Restricting gambling by age is crucial in New Jersey for several different reasons. As with other age-restricted pursuits like smoking and drinking, gambling can be enjoyed once the person can be regarded as an adult. Not to forget that gambling can be an addictive activity that can result in negative effects on one’s health, relationships, and financial situation.
One of the most common questions we get asked is: “what is the legal gambling age in New Jersey? The minimum legal age for gambling in the Garden State ranges from 18-21, depending on the gambling market. What’s confusing is that there are so many gambling options in New Jersey. There’s sports betting, poker, lottery betting, daily fantasy sports, esports, horse racing, bingo, and of course casino gambling.
While someone can be old enough (aka 18+) to buy lottery tickets, bet on dog races, and wager on parimutuels, they may not be allowed to place sports bets, play at a casino, or sit at a poker table. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to wait until you have reached your 21st birthday to gamble in the Garden State.
Here’s the lowdown on the legal age for each gambling market in New Jersey.
What Is the Legal Age to Bet on Sports in New Jersey?
Sports wagering has experienced some sort of a major comeback in recent years in New Jersey thanks to the signing of the bill legalizing it in the state by Gov. Philip Murphy in mid-2018. A handful of other states have also followed in New Jersey’s footsteps and are licensing sportsbooks all the time. New Jerseyians love wagering on NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, and a ton of other major league & collegiate sports.
So, what is the legal age to gamble on sports in New Jersey? While the legal age for sports betting varies from one state to the next, you must be at least 21 years of age to wager on sports markets in the Garden State. This is the same legal age for sports betting online and at physical Atlantic City casinos.
That’s to say that NJ online sportsbooks must also adhere to this age limit. They will have to ask new customers to provide a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or a driver’s license to verify their identities. On top of that, players may have to install geo-location software and provide additional documentation, including a copy of their bank statement or utility bills.
The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement has issued operating licenses to several reputable sportsbook operators. Expect to find some of the biggest players like DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, PointsBet, FanDuel, 888 Sport, Bet365, and Betfair.
All of these legitimate sports betting platforms are loaded with several different wagering markets that cut across multiple sports. Sports bettors can not only wager on major league sports but also college and virtual sports. There are also exciting betting lines on volleyball, tennis, golf, MMA, rugby union, hockey, Formula 1, NASCAR, Aussie Rules, Cycling, Handball, and even politics.
Most sportsbooks allow betting on sports markets right on their sites, no download is needed. However, some do provide mobile sports betting apps that give you a chance to place your bets any time and from anywhere, including on the go.
It’s worth noting, however, that the state gambling regulators prohibit betting on in-state college teams. That’s true even if the matches are being played in another state. For instance, you cannot bet on any Tigers basketball game even if they’re playing against Harvard Crimson in Cambridge, Nittany Lions at University Park Philadelphia, or Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
What is the Legal Age for Casino Gambling in New Jersey?
Whether you plan to play at Atlantic City or elsewhere within the state of New Jersey, you must be at least 21 years of age to enjoy casino gambling. This is according to the Casino Control Act (N.J.S.A. 5:12-119) and all NJ casinos must abide by this gambling age limit.
The security officers at the entrance will ask you for a valid government-issued photo ID, such as your driver’s license before you can get into any casino or simulcast facility in the Garden State. There’s no way you can circumvent this rule. It also helps that alcoholic drinks are usually served at various gambling rooms within Atlantic City casinos.
All legal and regulated NJ online casinos must also adhere to this age restriction, failure of which they can lose their gambling license or get fined heavily. For this reason, you’ll be asked to upload a copy of your driver’s license or any other government-issued photo ID. As an additional measure, the site may request that you email or upload a copy of the most recent utility bill, bank statement, and other forms of documentation during the account verification process.
If the gambling site cannot verify your age or identity, they may confiscate your winnings and suspend/close your account indefinitely. What’s more, the Casino Control Act classifies underage gambling as a criminal offense that carries up to 6 months imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines.
The security officers working at brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City and other parts of the Garden State strictly enforce the age limit. They usually don’t issue any warnings and charge minor gamblers with the disordered person offense. Those found guilty will also get their driver’s licenses suspended for at least six months.
That being said, players in New Jersey love casino gambling. You’ll find them in Atlantic City casinos enjoying a game of baccarat, roulette, craps, blackjack, or slot machines. Some who prefer the comfort of their own homes choose to play at NJ gambling sites where they can take advantage of lucrative casino bonuses, cashback, and other promos.
Choosing the best NJ online casino is a meticulous process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should pick a site that allows you to play a variety of high-quality casino games on both mobile and desktop. Don’t forget to check the site’s RTP, player ratings, and read their online reviews.
In your review process, take a look at the range of banking options on offer; it should be a blend of classic bank cards, e-wallets, and prepaid cards. Those that allow you to deposit with cash using PayNearMe and at the casino cage in Atlantic City are a welcome bonus, too.
