You may think you can go to a casino at 18, but can you? The answer is yes, but only in some casinos since each state has laws dictating the legal casino age. Even within some states, California, for example, the age at which you can enter a casino differs according to the casino’s location.
Therefore, it’s a tricky question to answer, requiring this article to explain the gambling laws for 18-year-olds.
Age Limit for Casinos: Is 18 the Magic Number?
Play Today offers several interesting takeaways about the gambling industry in the U.S., including that estimates say it will reach $145.92 billion by the end of 2023. However, is 18 the magic number for the legal age limit to visit casinos?
Usually, the minimum gambling age in the U.S. for going to a casino is between 18 and 21, but this depends on the type of gambling activity and the state. Hawaii and Utah ban gambling outright, meaning no casinos or other form of gambling is allowed. Tennessee allows no casino gambling, allowing only the state lottery and online sports betting within its borders.
Texas has only casinos operating outside the jurisdiction of the state’s strict gambling laws based on Native American tribal land.
Therefore, 44 states have land-based casinos in the U.S., some allowing them on Native American land only. Other states allow gambling on casino ships that are river-based or on cruises.
But can you go to a casino at 18? Unfortunately, not in most states since it often concurs with the legal drinking age of 21, and most casinos serve liquor on the premises.
However, you can go to a casino at 18 in the United Kingdom, Australia, and some European countries. Some European countries are even more lenient, allowing 16-year-olds to participate in gambling contests. These include Denmark and Estonia.
On the other hand, Portugal is more severe, having set the gambling age to 21, the same age as Hong Kong and Macau. China only has a national lottery, but no other gambling is officially allowed. Besides Malaysia, where foreigners can gamble, all the other Muslim countries prohibit gambling because it’s against their beliefs.
However, there’s no need to become disheartened by this news of the stricter gambling rules in the U.S. because tribal casinos are more lenient. They usually set the age limit for gambling at 18 or 19.
They can do this because some don’t serve alcohol in the casino property. Others strictly enforce I.D. checks for patrons to ensure those between 18 and 20 cannot purchase alcohol.
Here are the states where you can have casino access at 18:
- Californian tribal casinos
- Florida poker and bingo at 18 inside its tribal casinos, but other casino games at 21
- Georgia has no land-based casinos, but 18-year-olds can gamble on offshore cruises.
- Idaho tribal casinos
- Michigan at certain tribal casinos
- Minnesota has a minimum gambling age of 18 for limited games and at tribal casinos
- Montana’s land-based tribal casinos
- Oklahoma at tribal casinos
- Rhode Island’s land-based casinos
- Washington’s tribal casinos
- Wyoming’s tribal casinos
18 and Up? Unveiling the Casino Experience for Young Adults
Surprisingly, if you are visiting Las Vegas, the most famous of all gambling cities, you cannot enjoy the casino experience until you are 21 because that’s Nevada’s legal gambling age. When in Las Vegas, you cannot stand around in the gaming areas before the age of 21, even if you are with an adult.
However, as you see from the previous section, there are several casinos in other states where young adults can gamble and pass their time.
It’s critical to respect the age restrictions in casinos since these are there to protect young people from developing a gambling addiction and the ensuing financial problems. Gaming establishments adhere to the gambling laws of their state or country. Otherwise, they face penalties and hefty fines.
Be prepared to present some form of identification when asked at a casino. Also, respect any age restrictions on certain gambling activities, bars, or clubs with additional entertainment aimed at adults.
Remember that casino staff get special training that makes it easier for them to recognize minors trying to access the premises. They will report any suspicious activity and closely watch the gaming tables. All casinos have prominent signs that notify visitors of the legal gambling age on their premises, making it impossible to pretend that you didn’t know that you weren’t allowed to enter.
Therefore, you cannot hang around a casino unless you are of the legal gambling age for that casino.
Understanding your gambling options in the U.S. is important since each state has its own laws and regulations. Let’s take a look at suitable gambling venues for casino adventures for 18-year-olds in the U.S.:
In California, you can only gamble at its three tribal casinos if you are under 21 – San Manuel Casino, Barona Resort & Casino, and the Coyote Valley Casino. You can enjoy the three casinos’ slot machines, table games, and entertainment. Remember that alcohol remains off-limits at these casinos until the age of 21.
Despite having several casinos, if you are 18, you can only visit some tribal casinos in Florida and have limited game access. You may only have access to their poker area; some may allow access to bingo games. You cannot enter the slots area or gaming tables of a casino. For example, you can only play poker at the Seminole Hardrock Tampa and the Seminole Hardrock Hollywood. In contrast, at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, you are allowed on-site but have no gaming options.
Georgia is not a very gambling-friendly state, making it very difficult for 18-year-olds to gamble. The state also has very few online options for land-based gambling. The only way to visit a casino at 18 in Georgia is to participate in one of the two cruises that sail in international waters.
