poker chips at a casino

States That Have The Gambling Age of 18

In the U.S., we have two major milestone birthdays that take place within 3 years of each other: 18 and 21. At age 18, a person is considered a legal adult and can vote, play the lottery, and join the armed forces. At age 21, a person can legally drink and buy alcohol and patronize casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But in many states, people can gamble at age 18—and there’s no better place to host a milestone birthday than a local casino. Here’s a roundup of the various states and their restrictions regarding 18 and over casinos.

Pari-mutuel betting

Pari-mutuel betting is a type of wager where the final payout is determined after all bets are made, which is different from the fixed odds offered by casinos. The most popular type of pari-mutuel betting is off-track betting facilities. When you bet on horse races, all bets are pooled together and the house takes its fee. Once betting closes, the payouts are finalized based on how much money is in the pool and the results of the event. States that allow pari-mutuel betting for people aged 18 and over include:

man smiling at a casino

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

Bingo

Anyone can participate in a few rounds of bingo at the local church, but most casino bingo halls have an age limit to gamble. States that allow people age 18 and up to play bingo in a casino include:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin

Mixed age limits

Some states allow gambling for ages 18 and up or 21 and up, some depending on the particular casino, others depending on the particular casino game. For example, Florida allows those 18 and up to gamble on pari-mutuels, bingo, and poker, but has an age minimum of 21 for slots. States with mixed age limits include:

  • Florida
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington
  • California

Age 18+ welcome

A few states welcome anyone age 18 and older to gamble at local casinos, including California (with a few exceptions). California is home to casinos in over 100 cities—the largest number by far in the U.S., exceeding even the number found in Nevada. Southern California alone boasts two dozen cities with casinos, including Campo, which is home to Golden Acorn Casino! States that allow gambling at the age of 18 include:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Minnesota
  • Wyoming
  • California (with a few exceptions)

Celebrate your 18th at Golden Acorn Casino

If you’re looking for the best place to celebrate your birthday at one of the 18 and over casinos near San Diego, come see us at Golden Acorn Casino. We offer hundreds of slot machines and dozens of table games to choose from, and we’re conveniently located right off the I-8, about an hour away from downtown San Diego. And who knows, maybe your wish for a big jackpot will come true when you blow out your candles!

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