UNITED STATES—With several states allowing regulated gambling in the last few years, the rules are different from one place to the next. So what’s the situation with the legal gambling age in California and how does it compare with the neighboring states?
California’s Gambling Age
The guide to the California gambling age at legalgamblingage.com confirms that it’s one of the few states that allow casino gambling from 18 years upwards. However, in practice, most of the 70+ land casinos in the state have a 21+ age limit because they sell alcohol on the premises. They confirm that over 20 of these gambling establishments have set a minimum entry age of 18. Online casinos aren’t yet allowed here.
In terms of sports betting, the legal age is 18 but currently only betting at regulated land venues is allowed. A vote to decide whether to legalize online sports betting in the state will be held towards the end of 2022, according to ballotpedia.com. If the proposal is passed, we can expect a number of the major online sportsbooks to offer their services here, as we’ve seen happen in other states that have approved online gambling.
The other types of gambling that are currently legal in California include bingo, lottery, fantasy sports, and pari-mutuel/horse racing betting. These activities have an age limit of 18 on them. Poker rooms provide an exception to this rule, as they can currently only accept players aged 21 and over.
The Gambling Age in Nevada
Since Nevada is the state where Las Vegas is located, it’s easy to see why it has more casinos than any other part of the country. With over 330 casinos, it’s ahead of Oklahoma, with California in third place ahead of Colorado and South Dakota, according to worldatlas.com.
The legal age for gambling in any of these casinos is 21, and traveling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on the $5 billion Brightline railway to gamble here should be possible in the next couple of years. You might be surprised to find that this famous gambling destination doesn’t yet offer any legal online casinos, though, possibly to avoid any conflicts with the large land casinos based here.
Sports betting is available in Nevada to anyone aged 21 and above, and this can be done online or at physical betting locations across the state. On the other hand, it’s one of the few states with no official lottery, and fantasy sports are banned here too. The remaining gambling options like bingo, poker, and pari-mutuel betting are all aimed at people over 21, so there are no options at all here for anyone under the age of 21.
The Gambling Age in Oregon
A range of betting options are available to people in Oregon, including a selection of tribal casinos that can allow players aged 21 and over to play there. At the time of writing, there is no law allowing online casinos in the state. While some states have this as a gray area, Oregon specifically states that playing games of chance not regulated by the local authorities is outlawed.
Sports betting is allowed here, both using online sites and at land venues. In both cases, the minimum age allowed is 21. Poker rooms give us the other legal way of betting in Oregon that is restricted to people aged 21 and over. Anyone between 18 and 21 has a few alternatives, such as bingo, lottery, fantasy sports, and pari-mutuel/horse race betting.
The Gambling Age in Arizona
The only casinos you’ll find in Arizona are those based on tribal land, of which there are over 20 at the time of writing. They all restrict entry to customers aged 21 or above, and currently, no online casinos are allowed to operate in the state.
Online sports betting is legal here, and it has the same 21+ age limit that’s in place for land-based sporting betting. This is the same limit that’s used for poker rooms and lottery games in Arizona, although online poker isn’t yet allowed. Anyone aged 18 and over can play bingo or wager on pari-mutuel/horse races here.
As we’ve seen, there are some major differences in how gambling is regulated in these states, despite them all being so close together. With the online gambling market growth in recent years, we can expect to find more new ways of gambling being introduced in the future.