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--> C Legal-Age Gambling Opportunities and Restrictions I. Nelson Rose By I. Nelson Rose, J.D. Harvard 1979, Professor of Law at Whittier Law School. The author would like to thank his research assistants, Ranjit Indran, James B. Lewis, Kimberly Phillips, and Michael Shelton-Frates for their help with this project. State Lottery Pari-Mutuel Betting Casinos and Slot Machines Charity Bingo & Pull-tabs Alabama 18/19 19 Alaska 18 19/21 Arizona 18 18 18 18 Arkansas 18 California 18 18 18/21 18 Colorado 18 18 21 18 Connecticut 18 18 18/21 18 Delaware 18 18 21 18 District of Columbia 18 18 18 Florida 18 18 18 Georgia 18 None Hawaii Idaho 18 18 None/18 Illinois 18 17 18/21 18 Indiana 18 18 21 18 Iowa 18 18 21 None Kansas 18 18 18 Kentucky 18 18 18 Louisiana 21 18 21 18? Maine 18 18 16 Maryland 18 18 18 16-18 Massachusetts 18 18 18
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--> State Lottery Pari-Mutuel Betting Casinos and Slot Machines Charity Bingo & Pull-tabs Michigan 18 18 18? 18 Minnesota 18 18 18 18 Mississippi 21 18 Missouri 18 18 21 18 Montana 18 18 18 16 Nebraska 18/19 18 18 Nevada 21? 21 21 21? New Hampshire 18 21 18 New Jersey 18 18 21 18 New Mexico 18 18/21 18 None? New York 18 18 18 None North Carolina ? None? North Dakota 18/21 21 18/21 Ohio 18 18 18/60 Oklahoma 18 ? Oregon 18 18 18/21 18 Pennsylvania 18 18 18 None Puerto Rico 18 18 18 18 Rhode Island 18 18 18 18 South Carolina 21 ? South Dakota 18/21 18 21 ? Tennessee Texas 18 21 18 Utah Vermont 18 18 18 Virgin Islands 18 ? Virginia 18 18 18 Washington 18 18 18? 18 West Virginia 18 18 18? 18 Wisconsin 18 18 21/18* None Wyoming 18 ? NOTE: A question mark without a number means that form of gambling is legal in that state, but the minimum age requirements, if any, are not known. A number with a question mark means there is a state limit, but it is unclear whether it applies. This is usually the case with Indian gaming, for which tribes are often free to set their own limits. * Four of 15 tribes have not yet agreed to raise the minimum age to 21.
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--> State by State Analysis ALABAMA—Alabama Code §15-8-150 makes it a crime to bet with a minor. Pari-mutuel betting: The minimum age for betting horse and greyhound racetracks is 18 in some counties, 19 in others: Birmingham and Macon—19, Greene and Mobile—18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59; Alabama Code §11-65-44. Bingo: Non-profit organizations can run bingo games for charitable or educational purposes. The state has separate statutes for various counties and at least one city—all set the minimum playing age as well as the minimum age for conducting or assisting bingo at 19. ALASKA—Alaska has been considering allowing casino gambling on cruise ships between ports in the state, during the course of an international voyage. Slot machines: Alaska Statutes §43.35.040 sets the minimum age at 18 and forbids the location of coin-operated amusement and gaming devices within a radius of 100 yards of a school building. Bingo and pull-tabs: State statutes set the minimum age for bingo at 19, but the age for pull-tabs was raised from 19 to 21 on June 26, 1993. Alaska Statutes §§05.15.180 and 05.15.187. ARIZONA Lottery: It is a misdemeanor to sell a lottery ticket to anyone under 18, but it is not unlawful to give the minor a lottery ticket as a gift. Arizona Revised Statutes §5-515. Pari-mutuel betting: Arizona puts the legal wagering age at 18, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc.'s Pari-mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. The state's statutes By I. Nelson Rose, J.D. Harvard 1979, Professor of law at Whittier Law School. The author would like to thank his research assistants, Ranjit Indran, Jmaes B. Lewis, Kimberly Phillips, and Michael Shelton-Frates for their help with this project.
