State-by-State Analysis of Gambling Laws

California Government Code §8880.52.

Belgium: Casinos are technically
Casinos and slots: Political negotiations are continuing to allow an Indian tribe to own a casino, with a minimum gambling age of 21, and for horse and dog tracks would get slots; but, so far the Legislature has not passed the necessary legislation.

The riverboat law, id. at §27:85, reads as follows:

British Columbia, Canada: Casinos, 19 years old; Bingo: minimum age is set by bingo licensee.
NEW YORK New York has signed a compact with the Oneida Tribe, resulting in an Indian casino which is supposed to be without slot machines. Turning Stone was probably the most profitable table-games-only casino in the world; it now has installed hundreds of gaming devices. New York was one of the first states to allow its off-track betting operators to take telephone wagers from gamblers in other states, in possible violation of federal law. Lottery: Tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18; however, adults may buy tickets for the purpose of making a gift to a minor. The New York courts upheld the right of underage recipients to collect if their ticket wins. New York Tax Law §1610, 485 N.Y.S.2d 162, 127 Misc.2d 224 (1984), affirming that the minor’s age is no bar but reversing on other grounds, 499 N.Y.S.2d 950, 118 A.D.2d 474 (1986).


The law for the land-based casino, id. at §27:260:

France: Parliament lowered the minimum gaming age for casinos from 21 to 18 on May 5, 1987.
The state has legalized video poker and keno machines. Montana also has card clubs and allows calcutta betting on sports events. Indian tribes are operating casinos. The State Legislature has imposed a blanket minimum age of 18 for anyone involved with gambling, Montana Code §23-5-158, with one exception: children may buy and sell raffle tickets. Id. at 23-5-158(3).

Charity bingo and pull-tabs: Montana allows commercial bingo, making it tough for a charity game to survive. The statewide minimum of 18 applies, although the only specific statute is one defining a "bingo caller" as a person 18 years of age or older. Id. at §23-5-112. Pull-tabs are prohibited by statute. The state explicitly allow minors to sell and buy raffle tickets for charitable purposes. Id. at 23-5-158(3). The State Legislature apparently faced problems with Little Leaguers selling raffle tickets to their friends, so it just made the whole thing legal. Raffles are also the only form of gambling in the state where players can use a check rather than cash.

The video poker law, id. at §14:90.4:

A person under twenty-one years of age shall not make a wager on an excursion gambling boat and shall not be allowed in the area of the excursion boat where gambling is being conducted; provided that employees of the licensed operator of the excursion gambling boat who have attained eighteen years of age shall be permitted in the area in which gambling is being conducted when performing employment-related duties, except that no one under twenty-one years of age may be employed as a dealer or accept a wager on an excursion gambling boat.

Maryland’s gambling laws contain a number of unique quirks.

It is a misdemeanor to permit a person under 21 to make a wager. Id. at §§434.060 and 313.817.Bingo and pull-tabs: Children as young as 16 may play or participate in the conducting of bingo, and even those under 16 may attend when accompanied by a parent or guardian, although a child under 16 is not supposed to be allowed to play for money: "No person under the age of sixteen years may play or participate in the conducting of bingo. Any person under the age of sixteen years may be within the area where bingo is being played only when accompanied by his parent or guardian." Id. at §313.040.

Parimutuel betting: Minimum age of 18 posted at tracks.

Nebraska has a state lottery, but also allows cities and counties to run local government lotteries. It is also unique in allowing privately owned for-profit keno games. The lottery law contains a strange age distinction.

(1) A person under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall not:

Parimutuel betting: A strangely worded statute prohibits minors from " making or attempting to make any wager on any horse race." I do not know how a minor could make a bet. The other possible interpretation, that the minor know that the wager was illegal, is almost never accepted by courts, due to the maxim that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Racetrack licensees may not knowingly permit anyone under 18, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, into any parimutuel wagering area. Licensees are also prohibited from knowingly permitting any individual under 18 to place a wager. Id. at §313.670.