Kind of strange experience the last 2 times I was in Vegas. I'm almost 43 yrs old but I've been told I could pass for late 20s or early 30s.

Anyway, both visits, I've been carded at almost every casino when I sat down at a table with my friends or stood right behind my friends at a table. My friends are in their mid to late 30s and they could pass for mid to late 20s (we got lucky with the youth looking gene). Some of them (not all) also got carded.

In any case, I don't understand why I personally am getting carded, other than I look SO young that the dealer needs to ask. I definitely look older than my friends but the group as a whole does look young (compared to our real ages)

Are casinos like liquor stores where if you look younger than 30, they need to check ID or are they just making sure we aren't a band of card counters trying to take their money? I'm hoping it's the former and not the latter :)

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    You will probably find that casinos have guidelines, but then it is up to the employee to decide which to check. Be happy that they think you look young, we all aren't so lucky. – user13044 Nov 1 '16 at 16:58
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    For what it's worth I have a supermarket nearby that will card everybody trying to buy alcohol. A woman in her 80s was asked to produce a license or some kind of ID to buy a bottle of wine. She said I no longer drive and needed to ask her 60 year old son to come in and complete the purchase. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 1 '16 at 19:09
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    If you look at it from the casino's point of view, surely they can't know if you're a 42-year-old who looks 12 years younger or a 17-year-old who looks 12 years older. – Moyli Nov 1 '16 at 20:56
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about age verification laws, not about travel. – David Richerby Nov 2 '16 at 0:19
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    They'll card unless they're certain that you're over 21. If looks-30 can be a young 40 it can be an old 20. My wife was carded into her late 40s. – Loren Pechtel Nov 2 '16 at 4:52

It's more likely the former. The casino's own policy can of course be more cautious than legally required; they could even have a policy requiring them to card everyone if they wanted to. The general principle is "better safe than sorry": If they card someone of legal age, there are essentially no consequences, but if they fail to card someone who is underage, the potential consequences are severely negative.


There is a cascading "better-safe-than-sorry" effect.

The law was originally 18-year-olds were too immature to play (or drink or whatever)

But there are immature 20-year-olds too, so better-safe-than-sorry, the law was changed to 21.

The corporations told their managers to ID anyone who looked under 21.

But there are 20-year-olds who look 22, so better-safe-than-sorry, the corporate policy was changed to ID anyone who looked under 25, so to be sure to comply with the law.

So the managers told their employees to ID anyone who looked under 25.

But there are 24-year-olds who look 26, so better-safe-than-sorry, the managers change their local policies to ID anyone who looked under 30, so to be sure to comply with the corporate policy.

The more levels of authority, with each level struggling to be certain it does not violate the policy of the level above it, the higher the limits can spiral: I saw a man who might easily have been 70 turned away from a bar for lacking ID.


but I've been told I could pass for late 20s or early 30s.

Many facilities that sell tobacco and alcohol in the United States often enforce policies that require any persons looking younger than 40 to be carded, even though the legal age for purchase is 18 and 21 respectively. I imagine the casinos in Vegas have a similar policy.

  • Thx. I've seen a sign that said "If you look younger than 30, prepare to be carded" I haven't seen one for 40 yet. – Classified Nov 1 '16 at 22:16

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