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--> set the minimum age at the age of majority: Arizona Revised Statutes §5-112 states, "A permittee shall not knowingly permit a minor to be a patron of the pari-mutuel system of wagering." This also would allow an operator to raise the defense that it did not know a child was underage. Casinos: Charities can operate casino nights. The state has entered into compacts with many tribes, authorizing the operation of slot machines and non-banked (revolving deal) card games. The minimum ages for Indian casinos in Arizona is 18. ARKANSAS Pari-mutuel betting: Arkansas's horse racing statute expressly prohibits "any person under eighteen (18) years of age to be a patron of the pari-mutuel or certificate system of wagering conducted or supervised by it." But it is unclear if such persons are prohibited from attending horse races. The dog racing counterpart, prohibits employing a minor or allowing "any minor to be a patron at the racetrack." This language seems closer to prohibiting the presence of children. Arkansas Statutes §§23-110-405 and 23-111-308. CALIFORNIA Lottery: California has a complete set of restrictions, typical of the state lotteries that have addressed youth gambling: (a) No tickets or shares in Lottery Games shall be sold to persons under the age of 18 years. Any person who knowingly sells a ticket or share in a Lottery Game to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person under the age of 18 years who buys a ticket or share in a Lottery is guilty of a misdemeanor. In the case of Lottery tickets or shares sold by Lottery Game Retailers or their employees, these persons shall establish safeguards to assure that the sales are not made to persons under the age of 18 years. In the case of the dispensing of tickets or shares by vending machines or other devices, the Commission shall establish safeguards to help assure that the vending machines or devices are not operated by persons under the age of 18 years.
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--> (b) All tickets or shares in Lottery Games shall include, and any devices which dispense tickets or shares in Lottery Games shall have posted in a conspicuous place thereupon, a notice which declares that state law prohibits the selling of a Lottery ticket or share to, and the payment of any prize to, a person under the age of 18 years. California Government Code §8880.52. "No prize shall be paid to any person under the age of 18 years." Id. §8880.32. Pari-mutuel betting: The age limit of 18 for horse races was established by regulations of the Racing Control Board, not by the legislature in a statute. Casinos: California law allows cities and counties the local option of licensing gaming clubs, limited to non-banked table games. There are more than 300 gaming clubs operating throughout the state—age limits appear to be usually 21. The only state limit is a restriction limiting operators and owners to be at least 18. California Business & Professions Code §19809. Indian tribes are operating slot machines without compacts, in technical violation of the controlling federal law, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. All non-compacted Indian gaming, even when legal, is regulated by the tribe, which can change the age limits whenever it wishes. The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, for example, announced in September, 1995 that it was raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for its casino near Palm Springs and that it was firing all casino workers under 21. Bingo: Minors (currently age 18) are not allowed to participate in bingo games. California Penal Code §326.5. COLORADO Lottery: Colorado Revised Statutes §24-35-214 makes it illegal to sell a lottery ticket to anyone under 18 or for any person under 18 to purchase a ticket. However it permits the receipt of a lottery ticket given as a gift to a person under 18. The difference can be significant: "Any prize won by a person under 18 years of age who purchased a winning ticket in violation of section 24-35-
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--> 214(1)(c) shall be forfeited. If a person otherwise entitled to a prize or a winning ticket is under 18 years of age, the director may direct payment of the prize by delivery to an adult member of the minor's family or a guardian of the minor of a check or draft payable to the order of such minor.'' Pari-mutuel betting: It is illegal to purchase or to sell a pari-mutuel ticket to any person under the age of 18. Colorado Revised Statutes §12-60-601. Casinos: Privately owned casinos are limited to three little mountain towns, with $5 maximum bets. Colorado also has signed compacts with two Indian tribes; age limits are 21. Bingo and pull-tabs: State law prohibits anyone under 18 from playing bingo or buying pull-tabs. However, it also allows anyone 14 or older to "assist in the conduct of bingo or pull-tabs." Colorado Revised Statutes §12-9-107. CONNECTICUT—Connecticut's off-track betting operation, owned and operated by a private company, Autotote, is taking telephone wagers from around the nation. Lottery: Games limited to players over 18. Pari-mutuel betting: Connecticut allows betting on jai-alai, as well as on racing. Connecticut not only bars anyone under 18 from betting, but General Statutes §12-576 prohibits "the presence of any minor under the age of 18 being present in any room, office, building or establishment when off-track betting takes place." Casinos: Charity "Las Vegas Nights" are limited to those over 18. Connecticut General Statutes §186a. The state prohibits anyone under 16 from even being present in a room where gambling is taking place. Connecticut has signed compacts with two Indian tribes. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe apparently felt that 18 was too young, and put its age limit at 21. The tribe's casino, Foxwoods, may be the most profitable casino in the world, with blackjack, craps, etc. and 4,000 slot machines. Bingo and pull-tabs: In its "Sealed tickets" statute Connecticut prohibits the sale to any person less than 18 years of age. Connecticut General Statutes §7-169h.
