While a large number of states had the minimum gambling age set at 21, over time there have been some changes and a general relaxation of these gambling age-based restrictions. The online gambling and betting sector has opened up across the country, and with the advent of widespread online casinos there are more people playing than ever before. It’s worth knowing which states are easiest for all to play in and which ones have the strictest legal gambling age, as there are some that still have quite draconian and strict preventative restrictions—as outlined below.


This comes as a bit of a shock, in that Louisiana is known as being somewhat of an entertainment state; yet, you need to be 21 to play at the casinos and on online gambling sites (at least you can still buy a lottery ticket at 18). 

This state takes a very hard line against any illegal gambling and betting agents, whether online or on the street. The area is well known for its history of river boats and all manner of gambling, yet they have kept the age limits in place, and even as recently as 2021, it was stated that anyone caught up in underage gambling or in online gambling is likely to be fined up to $500. 

The trick is to always ask what the age restrictions are before you lay a single bet, as it’s just not worth being caught out. The online versions usually have these age limits and start restrictions clearly displayed on the website.


In order to gamble in Nevada, you need to be 21 across the board and they do not have a state-sanctioned lottery. Perhaps because the state has the Las Vegas Strip they needed to keep laws as strict as possible to maintain credibility and legitimacy. It seems to have worked, as there are seldom any issues with the presentation of appropriate ID to play and gamble. This strictness also extends to the many great online gambling sites and it is in these clear age guidelines that the state has been able to maintain credibility and provide a socially accepted form of entertainment—the casino.

North Dakota

Strict legal gambling age limits in North Dakota are a feature of the state’s entertainment laws—18 years of age for the lottery and 21 years of age for bricks-and-mortar casino gambling. The online variant is not legal at all, and while visitors and residents of the state are able to play at the many offshore online casinos that exist, these will carry a general age limit of 18. It must be reiterated that any illegal, unregistered gambling is highly frowned upon, and again, will carry a substantial fine and could lead to a criminal record.

These three states have the strictest legal age for gambling that there is in the US. Although gambling, and specifically online casinos have become more mainstream and more socially legitimate, these states still have restrictions in place that will limit the play and gambling to those over the age of 21.