How Old Do You Have to Be to Place a Sports Bet?
Want to get started betting on sports at a safe, licensed, and regulated sportsbook, but don’t know what the age requirements are? We’ve got you covered, regardless of what state you call home.
Reading through the micro-sized font on your sportsbook can be annoying and full of complicated legal jargon.
That’s why we’ve gone through the trouble of doing that for you so you can save yourself a headache.
Why Do Sportsbooks Have A Legal Requirement?
Sportsbooks place legal restrictions on their customers because, well, they are legally required to. If they didn’t, they’d be liable to be criminally charged and put out of business.
Sportsbooks are required to abide by the gambling laws in the countries that they provide services to. This is because sportsbooks are legitimate businesses, and as such, they are subject to a wide range of regulations.
No matter what country or state you inhabit, there will be a law that states you must be of a certain age to have the capacity to gamble on sports. These laws were created to prevent businesses from taking advantage of minors.
If you need a comparable example, think of your neighborhood bar. In the United States, every single establishment that serves alcohol is bound by a law that states you must be 21 years or older to legally purchase alcohol.
This law was created to protect minors from the harms of alcohol abuse. Lawmakers decided that once adults reach the age of 21, they’re able to consent to potential damages that can be caused by drinking alcohol.
Gambling law was created to prevent minors from being exposed to the potential financial harms of gambling at too young of an age.
How Do Sportsbooks Verify Your Age?
To protect themselves from legal action, sportsbooks need to ensure that bettors are of legal age.
As such, they may ask you to verify your age.
To prove your age, you might be asked to provide the following:
- A photograph of your passport
- A photograph of your driver’s license
- A photograph of your state issued an identification card
If you are of legal age, you’ll have no problem placing bets at your sportsbook. As a general rule, sportsbooks will verify your identity very quickly, and you’ll be able to start betting in no time.
Without verifying your identity, you will likely have significant difficulties depositing and withdrawing from your sportsbook.
So, How Old Do You have to Be to Bet on Sports in the United States?
The age restriction for using an online sportsbook in the United States corresponds to state-imposed age restrictions for how old bettors have to be to gamble at brick and mortar casinos. This varies from state to state.
So, if you’re old enough to enter a brick and mortar casino in your state, you’re old enough to start using an online sportsbook.
Why Are There Different Restrictions for the Different States?
In the United States, gambling is legal under federal law. However, each state is entirely free to regulate gambling and the legal gambling age according to the wishes of their independent lawmakers.
There are four states where bettors can start betting on sports online at the age of 18, while in the remaining states bettors are required to be 21 or older.
The Four States Where You Can Use an Online Sportsbook at 18
As we mentioned above, there are four states where you can start betting on sports at licensed offshore sportsbook at the age of 18.
These states are:
You’re also allowed to bet on sports if you’re 18 or older when you’re visiting these states. There is no law stating that you have to be a permanent resident of these states to enjoy the lower age barrier to sports betting.
The Rest of Them: You Have to Be 21
In the remaining states, bettors must be 21 before they start using the services of online sportsbooks.
These states are as follows:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How Old Do You Have To Be To Use A Sportsbook at a Las Vegas Casino?
You must be 21, the same age as you have to be to use an online sportsbook in the state of Nevada. The rules are consistent with each other.
Now that you know how old you have to be to start betting on sports, get familiar with the fundamentals of our Betting 101 guide.
Even better, learn more about the best bonuses available at online sportsbooks with our helpful guide.