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--> DELAWARE Lottery: Delaware has the strongest restriction of any state lottery, having locked its 18-year-old age limit into the state constitution. Delaware Constitution Article 2, §17. However state statutes, while prohibiting the sale of lottery tickets to persons under 18, expressly allow the purchase of a ticket for the purpose of making a gift by a person 18 years of age or older to a person less than that age. Delaware Code Title 29, §4810. Pari-mutuel betting and slot machines: While racetracks appear to put the limit at age 18, the state recently amended its laws to allow video lottery machines in racetracks, with an age limit of 21. Delaware Code Title 29, §4810. Bingo: A person has to be 18 or over to participate in any charitable gambling, the prize for which is money; yet, anyone over 16 may participate in Bingo and other charitable games. This must limit 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to games where prizes are merchandise. Delaware Code Title 28, §1139. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Lottery: Limited to players over 18. Casinos and Bingo: Charities in the District of Columbia can run "Monte Carlo Night Parties" as well as bingo. The minimum age to participate as well to be present is 18, but minors under 18 may to be present if accompanied by an adult. D.C. Code §2-2534. FLORIDA Lottery: Limited to players over 18. Pari-mutuel betting: Florida has not only dog and horse tracks, but also jai-alai. State statutes prohibit wagering by a person under the age of 18 but permit admittance if the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Florida Statutes §550.0425. Bingo: State law prevents anyone under 18 from being allowed to play any bingo game or be involved in the conduct of a bingo game in any way. Florida Statutes §849.0931. GEORGIA—The state legislature has enacted a unique law creating civil liability along with the more common criminal punishments. "A parent shall have a right of action against any person
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--> who shall play and bet at any game of chance with his minor child for money or any other thing of value without the parent's permission." Georgia Code §51-1-18. Lottery: State statutes not only prohibit anyone under 18 from buying lottery tickets but also requires conspicuous labels, prohibiting minors from using any electronic or mechanical devices related to the lottery. Georgia Code §50-27-10. Bingo: State law allows a person under 18 to play Bingo if accompanied by an adult. Georgia Code §16-12-58. HAWAII—Hawaii, Utah and Tennessee are the only states with no commercial gambling. Hawaii, like many other states, does allow "social gambling"—minimum age is 18. Hawaii Revised Statutes §712-1231. IDAHO—The Coeur d'Alene tribe has set up a telephone and Internet lottery, the "US Lottery." Lottery: Idaho Code §67-7413 prohibits the knowing sale of tickets to anyone under 18. Pari-mutuel betting: Minors are prohibited from using the pari-mutuel system. Idaho Code §54-2512. Bingo: A person under 18 may not play bingo for a cash prize or in games where the prize exceeds $25.00 worth of merchandise. Idaho Code §67-7703. Therefore, children under 18 may play bingo for money for smaller prizes. ILLINOIS—Illinois is unique in defining a minor (at least under the horse racing statutes) as "any individual under the age of 17 years." Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 230, §5/3.08. The state also makes a distinction between casino gambling run by charities—age 18—and casino gambling run for profit on riverboats—age 21. Lottery: It is unlawful to sell a ticket to anyone under the age of 18, but adults may buy tickets as gifts to minors. "If the person entitled to a prize or any winning ticket is under the age of 18 years, and such prize is less than $2500, the Director may direct payment of the prize by delivery to an adult member of the minor's family or a guardian of the minor of a check or draft pay-
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--> able to the order of such minor. If the person entitled to a prize or any winning ticket is under the age of 18 years, and such prize is $2500 or more, the Director may direct payment to the guardian of such minor. . . ." Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 20, §§1605/15 and 1605/18. Pari-mutuel betting: Minors (defined as age 17) are forbidden from being admitted as a patron during a racing program unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Exceptions are made for employees, licensees, owners, trainers, jockeys, or drivers. Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 230, §5/26. Casinos: The state has both riverboat and charity casinos. The state riverboat statute prohibits any person under 21 betting or even being permitted on an area of a riverboat where gambling is being conducted. An exception is made for employees, but workers must be at least 21 to perform any function involved in gambling. Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 230, §10/11. Illinois charitable casinos do a multi-million dollar business. The "Charitable Games Act" allows the following games: roulette, blackjack, poker, pull-tabs, craps, bang, beat the dealer, big six, gin rummy, five card stud poker, chuck-a-luck, keno, holdem poker and merchandise wheel with a $10.00 maximum bet. Unlike for-profit riverboat casinos, charity casinos are open to anyone over 18. Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 230, § 30/8. Bingo and pull-tabs: Minimum age for bingo and pull-tabs is 18. Illinois Revised Statutes chapter 230, §§20/4 and 25/2. In fact, persons under 18 may not be in the area where bingo is being played, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. INDIANA Lottery: Minimum age 18, but prizes may not be paid to anyone under 18, unless the ticket was received as a gift. Indiana Code §§4-30-9-3, 4-30-11-3, 4-30-12-1, 4-30-13-1. Pari-mutuel betting: Minimum age to work at a racetrack is 16, but the racing commission can license children even younger, who are working for their parent or legal guardian. Indiana Code §4-31-6-5. Casinos: Indiana has riverboat gambling, even though, at this writing, none of the casinos are in operation. The minimum age for an occupational license is 18; however, anyone under 21 is
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--> prohibited from being in the area of a riverboat where gambling is being conducted. Indiana Code §§4-33-8-3, 4-33-9-12. Bingo and pull-tabs: Players must be over 18. Indiana Code §4-32-9-34; Indiana Administrative Code title 45, regulation 18-3-2 (Department of State Revenue). IOWA Lottery: Iowa law prohibits the sale of a lottery ticket to a person under the age of 18, but allows adult to buy tickets for them as gifts. Iowa Code §§99E.16. Pari-mutuel betting: Iowa Code §99D.11, in a simple sentence, prohibits a person under 18 from making a pari-mutuel wager. No one may knowingly permit a person under the age of 18 to make a pari-mutuel wager. Id. at §99D.24. Casinos: Iowa raised the minimum gambling age on its riverboat casinos from 18 to 21 in 1989. It against the law for a licensee to knowingly allow a minor to participate in the gambling, or even to be in the area of the excursion boat where gambling is being conducted. Iowa Code §§99B.6 and 99F.9. Bingo: Iowa makes some specific exemptions to its general prohibition on gambling by anyone under 21. There are no age limits at all for games of chance at carnivals, so long as only non-cash merchandise worth no more than $25 is given as prizes. Bingo similarly has no age limit; cash prizes may be given and are usually limited to $100; however, the bingo game may offer a jackpot of up to $800. KANSAS—The general law of Kansas defines a minor as "a person under 21 years of age"; yet, the lower age of 18 is used for both legal and illegal gambling. Kansas Statutes §§41-2601(l) and (m). Lottery: Kansas goes further than most states in keeping the presence of children out of the state lottery. Besides the usual restriction that licensees must be at least 18, the state legislature has prohibited the Kansas lottery from "recruiting for employment or as a volunteer any person under 18 years of age for the purpose of appearing, being heard or being quoted in any advertising or promotion of any lottery in any electronic or print media." Kansas Statutes §§74-8708, 74-8718, 74-8722.
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--> Pari-mutuel betting: The legislature put the same ban on the Kansas racing commission, prohibiting the use of children in commercials. It is a crime to sell a pari-mutuel ticket to a person knowing such person to be under 18 years of age. Those under 18 are also specifically barred from buying the ticket. Kansas Statutes §§74-8810 and 74-8839. Casinos: The state is in the middle of a protracted fight over Indian casinos. Although the legislature created a joint committee on gaming compacts, no mention was made of minimum age limits. Kansas Statutes §46-2303. Bingo and pull-tabs: Minimum age limit of 18 to participate in the management, operation or conduct of any game of bingo. Kansas Statutes §79-4706. Although "conduct" is not the best word, this statute probably covers playing the game as well. KENTUCKY Lottery: It is a violation to knowingly sell a lottery ticket to someone under 18, and a misdemeanor to do it a second time. This would not prohibit adults from buying lottery tickets for minors. Kentucky Revised Statutes §154A.990. Pari-mutuel betting: Although Kentucky statutes do not expressly cover pari-mutuel betting, Kentucky places an age restriction of 18 on all activities (except drinking); therefore, it is legal for anyone 18 or older to bet at race tracks. Kentucky Revised Statutes §2.015. The state's racing commissioners also report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Bingo: Kentucky has a "Charitable Gaming" Act, which controls bingo games. The age limit is 18. A charitable organization may permit persons under 18 to play bingo if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and if only non-cash prizes are awarded. Kentucky Revised Statutes §238.545. LOUISIANA—The latest state to raise the minimum age for some forms of gambling. Casino gaming was always limited to players over 21, but state Senator Dardenne's SB33 in 1998 amended La.R.S. §§ 27:319, 47:9025(B)(2) and 47:9070, raising the age from 18 to 21 for State Lottery and privately-owned video poker machines. A 19-year-old and the owner of a bar with video poker
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--> Casinos: See Pari-mutuel betting, above. There are many additional specific restrictions, all set at age 21. Nevada Revised Statutes §129.130 prohibits gaming or employment in gaming of a person under 21. Section 205.460 makes it unlawful to allow a person under 21 to enter a gambling establishment or engage in gambling in a gambling establishment. Section 609.210 specifies that every person who employs, or causes to be employed, exhibits or has in his custody for exhibition or employment, any minor, and every parent, relative, guardian, employer, or other person having the care, custody, or control of any minor, who in any way procures or consents to the employment of the minor, in any area of a casino where there is gaming or where the sale of alcoholic beverages is the primary commercial activity unless the minor is in the casino area to provide entertainment pursuant to an employment contract, is guilty of a misdemeanor. NEW HAMPSHIRE Lottery: Tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18; however, gifts by adults are allowed. New Hampshire Revised Statutes §287-F:8 Pari-mutuel betting: Limited to bettor over 21. New Hampshire Revised Statutes §284:33. Bingo and pull-tabs: State law prohibits anyone under 18 to be admitted to or play bingo games. New Hampshire Revised Statutes §§287-E:7, 287-E:10 and 287-E:12. NEW JERSEY—Mostly as historic accidents, New Jersey has chosen a different standard for each type of gambling permitted by law. Pari-mutuel: minors. Bingo: 18 with no exceptions. State lottery: 18, but tickets may be received by children as gifts. Casinos: drinking age. Lottery: Tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18; gifts by adults are allowed. Minimum age for lottery agents is 21. New Jersey Revised Statutes §§5:9-15 and 5:9-7. Pari-mutuel betting: Strict restrictions on minors, which is currently 18. New Jersey Statutes §5:5-65. Casinos: Atlantic City casinos must exclude anyone not old enough to drink alcoholic beverages, currently 21. New Jersey Statutes §5:12-119. As explained in the text, the state allows a
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--> casino to claim it did not know the minor was under 21 only when the casino is charged with a criminal offense; strict liability is imposed for all non-criminal procedures, including administrative fines. Bingo: Prohibited to anyone under 18. New Jersey Statutes §5:8-32. NEW MEXICO—Tribes opened casinos without compacts. The Governor then signed compacts, but the State Supreme Court and federal courts ruled he did not have the power to authorize forms of gambling not permitted under New Mexico state law. The Legislature approved a compromise: compacts for tribes, with a heavy state tax, and slot machines for race tracks and fraternal organizations. The tribes reluctantly agreed to the compacts, but are challenging the tax aspect, which does appear to violate the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The state is unique in allowing betting on bicycle races. Lottery: Tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18, but gifts by adults are permitted. Lottery retailers must be at least 18. New Mexico Statutes §§6-24-14, 6-24-15, and 6-24-32. Pari-mutuel betting: Betting on bicycle races is limited to age 21. The horse racing statutes do not give a minimum age for placing a bet. The state's racing commissioners report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Casinos: Compacts require Indian casinos to limit players to a minimum gambling age of 21. Bingo and pull-tabs: New Mexico gambling statutes do not specify a minimum age for players. NEW YORK—New York has signed a compact with the Oneida tribe, resulting in an Indian casino without slot machines; Turning Stone is probably the most profitable table-games-only casino in the world. New York off-track betting operations are taking telephone wagers from around the nation. The state also allows charities to run casino nights; minimum age is 18. New York General Municipal Law §195-a. 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.
