What To Do When You're 18 In a 21+ Casino State

Let’s say you and your friends (or significant other) decided to take a trip to a state in the US with casino gambling but come to realize that not all of the members of your party will be able to enjoy the entirety of the state’s gambling offers. We’ve got the guide just for you. Sometimes it’s hard to confirm ahead of time if your group will be able to do everything you’ve planned. Whether you got caught up in planning and packing and forgot to check or your group rationalized that there “must be something else” those who are underage can do while they’re gambling, we can help.

We also recommend using our gambling age by US state guide to verify what gaming options are available to young adults.

Plan Ahead – Make Sure Your Hotel Knows Your Age

It’s essential to confirm that the hotel your group will be staying in will accept eighteen-year-olds. Some hotels prefer teenagers to have an adult present that can be held responsible for any damage or incidents, and by that standard, they mean someone who is between 21 and 25 years old. Multiple resorts and hotels across the US have even imposed policies that do not allow anyone under the age of 25 to be the one who checks into the room.

If no one in your group is old enough to check and you find yourselves in a position where an “adult” is needed, then you will likely be forced to stay at a property with more lenient check-in policies, which could significantly alter your plans. It would be a shame to have planned to stay at a specific hotel or location and being rejected at the door. For this reason, it is best to confirm the availability and age requirement to check-in ahead of leaving for your trip.

Where Can I Gamble in a 21+ State if I’m 18?

Some states do not have one set minimum gambling age for all of their available forms of gambling. However, others do. Depending on the state your group has traveled to alternative gambling options to gamble with such as play bingo, the lottery, keno, or wager on horse or dog races may be available.

In certain states, even advanced gaming forms such as poker and sports betting may be available to players who are 18 and over, but we suggest confirming with our gambling age guide referenced in the first section.

In rare cases, some state-licensed casinos may allow 18+ gambling and 21+ gambling, often restricting where on the casino floor younger players are permitted to be. In these situations, the dependence of an active alcohol license may prohibit or permit young adults from wagering here. We detail this information in our gambling age by state guide.

Other viable options include utilizing offshore online 18+ casinos which welcome US players who are at least eighteen to play on their computer or phone. This is a great option for eighteen-year-olds who cannot enter and gamble at any of the state’s licensed land-based or online casinos.

Are Minimum Ages Heavily Enforced?

Yes, and rightfully so. In any state with a minimum casino gambling age of 21, there is usually on-site security or law enforcement to ensure that there is no underage gambling taking place. Therefore, it is not a good idea to try to lie to get in or sneak in.

States with a minimum gambling age of 21 impose harsh penalties on casinos that knowingly or unknowingly allow young adults to gamble. Therefore, the casinos implement policies to deter underage gambling such as checking IDs or requiring social security numbers upon cashing out.

For this reason, we recommend young adults interested in gambling use offshore casinos.  Unless you travel to Connecticut or Washington, you will not encounter any state laws that prohibit online casinos that legally operate offshore.

What Else Can I Do as an 18 Year Old In a 21+ State?

If you or others in your group who are not 21 are looking for some entertainment while the rest of your group is out gambling, there several options to choose from. These options can include going to amusement parks, museums, arcades, the cinema, drive-in movies, bowling alleys, pools, water parks, musical or theatrical performances, or exploring the city your group is staying in.

Some towns are known for specific events, shows, or festivals if you can plan a trip around these periods it extends the options for activities that you and your entire group can enjoy together.

If you know your group will only be a few hours at most away from you, take the time to go shopping, eat at unique restaurants, or visit nearby attractions like zoos or hiking trails. However, it is always more fun to do these things with friends. Our last suggestion is to plan your next road trip to US states with 18+ casinos so everyone can be on the same page.