Gambling laws vary wildly from state to state, and it can be confusing to keep up with what’s legal where you live. Knowing your local gambling laws can help you stay safe and avoid any unexpected surprises that could land you in trouble with the law. For example, what’s legal in casino-friendly Nevada may not be allowed across the border in gamble-shy Utah.
Can you gamble online legally depends on a variety of factors, including state and federal law, which types of gambling are permitted, and whether your location has a regulatory body that oversees the industry. Some of these regulatory bodies also set minimum age requirements for gambling in their jurisdictions. The age requirements are based on the types of gambling activities and can vary from sports betting to poker, where 18-year-olds can participate in certain games but must be 21 to place a wager on others.
Many states have legalized a variety of forms of online gambling, including casino and sports betting. New Jersey was among the first to launch online casinos and sports betting, and it has been joined by Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, but that didn’t make sports wagering legal everywhere immediately.
When you’re ready to gamble online legally, it’s important to start by depositing funds into your account. This can be done through a number of methods, from credit cards to e-wallets like PayPal and Neteller. Once your account is funded, you can begin placing bets or playing casino games for real money.
The most important thing to remember when gambling online is to always bet responsibly. Licensed and regulated operators are required to offer responsible gaming tools, which can include self-exclude options for players who feel they’re struggling with problem gambling. Some of these tools are available via mobile apps, while others can be accessed from the operator’s website or social media accounts.
One thing that can be difficult to understand when it comes to gambling online is how state and federal laws interact with each other. For example, the Department of Justice (DOJ) overturned its 2011 opinion regarding sports betting in late 2018, but that didn’t stop a growing number of states from enacting legislation to allow it.
While the legality of gambling online varies from state to state, most of them have similar minimum gambling ages and require that those who gamble be at least 18. However, some states, such as Texas, do not allow any type of regulated gambling, including online casinos or sports betting. That’s why it’s so important to understand your state’s gambling laws before you get started. To help you do that, we’ve compiled this list of the minimum legal gambling ages in every state.