Legal Sports Betting Age In The USA

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There are many important aspects when it comes to picking a legal sports betting venue. Whether online or on land, you will want to check out the credentials, the history of the establishment, player reviews, and more. That being said, the legal sports betting age is something that many people forget to take in to consideration. Many high school and college students use fake Id’s to get in to bars every day, and you would be surprised how many attempt to pull the same stunt with sports betting venues. 

In this article, we are going to examine why there needs to be a legal betting age in the first place. You can probably guess some of the reasons, but we will illuminate some new ones that you might not be aware of. We will also look as the age difference between states, and why underage betting is bad. Finally, we will look at the difference in age laws between online and land-based establishments.

Why Is There A Legal Sports Betting Age?

The simple answer is that children (under 18) can’t open a checking account in America, without parental permission at least. If you don’t have funds to bet with, you shouldn’t be betting. The legal sports betting age is always going to be over 18 because of this. Any game of chance or skill with real money involved will usually only be available for adults only.

There is a legal sports betting age for the same reasons there are sports betting laws at all. A game that involves exchanging funds on a large scale in an organized environment needs to be regulated. So, along with laws about the location, who the venue can serve, and how much money can be bet/won, there will also be an age requirement.

Is The Age Different In Each State?

The legal sports betting age is not universal, unfortunately. Thankfully, the internet exists, so it’s simple to hop online and check out your state laws. Each state has different requirements for bettors, with some states not even setting an age. For the most part, you will find that states either require you to be 18 or 21. Some states, such as Alaska, do not have a stated age. These states generally do not have any type of legal betting for residents anyway, so they don’t feel the need to regulate age. One state, Alabama, sets the age at 19. That is easy to remember because it is the first state alphabetically.

Why Underage Sports Betting Is Bad

Would you give a child a bank account and access to a casino? I hope not. Now, sports betting arguably involves much more skill than a slot machine, which is pure luck. Still, the government brands sports betting a game of chance, so it’s therefore lumped in with gambling when it comes to the law. Underage sports betting is bad for many reasons, and not just for the legal repercussions. For instance, if you go into a casino that offers sports betting and get caught, you will most likely be banned for life. These casino employees talk to each other frequently. And what do people that work the same job usually talk about? Job gossip. Not only could your reputation be tarnished at a single casino, it could be spread around the entire town.

Casinos will not usually press charges if it’s a first offense, but that isn’t always the case. You could face legal trouble simply for walking on the floor of a casino. At the least, you will be escorted out and told to never return. Online sportsbooks don’t have the ability to physically remove you, but they can simply disable your account indefinitely. They can also keep your money, meaning you will forfeit whatever is in your bankroll. Underage sports betting is simply a bad idea all around, and one that is easy to avoid. Just wait until you are of legal sports betting age before taking part.

Is The Age Different For Online And Land-Based Sports Betting?

The age will vary according to certain stipulations for most sports betting venues. Online sportsbooks generally have an age requirement of 18. However, I highly recommend going by your states legal sports betting age. For example, if your state requires you to be 21, you should wait until you are 21 to join an online sportsbook.

Land-based sports betting establishments generally set the age at 21. This is because most of them are in casinos, and/or serve alcohol. As a matter of fact, all legal land-based sportsbooks in the nation are either in Nevada or Delaware. This is because of a law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which bans sports betting facilities in most states. The online sportsbooks all operate overseas, and are therefore the go-to places for 99% of sports bettors in America.

Whether you are just jumping in to the sports betting world, or you have been at it for a long time, there is a lot of legal fun to be had. You will have no problems finding a profitable good time, provided you are of age. Remember to always check your state laws first, and you will be a-ok.

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