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Gambling Age Worldwide: How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Gamble? Overview of Legal Gambling Age Worldwide

Legal gambling age is the legal permit framework in which one can gamble. Depending on a country or a (country's) jurisdiction, legal gambling age varies, with different age limits going for different types of gambling. Also, one's gambling age as a concept does not exist in specific countries at all, as gambling in some countries is illegal while in others, there’s no minimal age required.

In this blog, we’re displaying the prevailing legal gambling age for casino players around the world. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Go to a Casino?

There is no universal answer in terms of an official legal gambling age. To legally play in any online casino depends on laws of the city / province /state / region /country under which the casino operates. Additionally, other laws may apply to entities like cruise ships, international waters etc. However, common gambling ages across the world are 18 and 21. Each state regulates its own minimum age for gambling. Some states have two legal gambling ages, commonly 18 in some casinos, 21 in others. 

Each state regulates its own minimum age for gambling. Some states have two legal gambling ages, commonly 18 in some casinos, 21 in others. 

Also, cities follow the laws and regulations of their country, without exception. For example, even though Las Vegas is possibly the most popular city to gamble at suggesting gambling age at that city will be regulated (read: lowered) independently of its country, gambling age in Vegas is 21, as the city is located in Nevada. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble Online?

Anywhere between 18 and 21, and older. However, for certain countries, gambling is a tricky topic. While some states support and encourage gambling, both land-based and online, others are very strict with the type of regulations they introduce. 

If you are thinking about embarking on a gambling journey, what you need to know about gambling age is:

  • Some countries ban gambling altogether, so the gambling age does not exist

In countries which allow gambling:

  • Legislation varies depending on a country
  • A gambling category may condition the legal age
  • Land-based gambling and online gambling may have different restrictions

Gambling Age in North America

Gambling laws and regulations vary from country to country, with each state/province following rules specific for them only. This is why the USA establishes the gambling age by state. If you plan on gambling in a USA casino, make sure you check how old do you have to be to gamble, that is - that country's age limit for casinos.

Gambling Age by State in the USA

  1. (AL) Alabama - 19
  2. (AK) Alaska - 21      
  3. (AZ) Arizona - 21      
  4. (AR) Arkansas - 21   
  5. (CA) California - 18  
  6. (CO) Colorado - 21   
  7. (CT) Connecticut - 21  
  8. (DE) Delaware - 21    
  9. (D.C.) District of Columbia - 18 
  10. (FL) Florida - 18 
  11. (GA) Georgia - 18    
  12. (HI) Hawaii - 21      
  13. (ID) Idaho - 18  
  14. (IL) Illinois - 21 
  15. (IN) Indiana - 21      
  16. (IA) Iowa - 21
  17. (KS) Kansas - 21
  18. (KY) Kentucky - 18
  19. (LA) Louisiana - 21
  20. (ME) Maine - 21 
  21. (MD) Maryland - 21
  22. (MA) Massachusetts - 21 
  23. (MI) Michigan - 18 
  24. (MN) Minnesota - 18      
  25. (MS) Mississippi - 21   
  26. (MO) Missouri - 21
  27. (MT) Montana - 18
  28. (NE) Nebraska - 21    
  29. (NV) Nevada - 21
  30. (NH) New Hampshire - 21     
  31. (NJ) New Jersey - 21   
  32. (NM) New Mexico - 21  
  33. (NY) New York - 18 
  34. (NC) North Carolina - 21      
  35. (ND) North Dakota - 21 
  36. (OH) Ohio - 21 
  37. (OK) Oklahoma - 18      
  38. (OR) Oregon - 21 
  39. (PA) Pennsylvania - 21  
  40. (RI) Rhode Island - 21 
  41. (SC) South Carolina - 21  
  42. (SD) South Dakota - 21 
  43. (TN) Tennessee - 18  
  44. (TX) Texas - 21 
  45. (UT) Utah - 21 
  46. (VT) Vermont - 21   
  47. (VI) Virgin Islands - 21  
  48. (VA) Virginia - 21
  49. (WA) Washington - 18     
  50. (WVA) West Virginia - 21
  51. (WI) Wisconsin - 21    
  52. (WY) Wyoming - 21    

Map showing gambling age by state in USA

Gambling Age by Province and Territory in Canada

Canada has its gambling age straightforward. So, how old do you have to be to go to a casino in Canada? Players who want to gamble at a casino in Canada need to be 19 or older. This rule goes for all provinces except for Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec where the official legal age to gamble is 18. 

