As online gambling continues to grow and become more popular, and newer services emerge in different countries around the world, there’s a bit of a grey area for where players can become involved and some of the restrictions that they may face along the way too – now that legislation is changing particularly in countries like the US, it’s becoming more important than ever for newcomers to understand whether or not they’re of the legal age to take part in a service being eyed up, or whether a bit more time would be needed.
USA – The US is going through a huge amount of change; the past two years have seen online gambling and online sportsbooks emerge at a rapid rate as legislation is starting to legalize online options around the country. Many services require players to register for the state they currently reside in, which make the age restrictions more important than may be seen in other countries in particular. 14 of the 52 states have the legal gambling age set at 18, but not all have introduced online gambling yet and may see a change for the online only space, the other remaining states all have the legal gambling age set at 21 but could once again also see change once legislation changes bring legal online options.
Europe – The opposite is true across most of Europe, online sportsbooks and online casinos have been legal across most of Europe for quite some time and have many established services to cater to the growing interests of players – the majority of countries have the legal age of gambling set at 18 with only a few exceptions – Sweden have two different requirements, 18 for online options, and 20 for entering a brick-and-mortar facility, where Jersey, a country in which many casinos have emerged previously, have an age of 21.
Asia – Following similar trends to the US, the legal gambling age across most of Asia is also much higher than most of Europe at 21, alongside many countries also having legal issues with gambling in others – gambling in countries like China is illegal, similarly Indonesia and the UAE too. Whilst gambling isn’t technically restricted in Japan, there are caveats to how prizes are awarded, and players must be 20 to participate.
The emergence of online casinos has somewhat blurred the lines for some as there may be unique legislation just for online services rather than offline ones but keeping up with changes that may be in place ensures that players know what falls within the rule of law and what doesn’t and helps to avoid issues further down the line.