Commercial casinos in Michigan won’t allow you entry unless you are 21. However, you can gamble at any of the three tribal casinos located in the state – FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.
In Minnesota, you can play lotteries and gamble at sports betting places. You can also enjoy gambling adventures at one of the state’s three tribal casinos. These are the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort, and the Grand Hinckley Inn. You can enjoy their other amenities besides the slot machines and gaming tables, including golf and spas.
As an 18-year-old, you can access some Idaho gambling options like lotteries and bingo. Regarding casinos, your land-based options are limited to its three tribal casinos – Coeur d’Alene Casino, Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, and Sage Hill Casino. These have gaming tables and slots, but it’s best to check online for the gaming options available at 18.
There are close to 150 tribal casinos in Oklahoma. The state has liberal gambling laws, but you are only allowed in a casino at 18 if it doesn’t serve alcohol. You can do some research online to see which casinos you can visit. The three with the largest selection of games are WinStar World Casino and Resort, Choctaw Casino Durant, and Fire Lake Grand Casin Shawnee.
The gambling age in Rhode Island is 18. That means that you can enjoy all forms of gambling. However, poker is officially outlawed in the state, meaning that it’s not allowed online or at casinos for anyone.
There are two excellent casinos on Rhode Island, and they are open to everyone from 18 and up. Visit the Twin River Casino Hotel for its numerous games and benefits from its Rewards Club.
The premium Tiverton Casino Hotel provides gaming, dining, and entertainment, making it worth visiting.
While you cannot gamble in most commercial casinos before you turn 21, in Washington, there is the alternative of playing at several tribal casinos. Even though casinos can choose if 18-year-olds can play, many waive the option because they serve liquor. Some casinos may allow you in at 18 but may limit the type of gambling.
Legends Casino, Lucky Eagle Casino, and Tribes Resort Hotel and Casino offer thrilling gaming options and other activities for you from 18 and up.
At 18, you can visit one of the tribal casinos operating there. The Wind River Hotel & Casino and the Little Wind Casino have popular slots and table games.
Casino Entry at 18: What You Need to Know
If you are celebrating your 18th birthday, it’s natural that you may wonder, “Can you go to a casino at 18?” We have established that in some countries and some U.S. states, you can go to a casino if the laws of the country or state allow it.
However, casinos enforce strict policies and measures to prevent minors from gambling, following their country or state regulations. If the casino you plan to visit allows entry at 18, you must prove your age by presenting a valid I.D. or other official document (driver’s license or passport) when asked.
Remember that casino staff have the training to recognize anyone who is younger than the legal age trying to get into the casino. Casinos usually have signage indicating the minimum gambling age, and they also use video surveillance systems to ensure minors don’t sneak in.
Young and Ready: Unlocking the Doors to Casinos at 18
Age restrictions can help ensure you practice gambling responsibly. Even though you are young and ready, unlocking the doors to casinos at 18 requires understanding the consequences. Gambling responsibly helps prevent addictions and other adverse effects like financial problems.
Parents and casinos play a vital role in protecting minors from any of the problems associated with gambling addictions. Underage gambling carries different consequences in different parts of the world. In the U.S., it’s not a high-level offense, but it’s imperative to adhere to the laws to avoid the consequences. These include a fine and a six-month prison sentence, probation, community service, or a suspended driver’s license.
Into the Gambling World: A Look at 18-year-Olds in Casino
Countries like France, Italy, and the U.K. allow you to gamble at all games in a casino at 18. In the U.S., it is a bit more complicated because each state implements different laws and regulations. That means that the minimum gambling age ranges from 18 to 21.
In a state where the minimum gambling law is 21, some of the native American casinos may have exemptions from some gambling laws due to their sovereignty, lowering the age to 18.
Alcohol sales are one of the main determinants of whether you can take your first step into the gambling world at 18 but don’t only rely on that. Check this resource from Casinos18, where you can see the rules and find suitable brick-and-mortar gambling establishments in all states before making plans to gamble at more than 1,500 casinos believed to exist in the U.S. currently.
Can you go to a casino at 18? The answer is complicated because it’s yes for some states and no for others.
Since the 1800s, when the U.S. had several gambling halls, the casino industry has expanded into a sophisticated yet complex industry. Today, 44 states have casinos; some have commercial casinos, some tribal ones, and some have both.
The two states recognized most for their casino tourism are Nevada and New Jersey, but both don’t allow access to 18-year-olds. However, several states have casinos, mostly in tribal lands, that will let you gamble there if you want to enter the gambling world at 18. Unlocking the doors to casinos at 18 requires research and planning, but be prepared for some fun when you discover the casinos in the states that will accept you.