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--> The New York courts upheld the right of the underage recipient to collect if his ticket wins. New York Tax Law §1610, Pando v. Fernandez 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). Pari-mutuel betting: Tracks and off-track betting operations are required to prevent betting by anyone who is actually and apparently under 18 years of age. This gives racing operators the excuse that the minor looked over 18. New York Racing and Pari-mutuel Law §104. Bingo and pull-tabs: New York General Municipal Law §486 allows anyone under 18 to participate in bingo games, if accompanied by an adult. Casinos: New York has signed a compact with the Oneida tribe creating Turning Stone, the largest casino in the world without slot machines. The state also allows charities to run casino nights. NORTH CAROLINA—North Carolina has signed a compact to allow the Cherokee Tribe to operate video gaming at its bingo hall. Bingo: State Bingo statutes do not specify a minimum age for players. NORTH DAKOTA Lottery: North Dakota is the only state where voters refused to authorize a state lottery, in part because the state already has so many other forms of gambling, including charity casinos. Pari-mutuel betting: North Dakota allows a primitive form of pari-mutuel betting, called Calcutta Pool, on all sporting events other than high school contests—age limit 18. North Dakota Century Code §53-06.1-07.3. North Dakota is apparently the only state to put a higher limit—minimum age 21—on pari-mutuel wagering at OTBs than at the track. The state's racing commissioners report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Casinos: North Dakota Century Code §53-06.1-07.1 prevents any person under 21 from directly or indirectly playing games of pull-tabs, punchboards, twenty-one, calcuttas, sports pools,
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--> paddlewheels, or poker. Low limit blackjack, for charity, is common throughout the state. Tribes operate full-scale casinos under compacts. Bingo and pull-tabs: Although pull-tabs are restricted to players over 21, bingo is limited to players over 18, unless accompanied by an adult. North Dakota Century Code §53-06.1-07.1. OHIO Lottery: Ohio Revised Code §3770.08 prohibits the sale of a lottery ticket or chance to a person under 18 years of age. Pari-mutuel betting: "Minors," currently age 18, are barred from participating. Regulation 3731.2. Bingo: A wonderful minimum age: Participants and operators in Bingo games conducted by multipurpose senior centers must be at least 60 years old. Employees at other bingo halls must be over 18. Ohio Revised Code §§173.121 and 2915.09. OKLAHOMA Pari-mutuel betting: Oklahoma Statutes title 3A§208.4 prevents any organization licensee from knowingly permitting any minor to be a patron of the pari-mutuel system of wagering conducted by the organization licensee. OREGON—The state lottery operates video poker machines and takes bets on sports events. Tribes in the state are operating full-scale casinos pursuant to compacts. Lottery: The state has a strict scheme for dealing with minors. Lottery tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18. If someone under 18 wins the lottery, they may not be paid the prize. This effectively eliminates adults buying tickets as gifts. Oregon Revised Statutes §§461.250, 461.300, and 461.600. Pari-mutuel betting: If a track has a reasonable doubt that a patron is over 18, it must require the bettor to make a written statement of age and furnish evidence of his true age and identity. The state statutes prevent any person under 18 from entering a race course, except when accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older who is the person's parent, guardian, or spouse; or when in the performance of a duty incident to employment. It further prohibits any person under 12 from entering after 6 p.m.
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--> This statute also prohibits any person under 18 from loitering in the wagering area of a race course. Oregon Revised Statutes §§462.190 and 462.195. Casinos: Video poker is limited to age 21 and older, because the devices are limited to establishments with liquor licenses. However, the first Indian/State casino compact put the minimum age at 18 for video poker machines; all later compacts put the age at 21. Compacts were also signed putting the minimum age at 18 for bingo and blackjack. So, the present situation allows one Indian casino to let 18-year-olds gamble at all of its games; the other Indian casinos must restrict machine gambling to age 21, but may allow 18-year-olds to play every other game. The compacts for blackjack are only temporary, and the state will insist that the age for that game be raised to 21. Besides the Indian casinos, the state has cardrooms for poker and blackjack under a vaguely worded statute allowing "contests of chance." Oregon Revised Statutes §163.575 makes it a crime of endangering the welfare of a minor if the person knowingly induces, causes, or permits a person under 18 to participate in gambling. PENNSYLVANIA Lottery: Lottery tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18, but adults may give tickets as gifts to minors. Lottery agents must be over 21. Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes title 72 §§3761-6, 3761-10. Pari-mutuel betting: Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes title 4 §325.228 states, "No licensed corporation shall permit any person who is actually and apparently under 18 years of age to wager at a race meeting conducted by it. No licensed corporation shall permit any person who is under 18 years of age to attend a horse race meeting conducted by it unless the person is accompanied by a parent or guardian." Casinos: Charities can operate casinos under Pennsylvania's "Small Games of Chance Act," minimum age limit is 18. Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes title 10 §320. Bingo: Persons under 18 are not permitted to play bingo unless accompanied by an adult. Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes title 10 §305.
