No one likes being told what they can and can’t do, especially when they’re legal adults. Just ask any bettors between the ages of 18 and 20.
For most states in America that allow land-based casino gambling, the set age requirement is 21-years-old. However, some states, like Florida, offer a compromise. Well, more like a loophole that offers some great options for gamblers under 21.
The laws of the Sunshine State dictate that casino gamblers must be 21 and over. Luckily for the excluded players — including 18, 19, and 20-year-olds — Florida allows card rooms.
Card rooms in Florida, also referred to as poker rooms, are establishments that usually feature a mix of pari-mutuel racing and a variety of poker tables. While games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha rule the cash games, many card rooms in Florida also offer select table games that can be found in real casinos.
Florida poker rooms get around the 21-year-old casino age requirement with the help of a legal loophole and third-party providers. It’s actually rather simple, although certainly unique:
- Poker rooms in Florida are open to 18-year-old because the only games being played there are poker-based. In casinos, this is not always the case, which requires 21 and over status.
- By offering table games that are variations of poker, such as Three Card, Pai Gow, War, as various others — and as long as the room itself does not bank the game — 18+ players have access to a casino-like experience.
- This is where the third party comes in. Since the poker room cannot bank the games by law, a separate entity must handle this aspect of the game. Called “banking,” “designated playing,” or “proposition playing,” an individual must sit in on the poker games and act as the bank. This designated player pays the winners from their personal bankroll, but also collects on the losses of the bettors.
Of course, popular games like blackjack and slots are left out of this deal as they are not poker-based in any way. But for players that do not have any other options, or they are only looking to play a certain style of game, Florida could be the best bet for 18+ gamblers in a bind.