Prioritize sites that have a valid gambling license from the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement. Their games should be routinely tested and validated by third-party testing labs like eCOGRA. Fast payouts through a variety of bank accounts and e-wallets will ensure that you will get and enjoy your winnings the soonest.
What Is the Legal Age to Play Poker in New Jersey?
The legal age for casino gambling, sports betting, and poker is similar in New Jersey. That means you must be 21 years of age or older to play poker in Atlantic City or other land-based gambling venues in the state of New Jersey.
Because poker is played on the same floor as blackjack, baccarat, craps, and other casino table games, it’s only natural that the legal age is the same. Fans of the card game will be happy to know that online poker is totally legal in New Jersey. And that goes for cash games, sit-and-go tournaments, and poker series. However, you must be at least 21 years of age to participate in NJ online poker.
Most legal gambling operators in New Jersey offer online poker along with online sportsbooks and online casinos on the same platform. In fact, you can use the same wagering account for all three markets. For instance, 888 Holding offers 888 Poker, 888 Casino, and 888 Sport on the same site, allowing you to switch between these gambling options seamlessly.
Some of the best poker sites in New Jersey also offer live dealer rooms, so you can enjoy that social interaction and the human touch that comes with playing poker in Atlantic City. You’ll find several variants of Hi-Lo and No-Limit Texas Hold’em, Jacks or Better, or Pai Gow Poker.
The online poker software found at NJ gambling sites is usually robust, trustworthy, and reliable. Poker tournaments and cash games are usually held regularly throughout the day with varying pot prizes, from guaranteed $2,500 to lucrative $50,000 weekly cash.
What is the Legal Age for Gambling on Horse Racing in New Jersey?
If you are older than 18 and younger than 21, betting on dog and horse races is a much more suitable gambling option for you in New Jersey. That’s right; you must be at least 18 years of age to visit New Jersey racetracks, such as the Meadowlands, and place bets on a variety of ponies.
It is also legal to place horse racing and dog racing bets online in New Jersey. You must also be 18 and older to do so. Given that betting on real and virtual horse racing is tied to online casinos and sportsbooks, you might have to wait until you hit your 21st birthday to register for an online gambling account.
There are dozens of horse and dog racing betting sites for players in the Garden state to pick from. The vast majority features dog races and horse races from across the US and around the globe, so you should be well-versed with the world of horse racing.
Expect a lot of action and betting options from the world’s best horse racing tournaments that include Belmont Stakes, The Royal Ascot, Nakayama Grand Jump, Melbourne Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, The Grand National, and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships – just to mention a few. Some horse betting sites in New Jersey offer future odds, as well as multi-place, show, and win bets.
What is the Legal Lottery Age in New Jersey?
If you’re here, you are probably wondering: how old should I be to legally buy lottery tickets in the Garden State? Great question!
As with betting on horse racing and pari-mutuels, you’ll have to be at least 18 years of age to play the lottery in New Jersey. This is yet another viable gambling option for younger NJ players, most of which are just getting the taste of adulthood.
The biggest and the most prominent lotto in the Garden State is the New Jersey State Lottery. As you can infer from the name, it’s a state-run lottery that was set up in the 1970s to raise funds for education, rehabilitation, and other state projects. Lotto fans can purchase scratch-offs online, as well as a wide range of draw games. Talk about Pick 3, Pick 4, Jersey Cash 5, Pick 6 Xtra, Powerball, Mega Millions, Cash4Life, Cash Drop, and Quick Draw.
How Old Do I Need to Be to Play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in New Jersey?
DFS betting falls under the same category of casino gambling, sports betting, and poker gambling when it comes to the legal age limit. As such, you must be at least 21 years of age to be able to legally place DFS bets in the Garden State.
As the poster child for online gambling, New Jersey has also legalized betting on DFS over the internet. Once again, you must be 18 and older to do so. If you’re found guilty of playing daily fantasy sports as a minor, you will be charged with underage gambling, which is a criminal offense under the Casino Control Act (N.J.S.A. 5:12-119). This usually carries a minimum jail term of up to 6 months and a penalty of up to $1,000.
That being said, the NJ DFS scene is crowded by the big boys like FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanamana, and Yahoo! Fantasy. These sites allow you to set up DFS bets across the major league and collegiate teams, including NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, and NCAA.
What is the Legal Gambling Age for Bingo in New Jersey?
Bingo is a classic gambling option in New Jersey. And, yes, it’s not restricted to senior citizens and religious events. Residents from all over the Garden State can enjoy bingo games both online locally. In fact, bingo is one of the most popular gambling games accessible outside of Atlantic City.
However, bingo players must be at least 18 years of age to play their favorite games in New Jersey. The most popular games include 80-ball bingo, 75-ball bingo, and 90-ball classic bingo.