Legal Sports Betting Age By State

Betting on sports is one of the most strictly regulated forms of gambling in most countries around the world, but the United States has some of the strictest – and most strictly prohibitive - sports betting laws anywhere. In fact, the legal situation for gambling in all its forms is a mixed bag in the US, as some states don’t allow online gambling at all, some have pari-mutuel bettin on horseracing, some don’t have land-based casinos, some do and some don’t allow sports betting and so on. Because of this admixture of rules about gambling in the US, it can be difficult to assess just what is the legal sports betting age by state.

This is especially relevant, as legal sports betting sites based overseas like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and 5Dimes solve the issue of hodgepodge anti-gambling laws because they are regulated by the gaming authorities of their home countries and therefore operate outside US legal jurisdiction. Legal sports betting sites like these make it possible for US bettors to wager on sports no matter the state in which they reside even though sports betting – say, for example, betting on the NFL, on college basketball or on a boxing match - is prohibited in all but Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. That being said, the law is the law, and anybody thinking seriously about betting on sports should take every effort to comply with the local conditions for participating in sports betting online, even at legal sports betting sites like the ones we recommend.

Legal Sports Betting Age by State
Alabama - 21 Hawaii - 21 Massachusetts - 21 New Mexico - 21 South Dakota - 21
Alaska - 18 Idaho - 21 Michigan - 21 New York - 18 Tennessee - 21
Arizona - 18 Illinois - 18 Minnesota - 18 North Carolina - 21 Texas - 21
Arkansas - 21 Indiana - 21 Mississippi - 21 North Dakota - 21 Utah - 21
California - 21 Iowa - 21 Missouri - 21 Ohio - 21 Vermont - 21
Colorado - 21 Kansas - 21 Montana - 18 Oklahoma - 21 Virginia - 21
Connecticut - 21 Kentucky - 21 Nebraska - 21 Oregon - 21 Washington - 18
Delaware - 21 Louisiana - 18 Nevada - 21 Pennsylvania - 18 West Virginia - 21
Florida - 21 Maine - 21 New Hampshire - 21 Rhode Island - 18 Wisconsin - 18
Georgia - 21 Maryland - 21 New Jersey - 21 South Carolina - 21 Wyoming - 21
Legal Sports Betting Age FAQs

What Is The Legal Sports Betting Age In Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is the world’s premier destination for gambling of all sorts, and the sportsbooks there are the worldwide industry standard, so it should come as no surprise that Sin City is a hub for legal sports betting. In fact, Nevada is one of only four US states – including Delaware, Montana and Oregon - that has a regulated sports betting industry, and it’s the only one of those that has legal brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Because the sportsbooks in Las Vegas are usually based inside physical casinos, and because the state of Nevada requires gamblers to be at least 21 years of age to participate, you will have to be at least that old before you can legally bet on sports in that state.

Interestingly, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and the older Federal Wire Act of 1961 combine to make it illegal to place bets on sports across state lines. That means that, even though betting on sports in person or online is legal in Nevada, nobody from outside the state can do so legally. However, if federal laws like PASPA were to be repealed or re-written in the coming years, this could all change and potentially open up a new market for legal online sportsbooks.

What Is The Legal Sports Betting Age On The Internet?

The industry-leading legal online sportsbooks are based overseas where US law doesn’t apply, and they therefore have their own minimum age requirements for accepting players. Usually, the minimum age at overseas online sportsbooks is 18 (that’s the case for all of our top picks), so many US players are tempted to sign up and start placing bets on their favorite sports as soon as they turn 18.

However, it behooves you, the player, to obey your local gambling laws as closely as possible for safety’s sake, even though legal sports betting sites are regulated and licensed in their home countries and aren’t subject to US or state law in the strictest sense of the word. There’s nothing to be gained and a lot to be lost by not keeping to the letter of the law with regard to your state’s legal sports betting age.