Gambling by US State - Your Guide

Gambling rules and laws differ not only from country to country but also from state to state. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about gambling in the US. Let’s get into it.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Gamble?

This is by far the most frequently asked question when it comes to online gambling. In the US, the gambling age not only differs based on your state but also the type of gambling. We break everything down in the table below.

State Poker Rooms Lottery Casinos Bingo Parimutuel Dogs/Horse racing
California18/21 (depends on casino)1818/21 (depends on casino)181818
Georgia18 (just cruises)181818N/A18
Michigan18/21 (depends on casino)1818181818
New Jersey211821181818
New Hampshire211821181818
New Mexico211821No limit1818
New York211821181818
North Carolina21182118N/AN/A
North Dakota211821181818
Rhode Island211821181818
South Carolina181821 (Just cruises)18N/AN/A
South DakotaN/AN/A18 (Indian Casinos)N/AN/AN/A
West Virginia2118211818N/A

Bonuses for UFC Bettors

Sportsbooks offer plenty of bonuses for UFC bettors. See the most common ones below.


Lottery gambling involves drawing numbers to win cash prizes. The game is very popular in the US, with states winning their own lotteries and some lotteries operating across state lines. A few multi-state lotteries include Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America, and Tri-State Megabucks.

It’s not hard to see why the lottery is so popular. A lottery jackpot could change a lucky winner’s life. In fact, the current US jackpot stands at $467 Million.


When you hear the word gambling, the first thing that comes to mind is a casino. Most states in the US have at least one brick-and-mortar casino. Some of the most popular casino games include roulette, slots, blackjack, and poker. For those who prefer to play online, there are plenty of options as well.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is gaining popularity in the US since the US Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in 2018. Since then, several states have legalized sports betting. Some popular sports to bet on include the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, as well as college sports.


Poker, both online and offline, is one of the most loved gambling games in the US. As a result, the U.S. Poker Open was created in 2018. The Poker Open consists of a string of poker tournaments. This tournament has high stakes, with buy-ins ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.


Bingo is no longer limited to church fundraisers. With so many online bingo games to choose from, the demographics have changed. Many younger players are enjoying bingo too.

Bonuses for Online Casino and Sports Bettors

To attract new players, online sportsbooks and casinos offer generous bonuses. See below some popular ones you can expect at any good casino or sportsbook.

Welcome Bonus

This is the bonus you receive for registering at a sportsbook. It comes in multiple forms, for example, no-deposit bonuses, deposit bonuses, free spins, risk-free bets, etc.

Risk-free Bets

Risk-free bets ensure all the rewards with none of the risk. For example, if the player you bet on to win ends up losing, you get a free bet to the value of the stake you lost. However, if you win, you receive your winnings just like you would any other bet.

No-Deposit Bonus

No-deposit bonuses do not require you to make a real money deposit first. These are not very common, so if you do come across one, grab it.

Boosted Odds

Boosted odds are when sportsbooks enhance the odds. This basically means an increased payout.

Loyalty Rewards

Top sportsbooks offer loyalty or VIP programs to reward their regular players. A common rewards system is the points system, where you receive points for betting. The more points you get, the higher your VIP level.

Sports Bets You Can Place in the US

There are plenty of different sports bets you can place at US sportsbooks. See some of the most common options below.

Point Spreads
Parimutuel Betting
Live Bets
Proposition Bets
Each Way Bets
Straight Forecasts
Reverse Forecasts
Combination Forecasts
Straight Tricasts
Combination Tricasts 


This is a straightforward bet and requires you to place a wager on what you think the outcome of an event will be.


A parlay is one bet with multiple selections. When a selection wins, your winnings roll over to the next. However, if you lose one parlay leg (selection), you lose everything. Parlays are very risky, however, they are also very rewarding should your predictions be correct.


This is a synonym for a parlay with two bet selections.


This is a synonym for a parlay with three bet selections.

Point Spreads

A point spread is when the casino evens the odds by boosting the underdog. You then bet on whether you think the favorite will win or not.

Parimutuel Betting

Parimutuel Betting is most common in horse racing and entails a bettor predicting who will take the first three places in a race. The winners receive a portion of the losers’ stakes. So, how much you win depends on the total amount bet, not the sportsbooks' odds.

Live Bets

Live bets are bets placed on events or games that are in action.


With this type of bet, the sportsbook suggests, for example, the total number of points by halftime. You can then bet on whether you think the number will be over or under.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets are bets placed on anything but the result of a game or match, for example, an individual player’s performance or the half-time score.

Each Way Bets

Each Way Bets are often placed on horse races and essentially means that your chosen horse will either win or receive a place in a race. In races with 5-7 horses, the first two finishers pay out. For 8 or more it changes to the top 3 places.

Straight Forecasts

With this bet you select two horses that will win and come in second place. To win, you have to predict the correct order.

Reverse Forecasts

A reverse forecast is when you select two horses that will win and come in second place in any order.

Combination Forecasts

In combination forecasts, you select three or more horses. You win if two of these horses finish in first and second place, in any order.

Straight Tricasts

Here you get to select three horses that will finish in first, second and third place. They have to win in the order you predicted to pay out.

Combination Tricasts 

Here you get to select three horses that will finish in first, second and third place, in any order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Online Casinos Games Fair?

Yes. Top online casinos ensure fair gaming by using random number generation software. A good indicator that a casino is fair is if it has an online gambling license.

Who Regulates Gambling in the US?

Gambling regulations differ from country to country. In the US, there is no governing body that regulates all gambling. Instead, every state has the right to determine its own rules and regulations, and appoint its own regulatory bodies. These regulatory bodies often come in the form of lottery boards or gaming commissions.

Is Online Gambling Legal in all US States?

No. Not all US states have legalized online gambling. Thus, make sure it is legal in your state before joining an online casino. Also, ensure that the casino you are joining is licensed in your state. These casinos tend to be more secure.

Is The Legal gambling Age The Same in All US States?

No. Since each state determines their own laws, the legal gambling age also differs from state to state. In some states, different gambling types might also have different gambling ages. For example, you have to be 21 to play the lottery but 18 to play at an online casino.

Is Mobile Gambling Legal in the US?

Yes. However, keep in mind that online gambling rules differ from state to state. So always make sure what’s legal in your state before gambling online.

Is My Money Safe at an Online Casino?

Yes, if you are playing at a secure US casino. All casinos operating in your state need to have the proper licensing and safety precautions in place before they can offer online gambling services. All our recommended US casinos are also heavily encrypted, which means your information and money is safe.

How do I Report Suspicious or Unfair Casino Operations?

If you believe that a site is unfair, you can always contact the casino owner or operator. If the casino is licensed by a governing body in your state, you can also contact the licensing institution directly to have them look into the matter.

What Are The Laws Regarding Juvenile Gambling?

Like all other gambling-related laws, it differs from one state to another. Some common consequences include fines upwards of $1,000, prison time, and driver’s license suspensions.

What Do Online Casinos Do to Prevent Underage Gambling?

Online casinos have measures in place to prevent underage players from gambling. These include verifying their identity when registering by requesting official identification documents.

Mobile Casinos