Nevada’s Las Vegas is a popular and fun-filled destination known for its entertainment and casinos. But can you gamble at 18 in Vegas when living in or visiting Nevada?
The United States has a minimum gambling age of 18. However, each state also has laws, often leading to confusion. Unfortunately, Nevada is one of the states where gambling is not allowed unless you are at least 21 years old.
Sin City, as Las Vegas is commonly known, and the rest of Nevada maintain strict gambling laws. Reading on, you will learn more about Nevadan gambling laws and other things you can do in Vegas until you reach the legal gambling age.
Can You Gamble at 18 in Vegas?
In some states, you can gamble when you are 18. Depending on the state, you may bet in their casinos, slot machines, and verticals like horse racing and the lottery. However, it gets more complicated in some states because you may be allowed to gamble in a casino but not on some verticals or the other way around.
Nevada is not one of these states since you must be 21 to gamble there. Furthermore, you must present a valid ID proving that you are 21 to have access to a casino. The gambling law applies to all forms of betting, including bingo, horse racing, sports betting, card games, slot machines, etc.
The consequences of getting caught betting in Nevada include getting kicked out and banned from a casino, serving jail time, and paying a hefty fine if charged with a misdemeanor.
Additionally, the state statute includes serious consequences for casinos if they allow underage people to gamble, so they maintain strict control. Therefore, even if you are with an adult, they won’t let you hang around at the gaming tables or near the slot machines. The only time you are allowed in a casino is if the hotel layout means you cannot avoid walking through the casino to get from one point of the hotel to another.
What About Gambling Online?
Online gambling might seem to have no borders since many of the casinos offering them are offshore. Some states don’t specifically ban online betting for specific age groups. However, for anyone physically located in Nevada, digital gambling is not allowed if they are still under 21, no matter what.
Can You Get Away with Sneaking into a Casino or Using a Fake ID?
According to Vegas Food and Fun, it’s almost impossible to sneak into a casino if you are under the legal gambling age without getting noticed. Highly trained staff members at the casino establishments have a keen eye and will immediately ask you for identification to verify your age.
Can you gamble at 18 in Vegas with a fake ID? No, because casino staff members are experts at spotting fake IDs. At any point when a staff member suspects someone is younger than they appear, they will ask for identification to ascertain you are legally of age to gamble.
Additionally, even if no one has spotted your fake ID, remember that if you win, it will undoubtedly get noticed. All casinos report winnings exceeding a certain amount to the IRS, depending on the game. Since these winnings are typically about $1,200, you get asked for your ID when you cash them out. If you present a fake ID at this point, the chances of getting caught are 100%. Therefore, a fake ID will get you into trouble sooner or later.
What can you do in Vegas at 18?
We have established that you cannot gamble in Vegas at 18. If you are under 21, booking a room at most Las Vegas hotels will also be extremely hard.
However, the city does provide several fun-filled activities to enjoy while visiting there, whether alone or with others. These include the following:
- Bungee jumping from the tallest building in Vegas, the Strat
- Explore the city’s eating options, including Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen
- Visit one of several water parks to counter the city’s hottest days
- Walk along the Las Vegas Strip, enjoying some of its delightful highlights
- Plan your trip so that you can take in a concert from one of your favorite musicians or a show
- Spoil yourself with a spa treatment
NiteThrive provides some of the most up-to-date information if you want to know where to stay and what to do while in Vegas.
How far is the nearest gambling destination for 18-year-olds from Vegas?
Several states will legally allow you to gamble in a casino at 18. These include California, Michigan, New York, Idaho, Minnesota, etc. However, each state may have different laws for different locations within it.
Can you gamble at 18 in Vegas? No, but you can cross the border to gamble in some parts of California.
It’s a 30-minute drive to the Californian border from Las Vegas. Some casinos in the state don’t allow anyone under 21 in keeping with the legal drinking age. However, the casinos situated on Indian tribal land have more lenient rules.
The casinos you can visit at 18 in California are:
- Tortoise Rock Casino – About a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas
- Morongo Casino Resort Spa – It takes about 4 hours to get there from Las Vegas
- Casino Pauma – Located 5 hours away from Las Vegas
- Table Mountain Casino and Golden Acorn Casino – both locations take about six hours to reach from Las Vegas
Known for its famous casino, Vegas continues to entice visitors for a night of thrills and high stakes. However, if you were wondering if you can gamble at 18 in Vegas, you now know you can’t if you are under 21. The rule applies to all types of gambling, meaning that you cannot even play online.
Therefore, whether you live in Nevada or visit the state, you cannot participate in gambling at some of the world’s best casinos until you turn 21. However, as much as you want to try your luck, if you are only 18, you only have numerous fun activities to keep you busy in Vegas.
If you want to experience the thrill of gambling before that, you can visit any one of several states across the country.