Legal Gambling Ages Around the World

Are you thinking about going on a vacation and visiting a casino while you’re there? Do you know  how old you must be to enter a casino? Or to gamble there?

Well, you’re in luck because we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the legal age to gamble all over the world! There are different minimum ages and regulations for most countries. Remember, it’s essential to stay legal when traveling.

The United States

One of the biggest attractions of the United States is its world-famous casinos. People travel from far and wide to visit Las Vegas and its infamous casino strip.

There is no national age minimum to gamble in the United States. Instead, each state controls what the legal age to gamble is. The ages range from 18 to 21, but in most states they stick with 21 because they also sell alcohol in the casinos.

Even where the legal minimum is 21, they sometimes allow 18 -year-olds to buy scratch cards, lottery tickets, and bingo. Again, this varies from state to state, so check out the places you will be visiting.


The legal age to gamble in Canada is between 18 to 19 (source:, depending on the Province you visit. In British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan, the minimum age is 19. In Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, the age is 18.

Both online and real casinos are legal in Canada; however, there are a lot of illegal online casinos to be wary about. Make sure the casinos you are playing at are licensed, to avoid legal troubles down the road.


In China, all forms of gambling are illegal, no matter what age you are. This includes online gaming, as well.

There are some exceptions, though. In Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, some forms of gambling are allowed. They have two national lotteries available, but only to play in person, not online.

There is the Welfare Lottery, which is regulated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Also, there is the Sports Lottery. The General Administration of Sports governs this lottery.

Even though it is illegal, the people of China are protesting to make gambling legal. We recommend that if you are visiting China, to stay away from any gambling because it is likely illegal, which can cause serious troubles for you if you are arrested as a foreigner.

The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the minimum legal age to gamble depends on what type of gambling it is. For most gambling activities, like real casinos, online casinos, sports betting, and bingo, the legal age is 18.

However, it is possible to participate in some gambling at the age of 16 legally. You can purchase lottery tickets and bet on football pools, and other low stakes gambling.

We encourage you to take part in gambling in the United Kingdom if you are 18 or older because it is entirely legal. If you are between 16 to 18, we would recommend making sure that your gambling activities are permitted for your age group.


When in Europe, everyone wants to visit Amsterdam. ‘The Dam’ offers a unique traveler experience, including its casinos. The legal age for gambling in the Netherlands is 18 years old.

The Holland Casino Group owns all of the casinos, and the revenue goes to the Dutch Treasury. There is no online gambling in the Netherlands. If you are found participating in online gambling on foreign sites, there is a fine, but no further punishments.

Our recommendation is to only participate in land-based casinos in the Netherlands, and only once you are over the age of 18.


In Brazil, gambling is prohibited, so there is no legal minimum age. However, some places do offer illegal gambling, and in those places, the minimum age is 18 years old.

There is not the political power to shut down the casinos, and they are run unlawfully. This creates a high risk for players. We do not recommend you go to casinos while in Brazil because they are not subject to any formal regulations.


In Australia, the minimum age to gamble in both online and real casinos is 18. This goes for betting actual money and also for free play.

The Australian federal and state governments control gambling outlets offering real money games. We recommend that when you are in Australia, only go to legal and regulated casinos once you’re 18 or older.


Gambling in Japan is illegal in many cases. The country does permit betting on sports and horse racing. Placing money on these events in Japan is only for people who are 20 or older.

They do allow some gambling games, specifically pachinko. For this game, you only have to be 18 to play with real money. These places are heavily controlled and regulated with spending limits.

The Bottom Line

Around the world, there are different regulations based on the country you are in. Always make sure what you are doing in other countries is legal according to their local laws.

Gambling is a fun activity, especially when you are on vacation. In most countries, the minimum age to gamble is 18, but not everywhere. Make sure you follow the rules and always enjoy safe gambling.

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One thought on “Legal Gambling Ages Around the World”

  1. I’m from British Columbia and when I turned 18 I was not able to gamble in my state, but as the article says, I could go to casinos in Alberta legally. Pretty weird if you ask me that the Canadian provinces have different laws regarding the legal gambling age.

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