Gambling Age by Country in Europe

Every country in Europe has its own set of gambling laws and regulations, as well as rules on how old do you have to be to go into a casino. Here's the list of European countries and their gambling age:

  1. Abkhazia - 18   
  2. Albania - 18    
  3. Andorra - No specifics concerning legal gambling age ­ ­ 
  4. Austria - 18
  5. Belarus - 18   
  6. Belgium - 21    
  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina - No specifics concerning legal gambling age ­ ­ ­ 
  8. Bulgaria - 18    
  9. Croatia - 18
  10. Czech Republic - 18
  11. Denmark - 18
  12. Estonia - 21
  13. Faroe Islands - 18      
  14. Finland - 18
  15. France - 18
  16. Germany - 18
  17. Gibraltar - 18   
  18. Greece - 21    
  19. Guernsey - 18  
  20. Hungary - 18   
  21. Iceland - 18 
  22. Republic of Ireland - 18  
  23. Isle of Man - 18 
  24. Italy - 18 
  25. Jersey - 21     
  26. Latvia - 18     
  27. Liechtenstein - 18      
  28. Lithuania - 18
  29. Luxembourg - 18
  30. Malta - 18      
  31. Moldova - 18   
  32. Monaco - 18    
  33. Montenegro - 18 
  34. Netherlands - 18 
  35. North Macedonia - 18   
  36. Norway - 18
  37. Poland - 18    
  38. Portugal -18*
  39. Romania - 18
  40. San Marino - 18 
  41. Serbia - 18     
  42. Slovakia - 18   
  43. Slovenia - 18   
  44. Spain - 18     
  45. Sweden - 20 
  46. Switzerland - 18
  47. Turkey - 18     
  48. Ukraine - 18
  49. United Kingdom - 18
  50. Vatican City – Gambling regulations/gambling age is not legally defined

Map showing gambling age by country in Europe

*Portugal gambling laws are complicated. Every casino somewhat has the right to set its own rules regarding gambling age. While some casinos allow players to access casinos only at 25 and older, others allow players of 18 to enjoy casino gambling. Also, some casinos allow tourists to play from the age of 18, while locals can play at an age from 25+.

Gambling Age in Asia

Earth's largest and most populous continent, Asia consists of plenty of different countries with individual regulations concerning many aspects, gambling age being one of them. Here's the gambling age of some Asian countries:

  1. Afghanistan - online gambling is legal at any age while casinos and lottery are forbidden
  2. China - Illegal which is why people often go to Macau and Hong Kong to gamble
  3. Cyprus - 18
  4. India - 21
  5. Indonesia – Illegal; people often go to Japan to gamble
  6. Israel - 18
  7. Japan - 20
  8. Macau - 21    
  9. Malaysia - 21
  10. Pakistan - Illega­l      
  11. Philippines - 21 
  12. Qatar - Illegal  
  13. Russia - 18    
  14. Saudi Arabia - Illega­l   
  15. Singapore - 21 
  16. South Korea - 19
  17. Thailand – Illegal

If you are going to Asia and the country you are visiting is not on this list, check that country's gambling laws and regulations before actually gambling there. 

