Lottery Laws in the United States


During the late twentieth century, state-operated lotteries grew rapidly in the United States. Lotteries are a form of gambling, and the money generated by them can be quite large. However, there are various limitations to their use. There are a number of states that prohibit underage gambling, and most states do not allow betting on certain sporting events, such as horse racing. In fact, three states have laws that outlaw all forms of commercial gambling, while a number of other states restrict the use of certain forms of gambling to adults only.

Maryland prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to minors. In addition, sellers must be at least 21 years old. Additionally, minors under 18 may not receive lottery tickets as gifts. However, this restriction is limited to raffles and tickets that can be purchased by adults. Underage sales of lottery tickets to minors are not punishable, but agents who sell lottery tickets to minors are subject to a civil penalty of up to $200.

Vermont and Connecticut prohibit the sale of sealed lottery tickets to minors, and require that anyone participating in the lottery be at least 18 years old. In addition, both states limit the use of parimutuel wagering to people 18 and older. In Vermont, minors are also forbidden from participating in charitable games such as bingo. In Connecticut, a minor may participate in a bingo game with an adult, but must be at least 18.

New Jersey allows the use of slot machines and parimutuel betting. However, the age limit for slot machines is 21 and the minimum age for parimutuel wagering is 18 years old. New Jersey also allows the use of video poker machines, but licensees who permit minors to play are subject to a fine of $1,000 for the first violation and another $1,000 for the second violation in a year.

West Virginia prohibits the use of gaming tables, slot machines, and parimutuel wagering. In addition, it prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to minors and the sale of lottery shares to minors. In West Virginia, gambling for money is a misdemeanor. However, the state also allows charitable bingo raffles and horse racing wagering. In addition, chess and bowls are permitted. In West Virginia, gambling is allowed for charity and for entertainment purposes, but it is not allowed for commercial purposes.

Maine’s lottery scheme is relatively weak, with the sale of tickets not allowing anyone under 18 to participate. Nonetheless, lottery tickets can be purchased by adults for gifts. Additionally, Maine has one of the smallest regulatory schemes for state lottery, which is largely responsible for the number of illegal gambling activities that are occurring in the state. The law also prohibits the use of coin-operated machines in the state. Although the state allows the use of bingo, there is no age restriction on its use.

Maryland also restricts the sale of lottery tickets to minors, and in addition, sellers must be at least 21 years of age. Additionally, Maryland permits charities to operate casino-style games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker.