Legal Online Gambling Age In Different Countries 

Gambling is as old as the world has been in existence. A long time ago, people would gamble with land and livestock in street alleys and drinking dens but today, people can gamble in the comfort of their homes. So, what is online gambling?

Online gambling refers to the practice of betting or wagering on games, sports, or other events through the internet. It can also be referred to as the act of betting money or other valuables on the outcome of an event. There are many types of online gambling including, online casinos, sports betting, online poker, and lottery games. They can be accessed if you have a device (a computer, mobile phone, or tablet) an internet connection, and money.

However, to enjoy online gambling, you have to abide by online gambling laws which vary by country and even state or province. One important factor to consider is the online gambling age. In this article, we will be answering questions like, what is the legal age to gamble online? Read on.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Gamble Online?

As mentioned earlier, different countries and states have different online gambling laws. Consequently, the online gambling age depends on the online gambling sites or the type of game being offered. Different online gambling sites may have different age requirements. However, in many countries, the legal age to gamble online is 21 while in other countries it is 18.

For example, in the United States, the minimum legal gambling age is set at 21 with a few states exempt from this rule. In some states, you are allowed to gamble once you turn 18. Online gambling restrictions are set so that people can comply with local laws and regulations.

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Gambling Ages Around The World

In the majority of countries around the world, the legal age for gambling is 18. The reason behind this is that at 18 one is considered an adult capable of making at least sane decisions. To understand the online gambling age, let’s look at some countries.

The United Kingdom

The legal online gambling age in the UK is 18. This applies to both online and land-based casinos. Therefore, an 18-year-old can legally gamble online on sports, casino games, bingo, and other forms of gambling. However, some online gambling platforms may have different policies that require players to be 21.


Gambling laws in Canada are governed on a provincial level, unlike other countries where gambling is regulated by the government. This means that the legal gambling age differs from province to territory. For the most part, the average legal gambling age is 19. For example, in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, the legal gambling age is 18 while In all other provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, the legal gambling age is 19.

The United States of America

Just like Canada, the legal gambling age in many states in the US is 21. However, the age restrictions vary by state and the gambling activity taking place. There are a few states where individuals can gamble at 18 years old. Some of these states are Louisana, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Iowa, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Wyoming.


The legal gambling age in Ireland is 18. This means that any person 18 and above can participate in all forms of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, lotteries, and online gambling. Ireland has put in place strict measures to prevent illegal gambling and promote responsible gambling practices among its people.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the minimum gambling age varies depending on the type of gambling. For most forms of gambling, including sports betting, lotteries, and scratch cards, the legal gambling age is 18 years old. However, for casino gambling and electronic gaming machines, the legal gambling age is 20 years old.


The legal gambling age in Australia is 18. This applies in most states and territories, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. However, in Western Australia, the legal gambling age is 18 for some forms of gambling, such as sports betting and lotteries, but 21 for casino gambling.

It is important to check a country’s laws and regulations before immersing yourself in any type of online gambling to avoid any legal problems with the government.

How Online Platforms Confirm Your Age?

Because online gambling platforms are regulated by the Government, these platforms need to take reasonable steps to confirm a user’s age and prevent underage gambling. To confirm your age, gambling platforms will;

  • Ask for your government-issued identification documents such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Use age verification software to confirm a player’s age by comparing it to the publicly available database.
  • Ask for a social security number to verify your age and identity.
  • Use a credit card or other payment method information to similarly verify the user’s age and identity.

If you lie about your age, high chances are that the casino will withhold your winnings. This is not usually in bad faith but in paying you, they could get in trouble with the law and even lose their gambling license.

casinos & gambling

Why Is The Minimum Casino Age Restricted To 21 In most States?

  • To prevent young people from the adverse effects of alcohol and gambling addiction.

It is argued that even though at 18 a person is mature enough to make major decisions, they might not be mature enough to know when to walk away, therefore, increasing their chances of battling with a gambling addiction.

Of course, anyone can get addicted to online gambling, but at 18 it is easy for young people to mishandle their winnings even before they get to the bank. Consequently, most casinos offer alcohol to their patrons, and by restricting casino access to 21, states help to protect young people from the potential negative consequences of gambling.

Is Online Gambling Legal In The US?

Online gambling is legal in the US under federal law. but as discussed earlier, some states allow and others that prohibit online gambling. Some of the states that currently prohibit most or all forms of gambling include;

  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota

It’s always important to check with local authorities for comprehensive information regarding the online gambling age in a particular state.

What States Can You Go To A Casino At 18?

While the online gambling age in most states is 21 there are a few of them that allow people to gamble at 18 years old. It’s important to note that even in these states, individual casinos might have their age restrictions. Some states you can go to at 18 include; Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, and Wyoming.


Online gambling age varies by country and within states or provinces in some cases. In some countries, the legal age to gamble online is 18 while in others, it is 21. However, most states in the US have set their online gambling age at 21, since at 21 it is believed that an adult is more responsible and in control of their life and their finances.


What happens if I’m an underage gambler? 

If you are an underage gambler, you might face legal action depending on the gambling laws and policies set in the particular country. To avoid this, ensure you are conversant with the online gambling age of your country.

Can I online gamble at 18? 

Yes, you can depending on where you are. Online gambling laws are different in various countries. Online casinos also have different age requirements, so it is important to check the rules and regulations of a casino before playing any games.

Are gambling ages different for online casinos? 

Yes, gambling ages are different for online casinos. There are casinos where you can gamble at 18 and others where you have to be 21.

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Rupesh Kumar

First, I am an online marketing professional, as well as a night time gamer with a wide array of interests. Aside from constantly writing about games, I also enjoy writing about my other hobbies such as fitness, cooking, home DIY projects and travel. Contact me at

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