on the premises. In order for the casino to keep their liquor license and comply with the federal law, everyone in their building must be 21 or older. Certain states, such as Rhode Island, have sportsbooks that accept bettors as young as 18 because the sports betting laws will allow them to. When it comes to betting on sports online most of the sites in the US will set their age restriction according to the state that they are based in. When using on offshore sports betting site, most of them will set their minimum age at 18 because that is the legal age to gamble in the country that they are based in.
How Do I Verify My Age To A Sportsbook?
With both land-based and online sportsbooks, you will need to provide legal documentation that shows you are legally old enough to bet on sports. This can be a standard government-issued ID. It is also a requirement at international sportsbooks, with online sports betting operations requiring ID in order to prevent you from making multiple accounts as well as ensuring they are sending the payments to the correct person. It is not a difficult process to prove your age at sportsbooks and if you are looking to bet on sports you must have documentation proving your age.
Is There An Age Limit To Go Inside Of A Sportsbook?
Yes, and as of right now, almost every legal land-based sportsbook in the US requires anyone trying to enter the venue to be 21 or older. Only Rhode Island, New York, and Montana will allow bettors as young as 18 to enter their sportsbook. Some casinos have their own betting apps or post their odds on their website so you can view lines from there, but in order to physically enter the casino or racino you must meet their age requirement.
Will I Get In Trouble If I Am Sports Betting Underage?
Where Can I Bet On Sports Under 21?
Currently, the states that offer land-based sports betting to those under 21 include Rhode Island, New York, Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C.
What Is The Legal Age For Horse Betting?
Most states have set the legal age for horse race betting at 18 or older. This includes betting on live races and simulcast races. However, there are a handful of states, such as Arizona, that require pari-mutuel bettors to be 21 or older. There are even some states that say you have to be 19 or older to bet on the ponies, so be sure to check your state laws. Most online racebooks will require their users to be at least 18 or older in order to bet on the races.
Which Online Sportsbooks And Betting Apps Do Not Check Age?
What Is The Legal Betting Age At Bovada?
Bovada only requires that users be at least 18 years old, no matter what state they might live in. But, Bovada does not accept any players from Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York or Nevada. Players in all other states should still consult the betting age in their state and know if their age limit is higher. Though it is good to understand your local betting age, there has not been any reports of a single person arrested for underage gambling online. There are, however, consequences for someone who fails to meet minimum betting ages at Bovada or any other online sportsbook.