There are only twelve states in the United States that allow individuals under the age of 18 to gamble, and Las Vegas is not one of them. Most of these 18+ casinos are tribal casinos that are permitted to let such young players in because of their special circumstances.
The age restriction in casinos is put in place mainly because of alcohol. Some casinos that do not serve alcohol are allowed to put their age limit at 18 years of age, but they are very limited. Additionally, the online gambling space has opened up more opportunities for patrons under 21 to play their favorite casino games.
For Las Vegas, the gambling age limit is 21. Anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to play in any Las Vegas Casino. Moreover, underage guests are not permitted to enter the gaming floor even if they are just watching.
The State of Nevada has firmly stuck to the 21 or older limit despite a few attempts to lower the age to 18. This article dives into the legal gambling age in Las Vegas and the United States. Read more to see how the gambling age compares across different states.
Legal Gambling Age In Las Vegas
According to the State of Nevada, NRS 463.350, gaming or employment in gaming is prohibited for persons under the age of 21. The section goes on to state that a person under the age of 21 years shall not:
- Play, be allowed to play, place wagers at, or collect winnings from, whether personally or through an agent, any gambling game, slot machine, racebook, sports pool, or pari-mutuel operator.
- Loiter, or be permitted to loiter, in or about any room or premises wherein any licensed game, racebook, sports pool, or pari-mutuel wagering is operated or conducted.
An exception is put in place for those who are hired as gaming employees, except in a counting room. This is also conditional as the casino can only higher individuals under the age of 21 if they are designing, programming, fabricating, installing, or modifying the gaming machines.
Any person, licensee, or employee who violates or allows persons under the age of 21 years to enter the casino or play without following the stated guidelines will be charged with a misdemeanor. It is also clearly stated that nobody accused of this crime can plead that they believed the person to be 21 years old or over or eligible to be employed as a gaming employee. Charges may include six months in jail.
The enforcement of this law is very strict in Las Vegas. Security guards are always on the lookout for underage gamblers throughout their establishments. Cameras get observed to keep an eye on younger guests who may have faked their way into the adult casinos.
Does the Gambling Age Differ From Physical to Online Casinos in Las Vegas?
According to the aforementioned State of Nevada law, gambling is only permitted for patrons above 21 years of age. This applies to both physical commercial gambling places as well as the convenient digital forms of gambling.
Online gambling platforms have systems to authenticate every player’s age as they will be liable to charges when an underage player is spotted. The same charges as for physical gambling locations apply to the digital forms of gambling too.
Therefore, it does not matter if you are playing online poker or going to an online casino; you cannot legally play unless you are 21 or over.
So, you may be wondering, is there no way to gamble in Las Vegas if I am younger than 21 years old?
Can I Gamble in Vegas at 18?
State lawmakers have been shutting down bills to decrease the gambling age to 18 years in Las Vegas since 2008. Some gaming regulators first proposed it, and the latest try was the 2017 bill that Assemblyman Jim Wheeler proposed 2017.
His argument for the bill began with a question a veteran posed to him, asking why a veteran can be allowed to serve in Afghanistan as young as 17 but not old enough to be allowed to gamble in Silver State. It was argued that if a person can be able to join any of the branches of the United States military at 17 years, then he or she can surely be allowed to gamble at a casino.
The bill was almost instantly shut down as others have been before. This is because reducing the gambling age to 18 adds little profit margins for the casinos but still increases their risk of violating other regulatory concerns, one of them being the drinking age.
Since all casinos in Las Vegas serve alcoholic beverages, it is virtually impossible to lower the gambling age without dealing with the age limit for drinking. Moreover, persons below 18 are not the biggest spenders at the casinos. You could bet houses would rally behind bills like this one if the 18 to 21 demographics were as wealthy and spendthrift as the older generation.
Suppose you are looking for an 18+ gambling place. In that case, the only states that can give you a chance are Idaho, California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington, Wyoming, and Wisconsin. It can be helpful to remember under 18 persons can bet when on cruise ships off the coast of Georgia (even though it does not permit gambling of any form)
Frequently Asked Questions
How old do you have to be to gamble in Vegas?
You must be 21 years or older to gamble in Las Vegas. Moreover, you cannot enter the gambling casino floors if you have not reached that age. Any person who violates this state law is liable to about six months in jail under a misdemeanor. Any employer or casino owner who lets underage guests gamble in his or her establishment can get some jail time and stands to lose the license.
What are Vegas casinos 18 +?
As clearly stated by the law, you cannot play in any casino if you are younger than 21; this applies to both physical and online casinos. However, since the online gambling space is not bound by jurisdiction, you can technically get to play at 18+ online casinos while still in Vegas.
Some popular online casinos for 18 plus persons include Las Vegas Casino USA, Sun Palace casino, and the Vegas Casino Online.
What is the gambling age in other countries?
The gambling age limit for all regions across the United Kingdom is 18 years. You can get to play other games like soccer pools and lotteries even when you are 16 years old. The minimum age in India is 21, but like in the United States, it varies from state to state. Canada, on the other hand, has a unique minimum age of 19, and this applies to casinos and sportsbooks.