Other Findings

The interactive map above provides the legal gambling ages for a wide variety of regions all over the world. At first glance, there is a significant amount of information to sift through but once you’re able to break down the information according to the topic you are searching for, the map will provide the necessary answers to pressing questions, such as:

How old players have to be to gamble in the most famous gaming cities
The gambling age ranges on specific continents
Regions that have unclear regulations, laws and gambling ages

The Range of Gambling Ages By Continent

Continent Legal gambling age range
Africa18 to 21
Asia18 to 21
Antarctica No age restriction in the territory except on cruise ships (normally 18+)
Australia/Oceania 18 to 21
Europe 18 to 23
North America 18 to 21
South America 18 to 20

Top Gambling Destinations Legal Gambling Ages

Gambling destination Population of city/region Number of casinos Legal age for gamblers
Atlantic City, USA37,800+9 casinos21
London, England8.98 million+24 casinos18
Las Vegas, USA644,600+71 casinos21
Macau( Special Administrative Region )631,600+41 casinos18 tourists, 21 locals
Republic of Singapore5.64 million+2 casinos21 (plus locals must pay an entry levy to enter a casino)
Monte Carlo, Monaco38,600+ (Monaco)4 casinos18
San José, Costa Rica335,000+18 casinos18

Regions with Undefined Gambling Ages

Region Reason for Undefined Laws
AlbaniaIn 2019, the Albanian government enacted a ban on gambling that applies to all of its citizens. However, tourists who visit the region and stay and would like to gamble may do so at one of the licensed casino resorts in the region. Each casino resort has been allowed to decide on its minimum gambling age at the operator’s discretion.
EritreaEritrea is a region that doesn’t explicitly prohibit online gambling. However, one of the major religions in this region is Islam and this faith prohibits games engaging in all forms of gambling. As a result of this, there are no brick-and-mortar casino venues either.
Cambodia There are no definitive rules relating to gambling in Cambodia, except that casino resorts are allowed to operate these games to provide them to tourists. Further than that, lawmakers are working on enacting an official ban on all gambling and there is no official gaming authority or licensor in Cambodia.
Northern Mariana Islands The government of this region only began the process to approve and legalize online gambling in 2019. The land-based casino gambling venues in the Northern Mariana Islands are allowed to choose their own minimum age for gambling at their discretion.
Malaysia The laws for online gambling activities in Malaysia remain ambiguous and do not include any language relating to a minimum legal online gambling age or any regulatory measures. Land-based gambling is an exception to this with only tourists permitted to gamble at Malaysia’s land-based casino resorts.
Ukraine The Ukrainian government banned all gambling activities in the country in 2009. However, the Ukrainian parliament passed a regulation and legalization bill for gambling in 2020. The legal and regulatory situation in this region is still currently taking shape.

Worldwide Gambling Quick Facts

Canada

Legal gambling age
18 years and older

Population over 18 years old
30,751,000

Percentage of population that gambles
60%

Popular Gaming activities
Sports betting, Online slots, Blackjack, Casino games, Scratch cards, Lotteries

United Kingdom

Legal Gambling Age
Minimum of 18 years old for all gambling activities except National Lottery scratchcards were players have to be 16 or older

Population over 16
54,105,400

Percentage of population that gambles
45%

Popular Gaming activities
National Lottery, Casino games, Sports betting, Bingo, Slot and fruit machines

Australia

Legal gambling age
18 years and older

Total Employed Population
20,832,340

Percentage of working population that gambles
32%

Popular Gaming activities
Land-based and online slots, Scratch cards, Lotteries, Sports betting

Note: US Gambling

As can be seen by looking at the map above, the United States of America has taken a unique approach to casinos and gaming activities. Some states have enacted laws that require players to be a minimum age of 18, others require players to be 21 years or older and a handful of regions have banned gambling and gaming activities completely. This means that not only are the legal gambling ages varied, but so too are the laws. To address this unique situation, we have created US-specific gaming guides that can be found below:

USA Gambling Ages Guide >

USA Land-based Casinos Guide >

Age Regulation

There are many reasons why gambling activities are reserved for older individuals and a minimum legal gambling age has been established in different countries. As can be seen in most regions, the enjoyment of gambling activities can only be afforded to those that are seen as adults by the law of each region. Similar to other age-restricted activities, such as smoking and drinking, gambling and gaming is meant to be a hobby but can become addictive. Players need to be emotionally and mentally mature enough to make sound decisions that don’t result in financial or mental problems.

Age regulation is a measure that is put in place to protect the youth of nations. Today, there are only a handful of countries that don’t have any laws related to gambling, with an even smaller percentage reporting no legal gambling age limitations. Below, we’ll look at how age limits are regulated and which industry bodies are responsible for this.

