Nevada Revised Statute § 463.350 makes it a misdemeanor 1) for a person under 21 to gamble or loiter in a casino, or 2) for a gaming company to have employees age 18 to 20 years old unless they are working on the gaming devices’ software or hardware.
The text of the statute reads:
NRS 463.350. 1. A person under the age of 21 years shall not:
(a) Play, be allowed to play, place wagers at, or collect winnings from, whether personally or through an agent, any gambling game, slot machine, race book, sports pool or pari-mutuel operator.
(b) Loiter, or be permitted to loiter, in or about any room or premises wherein any licensed game, race book, sports pool or pari-mutuel wagering is operated or conducted.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, be employed as a gaming employee except in a counting room.
2. A person who is of the age of majority as provided in NRS 129.010 may be employed as a gaming employee by a licensed manufacturer or distributor at the business premises of the licensed manufacturer or distributor if the employee:
(a) Designs, develops, programs, produces or composes a control program or other software, source language or executable code of a gaming device, associated equipment or a gaming support system, subject to peer review and change management procedures adopted by the licensee;
(b) Fabricates or assembles the components of a gaming device, associated equipment or a gaming support system; or
(c) Installs, modifies, repairs or maintains a gaming device, associated equipment or a gaming support system.
3. Any licensee, employee, dealer or other person who violates or permits the violation of any of the provisions of this section and any person who is under 21 years of age or not eligible to be employed as a gaming employee pursuant to subsection 2 who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
4. In any prosecution or other proceeding for the violation of any of the provisions of this section, it is no excuse for the licensee, employee, dealer or other person to plead that he or she believed the person to be 21 years old or over or to be eligible to be employed as a gaming employee pursuant to subsection 2.
Nevada Revised Statute 463.350 outlaws gambling by anyone under 21 years old. The statute also prohibits underage people merely from loitering in a casino or gambling hall even if they are not gaming themselves.
However, NRS 463.350 permits people age 18, 19, or 20 years old to work at a gaming company if they either:
- work as a software engineer;
- make or assemble gaming device parts; and/or
- install, modify, repair or maintain gaming devices.
Example: Nate is an 18-year-old computer whiz. A Las Vegas gaming company employs him to help write code for their slot machines. Under NRS 463.350, the company is lawfully employing Nate even though he is under 21 years old. As long as Nate does not gamble himself, no law is being broken.
It is a misdemeanor offense to allow a person under 21 to be in a gaming facility or to work at a gaming company (unless one of the above exceptions apply). It is not a defense to NRS 463.350 charges that the defendant genuinely believed the underage person was 21 or older.
The underage person themself also faces misdemeanor charges for unlawfully being in a gaming hall or working for a gaming company. (Though if the defendant is under 18 years old, they may face juvenile delinquency proceedings rather than criminal charges.)
Misdemeanors carry the following penalties:
- Up to 6 months in jail and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines.1
- Nevada Revised Statute 463.350 – Gaming or employment in gaming prohibited for persons under 21; exception. See also Flamingo Paradise Gaming, LLC v. Chanos (2009) 125 Nev. 502; Herbst Gaming, Inc. v. Heller (2006) 122 Nev. 877.