Legal Sports Betting Age By State
Of all the questions that a potential sports bettor may have, finding out the legal sports betting age by state should be a top priority. Underage gambling is a serious offense that can be easily avoided by equipping yourself with basic sports betting knowledge. While we can look to federal laws to find out legal answers related to most aspects of sports betting, the legal betting age is different. Instead of one universal sports betting age, the legal age to bet on sports is determined by each individual state. While online sportsbooks may have their own minimum sports betting ages in place, potential sports bettors will still need to research their state-specific betting age.
In the states that do not operate land-based sportsbooks, the age for legal sports betting will often coincide with the casino gambling age. In the majority of the United States, residents will need to be at least 21 years old before betting on sports. There are a handful of states that permit betting at a younger age.
- There are no options for legal sports betting if you are under the age of 18
- 15 US States allow legal sports betting at the age of 18
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 – 19
- Arizona Betting Age – 21
- Arkansas Betting Age – 21
- California Betting Age – 18-21
- Colorado Betting Age – 21
- Connecticut Betting Age – 21
- Delaware Betting Age – 21
- Florida Betting Age – 21
- Georgia Betting Age – 21
- Hawaii Betting Age – 18
- Idaho Betting Age – 21
- Illinois Betting Age – 21
- Indiana Betting Age – 21
- Iowa Betting Age – 21
- Kansas Betting Age – 21
- Kentucky Betting Age – 18
- Louisiana Betting Age – 21
- Maine Betting Age – 21
- Maryland Betting Age – 21
- Massachusetts Betting Age – 21
- Michigan Betting Age – 18-21
- Minnesota Betting Age – 18-21
- Mississippi Betting Age – 21
- Missouri Betting Age – 21
- Montana Betting Age – 18
- Nebraska Betting Age – 21
- Nevada Betting Age – 21
- New Hampshire Betting Age – 21
- 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 – 18-21
- Oregon Betting Age – 18-21
- 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 – 18-21
- West Virginia Betting Age – 21
- Wisconsin Betting Age – 21
- Wyoming Betting Age – 18
Legal Sports Betting Age At Land-Based Sportsbooks
Generally speaking, the legal sports betting age at land-based sportsbooks is 21 years old. Now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) has been overturned, each state is allowed to set its own age minimums for its own sports wagering industry. Most states have chosen 21, as this aligns well with their existing gambling policies at the venues where new sports betting lounges are opening. In some ways, it’s silly to sort out any legal sports betting age by state, as almost all of them seem to be in agreement on this one point (and only this one point, truth be told).
The caveat here comes when the entirety of a state’s gambling market is tribal in nature, with casinos located totally on sovereign tribal land (i.e. reservations). In these states, there are often added challenges to getting new sports betting laws passed, as the tribes tend to have sweeping exclusivity deals as part of their state compacts. It is conceivable that in such states, where sports wagering is limited to tribal venues, that the sports betting age would be 18, in line with most pari-mutuel and lottery age minimums nationwide.
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.
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The Risk Of Underage Sports Betting
Let’s be very clear here: if you are underage, you should not, under any circumstances, gamble. Knowing your state’s gambling laws is incredibly important, because, while there are no laws against using an offshore sportsbook, there absolutely are laws in every state regarding the legal gambling age. The penalty for doing so can range from fines to misdemeanor charges to felony charges, and, to top it off, even if the law doesn’t get involved, if the online sportsbook figures out that you are underage, you can and will be banned and lose all your money. Underage sports is a very risky and illegal activity and is not recommended in the slightest.
Legal Horse Betting Age
The legal horse betting age is the same as it is for sports betting on the list above. Horse betting is one of the reasons that legal gambling ages exist in the first place, so it is no wonder that they use the same laws as casinos and sportsbooks. Overall, if you are 21 then you can bet on horses and are old enough to bet on sports anywhere in the world. If you are over 18, then you are only old enough to bet on horses in these states.
Alabama – California – Hawaii – Kentucky – Michigan – Montana – Oklahoma – Oregon – Rhode Island – Tennessee – Utah – Vermont – Virginia – Washigton – 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?
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?
As of right now, your only land-based options would be in Rhode Island and New York. Once Montana launches their sports betting operations those would become an option as well. The same goes for sports betting in New Hampshire. Oregon will let those 18 years old or older to use the lottery’s mobile sportsbook known as Scoreboard. Some states that are working on sports betting legislation are aiming to set the legal gambling age at 18 as well. We will update you as soon as we have confirmation on which states do so. Online offshore sportsbooks will normally accept members 18 or older, but it is best to comply with the age requirement set by your state. If you take a look at the list above, we have laid out which states you can start online sports betting under the age of 21.
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, be aware that it might still be best to consult the betting age in your state (above), because some states have (obviously) mandated higher ages. With this said, there has never been a single person arrested for underage gambling online, however there are consequences if someone fails to meet minimum betting ages at Bovada or any other sportsbook. These penalties often include suspension of account and forfeiture of all funds within said account. In other words, wait until you’re at least 18 to bet with Bovada.