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--> PUERTO RICO—Puerto Rico allows betting on cockfights, bolitas, and various other forms of gambling, including full-scale casinos with an unusual twist: the slot machines are owned and operated by the Commonwealth government itself. Lottery: Sales prohibited to persons under 18. Puerto Rico Laws title 15 §§809 and 814. Pari-mutuel betting: No age limit is mentioned in the statute. The state's racing commissioners report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Casinos: "No gambling room shall be permitted to advertise or otherwise offer their facilities to the public of Puerto Rico; or to admit persons under 18 years of age." Puerto Rico Laws title 15 §77. Despite the obvious infringement on free speech, this statute was declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Posadas de Puerto Rico Assoc. v. Tourism Co., 478 U.S. 328, 92 L.Ed.2d 266, 106 S.Ct. 2968 (1986). Bingo: Puerto Rico Laws title 15 §71 equates bingo to other gambling games such as roulette, dice, and cards, thus bingo would be governed under §77's 18-year-old age limit. RHODE ISLAND—The Rhode Island state lottery operates video lottery terminals at racetracks. Lottery: "No person under the age of eighteen (18) years may play a video lottery game authorized by this chapter, nor shall any licensed video lottery retailer knowingly permit a minor to play a video lottery machine or knowingly pay a minor with respect to a video lottery credit slip. Violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500)." Lottery tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18, but adults may give tickets as gifts to minors. Lottery agents must be over 21. General Laws of Rhode Island §42-61.2-5, 11-19-32, and 42-61-9. Pari-mutuel: Licensees may not admit anyone under 18 into a building where pari-mutuel betting or simulcast is taking place, nor knowingly permit any minor to be a patron of the pari-mutuel system or any other betting system. General Laws of Rhode Island §§41-4-2 and 41-11-4. Bingo and pull-tabs: Anyone under 18 is not permitted to play. General Laws of Rhode Island §11-19-32.
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--> SOUTH CAROLINA—South Carolina accidentally legalized video gaming devices, with off-beat restrictions, through a series of strange statutes and court decisions. In 1988, Terry Blackmon, a grocery store owner, was indicated for paying players for the free replays they won on his store's video poker machines. The State Supreme Court ruled that a poorly worded anti-slot machine statute actually legalized the devices. The legislature had exempted "coin-operated nonpayout machines with a free play feature." The Court declared that video gaming devices were legal, so long as the machine itself did not dispense money. However, the Court later ruled that an even more ancient statute allowed losers to sue and get their money back. In June 1993 the state legislature enacted a new law in an attempt to clarify that at least some of these "video game machines" are legal, so long as they are approved by local voters, and pay no more than $125 per day. But the State Supreme Court continues to render conflicting decisions and law-suits against video poker are pending. In the most recent case, the Court ruled three-to-two that not all video games are created equal. Under the majority's reading of South Carolina laws, video poker machines are legal, but video slot machines are illegal and can be ordered destroyed. State v. Four Video Slot Machines , S.C., 453 S.E.2d 896 (1995); State v. Blackmon, 304 S.C. 270, 403 S.E.2d 660 (1991); Berkebile v. Outen, 311 S.C. 50, 426 S.E.2d 760 (1993); Code of Laws of South Carolina §§32-1-10, 12-21-2791, and 61-9-410. No one under 21 may play or collect winnings. SOUTH DAKOTA—South Dakota was one of the first states to allow its state lottery to set up video lottery terminals, slot machines without coin drops. The state also allows full-scale, low-stake casinos in Deadwood and on Indian land. Lottery: Lottery tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18. However, to play a video lottery terminal a gambler must be at least 21. South Dakota Codified Laws §§42-7A-13, 42-7A-32, 42-7A-44, and 42-7A-48. Pari-mutuel betting: South Dakota Codified Laws §42-7-76 prohibits a racetrack licensee from permitting any individual under the age of 18 to place a bet on a race. Casinos: Participation in casino games is limited to gamblers