Gambling Age in South America

Similarly to other countries, South America has its own gambling age restrictions that need to be respected:

  1. Argentina - 18  
  2. Aruba - 18
  3. Bolivia - 18
  4. Brazil - 18     
  5. Chile - 18     
  6. Colombia - 18  
  7. Curacao - 18   
  8. Ecuador - 18   
  9. Falkland Islands - 18   
  10. French Guiana - 18    
  11. Guyana - 18   
  12. Paraguay - 18             
  13. Peru - 18     
  14. Suriname - 18  
  15. Trinidad and Tobago - 18      
  16. Uruguay - 18              
  17. Venezuela - 18

Gambling Age in Oceania

What is the legal gambling age for the two most known countries of Oceania?

  1.  Australia - 18
  2.  New Zealand - 20

Gambling Age in Africa

In Africa, each country has its own regulations and gambling loopholes you should be aware of before gambling in a country that has gambling illegal. It is not unusual for the country to ban gambling for residents and allow it for tourists or instil ban for local casinos while allowing it for casinos overseas. 

Here are a few countries and their gambling age laws:

  1. Angola - 18
  2. Egypt - 21
  3. Ethiopia - Illegal
  4. Libya - Illegal
  5. Morocco - 18
  6. Nigeria - 20
  7. Seychelles - 18
  8. South Africa - 18
  9. Tunisia - Legal at any age
  10. Tanzania - 18

Frequently Asked Questions on Minimal Gambling Age

For everyone who’s gambling regularly or only looking to start to, there are some questions that need answering. We’ve put together some of the most commonly asked ones to help you speed up your game:

Why Do You Have to be 21 (18) to Gamble?

One of the most frequently asked questions when we talk about gambling is why do you have to be 21 to gamble, or even 18. 

Gambling age is predominantly established based on what is generally accepted as an age where a person is mature enough to be held accountable for their actions. The age of 18 and 21 are years when a person is considered an adult and therefore, can participate in gambling activities. 

What is Gambling Age on Cruise Ships?

The majority of gambling age on cruise ships is similar while sailing through international waters. Cruise lines such as Costa, Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard, and Royal Caribbean International allow guests who are 18 and over to attend shipboard casinos and revel in the joy of gambling. Some cruise ships allow 18-year-olds to get alcoholic beverages also. 

Princess Cruises is one exception to this, as they require both gamblers and indulgers of alcohol on the ship to be 21 years of age or older.  

How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble on an Indian Reservation in the US?

The federal government holds American Indian reservations in trust. Back in 1988, they passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act authorising casino gambling on Indian reservations. Consequently, the age for gambling may be different from the rest of the state. 

For instance, California state law prohibits anyone under 21 to enter a gambling establishment with the intent of gambling. A person is allowed to enter those establishments only if they want to eat at a restaurant or use the restroom.

The federal government holds American Indian reservations in trust.

Southern California has different regulations when it comes to what is the gambling age allowed; in fact, more than two dozen casinos in this area allow gambling for patrons 18 and up. Even so, while some 18-year-olds are permitted to gamble, they don't necessarily have legal access to liquor. If you are 18 and want to visit a casino, maybe it's best to call ahead and check what their regulations are on both of these.

What States is the Gambling Age 18 (USA)?

The states with a legal gambling age limit set to 18 are California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington. Other states have their legal gambling age limit set to 21. 

Where Is Gambling Illegal in the World?

Gambling is a hugely profitable industry, but also one that doesn't necessarily agree with dominant cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Furthermore, gambling in excess can lead to a gambling problem (also known as problem gambling) which is why it is in every country's interest to regulate it as best as possible to protect its citizens.

Gambling in excess can lead to a gambling problem (also known as problem gambling) which is why it is in every country's interest to regulate it as best as possible to protect its citizens.

At this point, many countries have outlawed gambling and introduced strict punishments for those who break them. Just a few countries you should never gamble at are United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Qatar, Lebanon, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Thailand.

Final Thoughts on Gambling Age Throughout Countries 

Every country establishes its own set of rules concerning gambling laws, as well as gambling age. Prior to going to a country and looking to play at their land-based or online casinos, check the allowed gambling age of that country to avoid getting yourself in trouble. Also, keep in mind that some countries have gambling completely banned and therefore may not state permitted gambling age at all. Good luck!

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