Gambling Age Regulatory Bodies

Nevada Gaming Commission

Considering that the city that many gamblers refer to as a “mecca of gambling” is situated in Nevada, there is little doubt that the Nevada Gaming Commission is an extremely important regulator in the US. The Nevada Gaming Commission was established as a result of the Gaming Control Act of 1959 and has kept a watchful eye over all gambling activities in the state, especially Las Vegas. One of the laws that the Nevada Gaming Commission has to uphold is the legal gambling age of 21 years and older in Nevada. The state government has granted the Commission the power to restrict, revoke, deny and suspend the gaming licenses of providers if they can prove that the operator has been allowing underage individuals to gamble. The Nevada Gaming Commission and the Gaming Control Board work together to ensure that operators abide by the rules and discipline those that don’t.

Jurisdiction
Nevada, USA

UK Gambling Commission

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission serves as an advisory public body to the country’s government and its recommendations for minimum legal gambling age and responsible gambling measures are seen as the top authority. The UKGC is one of the leading industry authority bodies in the world today and is responsible for ensuring that operators adhere to all of the rules and regulations that were imposed by the 2005 Gambling Act. One of the most important rules that operators need to prove that they can abide by and control, is the non-admittance of underage gamblers and vulnerable players. The UKGC runs extensive tests to ensure that operators with licenses are compliant with laws and regulations to underage gaming. Failure to do so can result in licenses being revoked and operations being shut down.

Jurisdiction
The UK and many other regions. All online casinos that provide their services to UK players are also licensed by the UKGC.

The Malta Gaming Authority

While Malta is a small Mediterranean Island compared to others, this region’s gaming authority has a big global presence in the online gaming industry. The Malta Gaming Authority has granted many online casino operators with reputable licensing. Within Malta, this gaming authority enforces the rules introduced by the Maltese Gaming Act, with the minimum legal gambling age included in these regulations. The MGA is also known for its published Gaming Industry Directives that are vital to player protections and outlines requirements, such as displaying the legal gambling age on the homepage of the site. If operators don’t abide by the rules and regulations, the MGA can revoke their licensing.

Jurisdiction
Malta, Europe and online all over the world

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

To provide a clearer link between what could become addictive activities, the AGCO is responsible for ensuring that underage gambling and underage drinking don’t take place. Operators can receive a license from the AGCO if they can prove that they have sufficient measures in place to prevent underage gambling. The AGCO is responsible for land-based, online casinos and lotteries. The legal age for lotteries is 18 years and older, while players need to be 19 or older to participate in online casino games. Operators can be fined and have their licenses revoked by this authority of underage gambling takes place at any of the sites and/or operators that it has licensed. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario reports to, and works with, the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Jurisdiction
Ontario, Canada land-based casinos and online with its gaming site called PlayOLG.

Underage Gambling Concerns

Generally speaking, minors and teenagers are not permitted to gambling all over the world. This is also true for regions where individuals under 18 are allowed to work and earn a living legally but land-based and online gambling is strictly prohibited for those under 18 years of age.

In recent years, the UKGC published its findings from a study done on young people and their gambling behaviours. The age of the individuals selected for the study was between 11 and 16. Of all those surveyed, 1,7% were identified as problem gamblers while 2,7% were classified as being at potential risk.

11%

of the group had spent their money on some form of gambling activity in the past

5%

participated in real money wagers with friends

3%

play real money card games with peers

4%

indicated that they had played on slot machines before

69%

shared that they see gambling sponsorship or advertisements every day

While these statistics and results are still worrying, it is a definite improvement from previous studies conducted by the UKGC. However, these results indicate that young people are adept at finding ways around the age limitations that the UKGC has enforced to protect them. These results would vary greatly depending on which region is being investigated and how that particular country defines gambling and gaming from a legal perspective.

Naturally, there are a few complex activities that can complicate matter, such as:

Minors can play coin pusher games without adult supervision or violating any laws. In essence, this game is very similar to online gambling games and this situation can be seen as a contradiction.
Individuals under 18 are permitted to purchase loot boxes for real money on online games and applications. This is unlike conventional purchases in that there is no way to know what is in the box. This turns the activity into a game of chance, and this technically violates the underage gaming law.
National Lotteries allow individuals who are 16 and older to participate. Those concerned about underage problem gambling have highlighted that the lottery can be as harmful to teenagers as playing online casino games. In addition to this, there are ethical concerns relating to a 16-year-old potentially becoming a millionaire after winning the lottery.

If you’ve looked at our map, you’ve likely noticed that there are some countries that can be viewed as exceptions. This comes down to the attitude towards gambling and the laws that govern the activity in these regions. As such, we implore our players to always look before they leap to avoid disappointments.