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--> 21 and older. South Dakota Codified Laws §§42-7B-35, 42-7B-4, and 42-7B-25. TENNESSEE Pari-mutuel betting: Tennessee had legalized horse racing, but the statute contained a sunset clause, causing it to expire by its own terms before a track could be licensed or built. The age limit was clearly stated: Code §4-36-310 stated in its entirety, ''No person under eighteen (18) years of age shall be permitted to wager at any race meeting." TEXAS Lottery: Lottery tickets may not be sold to anyone under 18, but adults may give tickets as gifts to minors. Texas Government Code §466.253. Pari-mutuel betting: Minimum age for betting is defined as the minimum age for buying alcoholic drinks. Bingo and pull-tabs: Texas Civil Code Art. 179d prohibits any person from knowingly permitting any individual under 18, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18, to be admitted to a bingo parlor. UTAH—Utah, Hawaii, and Tennessee are the only states prohibiting all forms of commercial gambling. Utah, unlike Hawaii, does not even allow social bets. VERMONT Lottery: Vermont limits its state lottery to persons who have "attained the age of majority," currently 18. However, minors may receive lottery tickets as gifts. Vermont Statutes title 13 §2143, title 31 §§654 and 661. Pari-mutuel betting: Vermont Statutes title 31 §613 prohibits a minor from participating in any pari-mutuel pools or even to be admitted to any pari-mutuel enclosure. Bingo and pull-tabs: Like the lottery, limited to age of majority. VIRGIN ISLANDS—In 1995 the Virgin Islands began formal steps to legalize casinos. Lottery: Virgin Islands Code title 32 §254 prohibits sales to
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--> anyone under the age of 18. This does not prohibit gifts by adults to minors. VIRGINIA Lottery: Code of Virginia §§58.1-4015 states, "No ticket shall be sold to or redeemed from any person under the age of 18 years. Any licensee who knowingly sells or offers to sell or redeem a lottery ticket or shares to or from any person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor." Pari-mutuel betting: Code of Virginia §59.1-403 prevents any person under 18 from wagering on or conducting any wagering on the outcome of a horse race. Bingo and pull-tabs: Instant bingo is limited to players over 18. Code of Virginia §18.2-340.5. WASHINGTON—The state has entered into compacts allowing tribes to open casinos without slot machines. Lottery: Revised Code of Washington §67.70.120 prohibits sales to anyone under 18. This does not prohibit gifts by adults to minors. Pari-mutuel betting: The state's racing commissioners report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Casinos: Besides Indian casinos, Washington allows cardrooms, where poker and blackjack are played. Revised Code of Washington §9.46.0305 prevents minors from wagering. Bingo and pull-tabs: These games may be covered by §9.46.0305, mentioned above. WEST VIRGINIA—The West Virginia state lottery operates video lottery terminals in racetracks. Lottery: West Virginia Code §29-22-11 prohibits sales to anyone under the age of 18. This does not prohibit gifts by adults to minors. Pari-mutuel betting: The state's racing commissioners report the minimum age as being 18. Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc., Pari-Mutuel Racing: 1996 at 59. Bingo: Bingo operators are prohibited from allowing anyone under 18 to participate in the playing of any bingo game with
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--> knowledge or reason to believe that the individual is under the age of 18. However, an individual 18 may attend the playing of a bingo game when accompanied by and under the supervision of an adult relative or a legal guardian. West Virginia Code §47-20-4 WISCONSIN Lottery: Wisconsin has a comprehensive statutory scheme for handling minors and lottery tickets. Like many other states, the minimum age is 18, although minors may receive tickets as gifts. Wisconsin is one of the few states to specifically go after a minor's adult agent: The state makes it a crime to sell a lottery ticket not only to a minor but to an adult who is buying on behalf of the minor and not as a gift. Wisconsin Statutes §§565.17, 565.30, 565.12, and 565.10. Pari-mutuel betting: Wisconsin Statutes §444.09 prevents any person under 18 "to be admitted to a racetrack, unless accompanied by a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, guardian or spouse who is at least 18 years of age, or unless accompanied by another person at least 18 with the written permission of the minor's parent or guardian." Even at the track 18-year-olds may not make a wager or receive any payout on a wager and no licensee may knowingly accept a wager or pay out winnings to anyone under 18. No one under 16 may work in any pari-mutuel wagering activity. Bingo and pull-tabs: Anyone under 18 may not play bingo, unless accompanied by that person's parent, guardian, or spouse. Wisconsin Statutes §563.51. Casinos: The state entered into compacts allowing tribes to open full-scale, high-stake casinos—with expirations dates beginning in 1998. When the compacts came up for renewal, the state asked for more money and insisted that the age limit be raised from 18 to 21. So far, 11 of the state's 15 tribes have agreed. Wisconsin: New Compacts Guarantee State Tribal Payments, Casino Journal's National Gaming Summary at p. 12 (January 4, 1999). WYOMING Pari-mutuel betting: Wyoming Statutes §11-25-109 states, "No person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall place or be allowed to place a bet."
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--> Source: I. Nelson Rose, Gambling and the Law: Minimum Legal Age to Place A Bet. Costa Mesa, CA: Whittier Law School, 1999. Reprinted with permission.
Representative terms from entire chapter: