When it comes to the world of gambling, there is some legislation that players must keep in mind in order to be aware of what entails gambling responsibly. A variety of jurisdictions state that the gambling age is the minimum age in which a player can gamble legally. The age can vary depending on the state’s, territory’s or country’s legislation. In some other cases, gambling might be illegal in certain countries regardless of age.
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Gambling Age for Online Casinos vs Land-Based Casinos
The minimum legal age often starts at around 18 years of age in some places but can vary depending on the circumstances and requirements by the gambling commissions and the national legislation. The gambling ages may also differ according to the category of gambling. Making a distinction in ages and types of gambling markets could show a range of minimum ages to gamble required for each. When it comes to casinos there is often a distinction to the rules for both USA online casinos and brick-and-mortar casinos. It is crucial to follow the legal gambling age when getting involved in any gambling endeavors. If you break the law and gamble beneath the minimum age requirement, you will lose all your money and you would be in legal trouble. This applies to all forms of gambling but especially concerning gambling in casinos.
In the online casino world, the legal age to gamble can be confusing to understand. There are certain legalities that can seem never-ending when playing at an online casino, poker room, online sportsbook or an online bingo hall. Most sites would have age requirements set by the gambling site, and it would be wiser to be cautious. Often, when entering an online casino site, you may be told if the site is restricted in your country.
When it comes to land-based gambling, the rules are more clear-cut. In America, the minimum age to gamble is sorted according to state but there would be variations in types of gambling. Different laws would apply to tribal casinos. Even pari-mutuel wagering, online slots, table games, video game machines and pull tabs could have differing minimum legal gambling ages.
What there is to know about Gambling Age:
- Different countries have varying legislation;
- The legal age may differ according to the gambling category;
- There may be differing restrictions for online gambling and land-based gambling.
|U.S. Region||U.S. State||Casinos||Poker Rooms||Bingo||Lottery||Dog/Horse Racing|
|West||New Mexico (NM)||21||21||No Limit||18||18|
|Midwest||North Dakota (ND)||18/21||18/21||18||18||18|
|Midwest||South Dakota (SD)||18 (Indian Casinos)||21||18||18||18|
|North East||Connecticut (CT)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||Maine (ME)||21||21||16||18||18|
|North East||Massachusetts (MA)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||New Hampshire (NH)||21||18||18||18||18|
|North East||New Jersey Gambling (NJ)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||New York Gambling (NY)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||Pennsylvania Gambling (PA)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||Rhode Island (RI)||21||21||18||18||18|
|North East||Vermont (VT)||21||21||18||18||N/A|
|South||Delaware Gambling (DE)||21||18/21||18||18||18|
|South||Georgia (GA)||18 (only Cruises)||18||18||18||18|
|South||North Carolina (NC)||21||21||18||18||N/A|
|South||South Carolina (SC)||21 (only Cruises)||18||18||18||N/A|
|South||West Virginia Gambling (WV)||21||21||18||18||18|
The table below shows the different minimum ages to gamble in the different states and the particularities of the minimum age. The table shows the legal gambling age for casinos and poker rooms which tend to be the same age, but in some cases the legal age is different. Online Casinos USA would also vary according to state. Additionally, the table shows the minimum age for bingo and lottery as well as dog racing and horse racing. The gambling age would essentially be similar for the same type. So more often than not, when it comes to US Casino the age would be the same for the different casino games played such as slots and blackjack.
In certain cases, you may find N/A which means no information is revealed regarding these legal ages. On this table, you will generally find the legal age to be between 18 and 21. However, in very rare cases the age is lower. In the states of Maine and Oklahoma, the legal gambling age for bingo is at 16 years.
Certain differences that you can find is that some states would have different rules for Indian casinos which wouldn’t factor in the residing state’s gambling age. Another tricky element is the differences relating to casino ships and casino cruises.
Gambling Age in Canada
The situation with the gambling age in Canada is similar to that in America. There are a few grey areas and there are rules for national and local and by type of gambling. Online gambling is regulated in Canada. There is a selection of Online Casinos Canada you can sign up with. There is a law for providing gaming services to Canadian gamblers which must have a government license in order to operate.
Gambling Age in Europe
Many European countries have a similar minimum age to gamble. However, there may be variations in different countries. Regarding betting, the majority of countries have set the minimum age to 18. This is similar to the legal gambling age of lotteries. However, Denmark and Estonia have a lower gambling age which is at 16 years. There are more varying age limits when concerning casinos. Some European countries have the minimum age set at 21 years such as in Germany, Belgium, Greece, Lithuania, and Estonia. In Sweden, it is at 20 years whereas the rest of the countries have the casino minimum age at 18 years. Some countries have lowered the age recently like France and Spain.
Curiously, some countries have other restrictions. Portugal’s policy states that tourists can engage in gambling activities from 18 whereas Portuguese citizens can gamble at 21. There is a similarly unique situation in Malta. Firstly, Malta provides one of the most reputable gambling licenses which is the Malta Gaming Authority. Secondly, Malta has become a gaming hub with many online casinos based there. The gambling age in Malta is 18, like in Portugal, however, the locals must be 25.
Gambling Age in the UK
Gambling in the UK is regulated and licenses are issued by the Gambling Commission to the diverse gambling forms. The minimum legal age across the UK is 18 years old. This is applied to betting shops, bingo halls, casinos, racetracks and different online gambling forms including UK Online Casinos. There is a lower minimum age when it comes to the lotteries including the National Lottery and football pools which has a gambling age of 16. This age additionally includes certain arcade games like teddy grabbers and coin pushers or low stakes machines. There is no minimum legal age for family entertainment and amusement arcades.
Gambling Age in Oceania – Australia and New Zealand
There are a handful of differences between the restrictions in Australia and New Zealand. There are strict laws regarding gambling in Australia. The minimum age to gamble is at 18 years. However, not all types of gambling are legal. Only sports betting and lotteries are legally permitted. This means that online casinos and live betting are illegal. However, there is a loophole as there is no prohibition for Australian citizens from accessing overseas gambling websites. You can find many Online Casinos in Australia for you to play at.
In New Zealand, the minimum legal age is 20 years. There are more concise rules relating to online gambling. New Zealand residents are legally allowed to access offshore online casinos, however, advertisement of these services are not allowed in NZ. You can play at Online Casinos NZ in our provided page.
Gambling Age in India
The situation with the legal gambling laws in India is somewhat similar to those of the United States, as different states in India have varying laws when it comes to different types of gambling. Overall, legal gambling is allowed for players over the age of 21. Goa was the first Indian state to set up laws in order to enable the setting up of casinos.
When it comes to online gambling, it has only been legalized in two states in India, these being Nagaland and Sikkim. However, citizens of India have no laws banning them from playing on offshore online casinos.
Types of Gambling
You will find land-based casinos everywhere. There are places which are the top gambling destination such as Las Vegas, Macau, Monte Carlo and Atlantic City. Now, with the gambling regulations being adjusted for the booming online gambling market, you can find many legal online casino sites where players can enjoy all sorts of online casino games. Some popular games include Slots, Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps and many more. You can find table games at live casinos too. If you are interested in trying out some games, head to our free casino games page!
Poker is a beloved game both at brick-and-mortar casinos and at online poker sites. Poker became immensely popular in the 2000s. This was when Chris Moneymaker won millions of dollars at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). You will often find that the legal gambling age is 21 to enter most poker rooms.
Bingo is a classic game played in Bingo halls and now even online. For big bingo fans, you can find sites solely dedicated to online bingo. Several of the best online casino sites offer various online bingo games. There are other variations such as the popular keno online games.
Practically every country has its own National Lottery. Provinces, counties, and States also have their own local lottery. Most lotteries have a rather attractive jackpot that a lucky few could win. Online lottery is also gaining some popularity. There are a bunch of options if you are interested in trying your luck in the lottery.
Racetrack & Sports Betting
Sports and racetrack betting have a long history is some countries. Nowadays, the majority of online casinos offer sportsbooks on their sites too. In the US, online sports gambling is now legal. There are many types of bets you can make on different international and local leagues. You can make bets on NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or even Champions League, the Euro Cup, World Cup, and hundreds more!
Gambling Age FAQs
How old do you have to be to gamble?
Different countries, state or provinces have their own minimum legal gambling age. In most places, they are either 18 or 21 years. In places like American states, this could depend on whether the venue serves alcohol.
What casinos can you gamble at 18?
There are many countries where you can legally gamble from 18 years and over. In many of the US states, you can see there are differences. In America, you can gamble at 18 in these states: Georgia, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota (only at Indian Casinos), Washington. You can gamble at 18 if there is no alcohol served at the casino in these states: Ohio, North Dakota, Michigan and California. Additionally, most online casinos verify your age before allowing you to sign up.
Why is the gambling age 21 in some countries and states?
The legal gambling age is 21 in some states because of the drinking law in the US. If alcohol is served at the casino, you must be 21 or over to enter. In some countries, as well as in America, the legal minimum age to gamble is 21 because there is a gambling tax involved which is a contribution to society.
How old do you have to be to gamble in Vegas?
The gambling age in Vegas is 21 years. This age applies to gambling anywhere in the state of Nevada. You would need to carry identification or be accompanied by someone over 21 in order to be allowed in any of the casinos in Nevada, including Las Vegas.
What is the legal gambling age in Canada?
The legal gambling age in Canada is 19. You must be 19 or over to enter casinos in Canada. This law corresponds to the drinking age in Canada and the minimum age can vary in different Canadian provinces. In some provinces in Canada, such as Alberta and Quebec, you can play at casinos if you are 18 years old.
Who regulates the gaming industry?
There are many licensing or regulating bodies that are international. However, most countries have their own government authorities which oversee all gambling activities both online and offline.
Do I pay taxes on my winnings?
This depends on the country. In certain countries, gambling is seen as a hobby. In other countries, the government would require a percentage of the winnings that exceed a particular amount. This may even vary on which type of gambling activity you can earn your winnings.
Is the legal age different for online and land-based casinos?
Sometimes there are different legal gambling ages. When it comes to land-based casinos, the laws are more concise. However, with online casinos, the minimum legal age is 18 years and some online casinos may be restricted in certain countries.
What happens if I am an underage gambler?
Gambling restrictions are serious and in place for your own protection. If caught gambling illegally, you could face serious consequences. Underage gamblers immediately lose any winnings.
How are gambling funds safe?
Since gambling is often heavily regulated, the majority of gambling opportunities would have safe and secure transaction options. Payment methods for online casinos such as PayPal Casinos and Visa Casinos protect your money. There is added security when online casinos are licensed by formidable authorities such as the MGA and UK’s Gambling Commission.
Closing Thoughts on Gambling Age
The different criteria to be eligible to play and bet with online casinos, as well as land-based casinos, can be a tricky task. A big part is regarding the legal minimum age to gamble in different parts of the world. Many issues can be brought up and there are various differences when it comes to types of gambling. In these cases, since the consequences can be severe, it is best to be safe rather than sorry.