March 1, 2024

Las Vegas is the largest gambling hub in the world, attracting around 42 million gamblers annually. The Sin City casinos accumulated over $11 billion in 2018 alone. Due to this, other gambling communities often look to Vegas for industry trends and policies, including the legal gambling age. According to Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 463 or NRS 463.350, no one under the age of 21 is allowed in gambling areas. This is strictly enforced across all establishments, aligning with the federally enforced minimum age for alcohol consumption in the United States.

Violating this law can result in warnings, ejection from the casino, or even fines and jail time. Casino operators can also face repercussions for allowing underage individuals to gamble or work in gaming areas. Despite efforts to lower the minimum gambling age, Nevada has not shown interest in doing so. This is largely due to the alignment of the minimum drinking age and the hesitation of casino operators to implement strict age verification measures for alcohol. The Nevada Resort Association has stated that lowering the gambling age is not worth the potential hassles and costs.

Efforts to change the minimum gambling age have been summarily dismissed, even after the introduction of a bill in 2017 to lower the age to 18. Nevada maintains the minimum gambling age at 21, despite the potential for increased revenue from 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds.

Additionally, individuals aged 18, 19, and 20 have limited disposable income, making it unlikely for them to contribute significantly to the overall revenue of Vegas casinos. This, combined with the potential logistical challenges of implementing an age verification system for both gambling and drinking, makes the reduction of the minimum gambling age less appealing to Nevada and Vegas casino operators.