Gambling Age Worldwide

Gambling Age Worldwide

Gambling happens to be a popular activity all around the world, and every country has its own rules and terms in regards to gambling online or at land-based casinos. If we’re talking about age, most legal sites and facilities have certain restrictions. Some allow players who are 18+, while others forbid anyone who is under the age of 21. So here we’re going to discuss exactly how old you have to be to gamble all over the world. Read on, and find out exactly why there are age restrictions for gambling, and what they are in various countries.

Why are there age restrictions for gambling?

Let’s start with the obvious - youngsters don’t always make the best decisions during their early years. Even psychology suggests that the brain does not fully develop until you reach your mid 20s. It’s the period where people make the most mistakes, make rash decisions, neglect the truth, and follow feelings before even considering logic. You’ve been a teen, you should know. So now mix gambling into the concoction, and imagine how damaging such an activity could be to an underdeveloped mind. Heck, some adults can barely handle their gambling addictions! Therefore, there must be rules when it comes to legal gambling ages.

Underage gambling could lead to the following issues:

  • Heavy gambling addictions
  • Crime such as theft, drugs, and underage drinking
  • Academic failure
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Debt and financial struggles

An adult who has fully developed has a better grip on those things, and even then, it’s sometimes hard for people of legal age to gamble responsibly. Besides, when one is underage, it means that someone else is responsible for them. It would be unfair to allow underage youth to gamble, and then prosecute parents when a related crime is committed.

Who determines the legal age of gambling?

How old you have to be to gamble in a casino is typically determined by the state law, however, some countries have a set gambling age that is set in stone across the entire country. Online and land-based casinos also reserve the right to set their own gambling age limit. This varies depending on where you are in the world, so it’s always important to double-check the national legislation if you plan on gambling overseas, instead of automatically assuming that you can gamble anywhere as long as you’re at least 18+.

How is the legal age of gambling determined?

Have you ever met a child who is more mature than some adults you know, or an adult who is still stuck in their preteen years? It’s hard to stick a “mature” label on every person who’s over a certain age. So who has the power to determine what a mature adult age is for gambling? Each individual country and state determines the legal age to gamble based on various factors, some of which include the following:

  • Numbers of gambling-related crimes committed by individuals of certain ages
  • Votes and polls of residents
  • What the law considers to be a “developed” mind according to the advice of health professionals

It’s also important to remember that one state or country can have one legal age for say, lotteries and a different minimum age for online casino games.

legal gambling age in the USA

There is not one set gambling age in the USA, and the minimum age to participate in betting activities solely depends on the state and its laws. Most states allow land-based gambling to anyone who’s over the age of 21. Lots of states allow wagering to anyone who’s 18+, however, some require you to be 21 as well.

StateOffline Casino AgeOnline Casino AgeSports Betting AgeLotteries Age
Alabama21+UndeterminedUndeterminedUndetermined
Alaska21+UndeterminedUndeterminedUndetermined
Arizona21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Arkansas21+Illegal21+18+
California18+ 21+UndeterminedUndetermined18+
Colorado21+Illegal21+18+
Connecticut21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Delaware21+21+21+21+
Florida18+ 21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Georgia18+ 21+UndeterminedUndetermined18+
HawaiiUndeterminedIllegalUndeterminedUndetermined
Idaho18+UndeterminedUndetermined18+
Illinois21+Undetermined21+18+
Indiana21+Illegal21+18+
Iowa21+Illegal21+21+
Kansas21+18+ 21+Undetermined18+
KentuckyUndeterminedUndeterminedUndetermined18+
Louisiana21+IllegalUndetermined21+
Maine21+UndeterminedUndetermined18+
Maryland21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Massachusetts21+UndeterminedUndetermined18+
Michigan18+ 21+21+21+18+
Minnesota18+ 21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Mississippi21+Illegal21+Undetermined
Missouri21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Montana18+Illegal18+18+
Nebraska21+IllegalUndetermined19+
Nevada21+21+21+Undetermined
New Hampshire21+18+18+18+
New Jersey21+21+21+18+
New Mexico 21+ Illegal 21+ 18+
New York18+ 21+18+18+ 21+18+
North Carolina21+Illegal21+18+
North Dakota21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Ohio21+21+Undetermined18+
Oklahoma18+ 21+21+Undetermined18+
Oregon21+21+18+ 21+18+
Pennsylvania21+21+21+18+
RhodeIsland18+21+18+18+
South Dakota21+21+Undetermined18+
South Carolina21+18+Undetermined18+
Tennessee21+18+21+18+
Texas21+21+Undetermined18+
UtahUndetermined21+UndeterminedUndetermined
VermontUndeterminedIllegalUndetermined18+
VirginiaUndetermined21+Undetermined18+
Washington18+ 21+18+21+18+
Washington DCUndetermined18+21+18+
West Virginia21+21+21+18+
Wisconsin21+IllegalUndetermined18+
Wyoming18+UndeterminedUndetermined18+

Legal gambling ages in Europe

Let’s talk about the gambling ages in some of the most visited countries in Europe. Most european countries allow people as young as 18 years old to participate in gambling, but that isn’t the case for everyone. As we have already discussed, each region reserves the right to set their own gambling age limit.

CountryOffline Casino AgeOnline Casino AgeSports Betting AgeLotteries Age
France18+Illegal18+18+
Spain18+Illegal18+18+
Italy18+18+18+18+
United Kingdom18+18+18+18+
Turkey18+18+18+18+
Germany18+18+18+18+
Austria18+18+18+16+
Greece21+21+21+18+
Russia18+Illegal18+18+
Ukraine22+21+22+22+
Sweden18+20+18+18+
Poland18+18+18+18+
Switzerland18+18+18+18+
Cyprus18+18+18+18+
Latvia18+18+18+18+

Legal gambling ages in Asia

Gambling is a hot topic in Asia, and it may very well beat the rest of the world in the competition in the market. However, gambling is frowned upon in some Asian countries, and the age limitations may still vary depending on where you travel. We selected some of the most popular countries in Asia, and listed the gambling age limit for each one of them.

CountryOffline Casino AgeOnline Casino AgeSports Betting AgeLotteries Age
Japan20+Illegal20+20+
Singapore18+21+21+21+
China18+Illegal18+18+
South Korea18+Illegal19+19+
India21+Illegal21+18+
Malaysia21+21+21+21+
IndonesiaIllegalIllegalIllegalIllegal
Vietnam21+Undetermined21+21+
Philippines21+21+18+ 21+18+
Jordan Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal
Nepal Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal
Thailand 18+ 18+ 18+ 20+
Cambodia 18+ Illegal (18+ for visitors) Undetermined 18+
Armenia 21+ Undetermined 21+ 21+
Bangladesh Illegal 18+ 18+ (horse racing) 18+

Legal gambling ages in Africa

Let’s just see that gambling ages in Africa are a lot more lenient. Some locations don’t even care to regulate this aspect when it comes to gambling. But let’s go over some gambling age restrictions for travelers and visitors. Below we’ve listed some popular destinations in Africa, and the gambling ages for various types of betting activities.

CountryOffline Casino AgeOnline Casino AgeSports Betting AgeLotteries Age
South Africa18+Illegal18+18+
Nigeria18+Undetermined18+18+
Kenya18+18+18+18+
Ghana18+18+18+16+
Ethiopia18+Undetermined18+Undetermined
CongoUndeterminedUndeterminedUndeterminedUndetermined
Tanzania18+18+18+18+
Morocco18+18+18+18+

Legal gambling ages in Australia and Oceania

CountryOffline Casino AgeOnline Casino AgeSports Betting AgeLotteries Age
Australia18+18+18+18+
New Zealand20+20+18+18+
Papua New Guinea18+18+18+18+
Fiji18+18+18+18+
Solomon Islands18+18+18+18+
Vanuatu18+18+18+18+
Samoa18+18+18+18+
Kiribati18+18+18+18+
Micronesia18+18+18+18+
Tonga18+18+18+18+
Marshall IslandsUndeterminedUndeterminedUndeterminedUndetermined
Palau18+18+18+18+
Tuvalu18+18+18+18+ 
Nauru18+18+18+18+

Verdict

Apparently, not everyone thinks that a person is mature at the age of 18, and you’re not considered an adult in some countries until you are 21. Honestly, when it comes to gambling, it’s better to wait a bit, and start gambling when you TRULY know that it’s something you can handle. But to summarize on the topic, make sure to double check the gambling restrictions before getting excited for a trip in a foreign region. You may save yourself the embarrassment of getting kicked out of a gambling facility! Not only that, but you will save yourself time by finding out the state gambling ages, and casino age restrictions in other countries.

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