The majority of states only let you play slot machines when you’re 21 years or older. Some exceptions do exist, though, such as California, Michigan, and Washington. These states all have tribal casinos that have the option to accept gamblers as young as 18.
Given that the minimum gaming age differs from state to state, you might wonder if it’s possible for you to play online slots at 18 years old.
The following post discusses whether you’re legally allowed to enjoy internet slots at 18. It also offers tips for learning the age-related gaming laws in your state. Finally, this information is going to help you learn how to be safe when you play online slot machine games.
Yes, You Can Play Online Slots at 18…Although the Laws Are Murky
Depending upon the state where you live, you may be able to play online slots at 18 years old. However, the laws are murky on the subject across the board.
Some offshore casinos are willing to accept slots players aged 18 and up. These gaming sites are located in jurisdictions outside of the US and serve Americans without licensing.
Here’s where this subject becomes more muddled. Some states might set the minimum gambling age for land-based casinos at 21. However, they may not include anything in their laws regarding online casinos.
In this situation, gaming sites may decide to accept players who are under 21 years old. I’m not saying that offshore casinos are right to take these players. Some sites, though, will accept younger players if the laws are inconclusive enough.
That said, you essentially can play online slots as an 18-year-old. Everything depends upon the individual state and relevant casino.
It’s Illegal to Play Mobile Slots at Any Age in Some States
Some states flat-out ban online casinos. In these cases, it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80 because you’re not supposed to be playing internet casino games of any kind.
States that fall into this category include:
- South Dakota
You shouldn’t even bother playing online slots in these states if you’re 21 or older. You especially don’t want to play when you’re under 21!
Of course, many gamblers do play mobile slots from these states and get away with it. However, they’re also taking a chance with the law.
No Regulated Markets Allow 18-Year-Olds to Play Online Slots
Several states have legalized and regulated online gaming. They require all operators to apply for and obtain licensing.
Therefore, regulated markets are very official and feature strict rules. No regulated market today allows 18-year-olds to play at online casinos.
Instead, they’ve all set a minimum internet gambling age of 21 so far. These states have ensured that their minimum age for land-based and online casinos match up.
You must enter your age and Social Security number before playing at a regulated mobile casino. The Social Security number is telling regarding your age.
Gaming sites in these markets also require you to provide additional identification before cashing out. You’re unlikely to get away with underage online gambling in these states.
Even if you get away with it for a while, the identification process could trip you up. It involves sending a photo ID and a copy of a recent utility bill. Assuming the ID doesn’t match up, then your account will definitely be closed and your funds could be confiscated.
Do Offshore Casinos Care If You Play Slots When Underaged?
Offshore gaming sites have a reputation for not caring about laws. After all, they serve states and countries without proper licensing.
But in doing so, these casinos want to attract as little attention as possible from authorities. Accepting players of all ages—whether legal or not—is the wrong way to accomplish this goal.
Most notably, casinos require identification when you cash out. Just like regulated gaming sites, they want to see your ID and possibly a utility bill.
The main thing is to ensure that you’re of the proper gambling age in your jurisdiction. Provided this is the case, you should be able to find an offshore site that’ll take your play.
How to Know If You’re Old Enough to Play Mobile Slots
You can take a few different precautions to decide if you’re of age to play online slots. The following tips will help you stay on the right side of the law.
Check the Laws in Your Jurisdiction
The best place to start is with your state’s gambling laws. Specifically, you want to look at the minimum gaming age.
As mentioned before, many states differ on how old slots players need to be. The age limit can be anywhere from 18 to 21.
States with tribal gaming are the most apt to allow 18-year-olds to gamble. After all, tribes can set the gambling rules for the reservations.
Provided you live anywhere near a tribal casino that accepts 18-year-old players, then you could visit a given reservation. You’d be within the bounds of the law when playing at online casinos at 18 in this case.
Georgia, for example, offers a cruise ship that lets 18-year-olds play casino games in international waters. This is another example where you could legally enjoy online casinos.
Determine if Your State Has a Regulated Market
Most states don’t feature a regulated online gaming market. The only states that do regulate mobile casinos at the time of this writing include:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Provided you live in or are visiting one of these states, then you’ll be in a regulated market. As mentioned before, these states only allow those aged 21+ to gamble online.
You might leave one of these markets to enter a neighboring state and be able to play online as an 18-year-old. However, everything will depend upon the laws in the jurisdiction that you’re entering.
Read Online Casinos’ Terms and Conditions
Online casinos lay out their rules on the terms and conditions page. The T&C’s section shows which states/countries are restricted and discuss the minimum gambling age.
Of course, this approach leaves plenty up to interpretation. You really need to pour over your state laws to decide if you’re eligible to play mobile casino games at 18 years old.
Assume the Age Is 21 Until You Can Prove Otherwise
Until proven otherwise, you’re best off assuming that only 21-year-olds can gamble online in your state. After all, this age is the most-common minimum across the US.
You can’t go wrong when waiting until 21 to play at internet casinos. However, you could easily violate your jurisdiction’s laws by gambling under this age when you’re not allowed to.
No simple answer exists for if you’re allowed to play online slots as an 18-year-old. It depends upon multiple factors, including your respective state, the laws, and the given casino.
Many offshore casinos put the onus on players to figure out their state’s minimum gambling age. In some cases, an 18-year-old could be within the right to play internet casino games.
However, this determination can only be made after looking over your state’s laws. Only then will you feel more comfortable playing mobile casino games at 18+.