How old do you have to be to play online poker?
Many wonder where they can play poker online legally in the U.S. and how old you have to be to do so. In today’s complicated U.S. online gambling landscape, the short answer is: you have to be 21 years old to play on U.S.-regulated sites currently approved to operate, but the long answer is: it depends.
While online poker is not regulated at the federal level, it is not considered illegal by the U.S. government, thereby opening the possibility for states to regulate it within their respective jurisdictions. Online poker is legal and regulated in the following four states: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
Players physically located within the states of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware can play at regulated U.S. sites for real money, provided they are 21 years of age or older.
Regulated online gaming in Pennsylvania has yet to go live. Once iGaming is available in the Keystone State, players there will also need to be at least 21 years old and be within the state borders to be authorized to play on their U.S.-regulated sites.
How old do you have to be to play poker in the United States?
The age requirements in these four state-regulated markets match the legal gambling age for live casinos in their respective states.
At unregulated online poker sites, or the sites based offshore that U.S. players can access within the states, required gambling age may differ.
America’s Card Room (ACR), one of the U.S.-facing illegal offshore site, requires their players to be at least 18, and emphasize that underage play is prohibited.
While most states do not have explicit laws prohibiting online gambling, a few do. In Washington State, online gambling is considered a felony offense, though there have been no arrests for online poker offenses. Playing online poker can also be criminalized by default in states such as Utah and Louisiana, which have laws against individual gamblers.
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