How Old Do You Have to Be to Bet on the Internet?

How old do you have to be to bet online – Punters in the United Kingdom have a plethora of options for trying their luck in the hopes of winning big. From sports betting to football pools to purchasing national lottery tickets, the British gambler has little reason to complain about a lack of options. However, punters in the United Kingdom should be aware that they must attain a particular age before they may legally bet and gamble.

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How old do you have to be to bet online? 

Aside from the fact that UK punters have a variety of alternative ways to wager, these gambling methods have varying legal minimum ages.

Category of Gambling Age Restriction
Sports Betting 18+
Casino/Gaming Machines 18+
National Lottery 18+
Scratch Cards 16+
Football Pools 16+

Betting on Sports, How old do you have to be to bet online?

Sports betting is perhaps one of the most popular forms of internet gambling, as evidenced by the variety of betting sites available. When you include in the variety of games available for consumers to test their luck and knowledge, it’s evident that sports betting has everything it takes to appeal to a broad audience. However, while sports betting may entice a large number of people, age rules prevent anyone under the age of 18 from legally betting online or in betting shops on the high street.

Casino/Gambling Devices

Customers under the age of 18 are not permitted to attend physical casinos, and those under the age of 18 are not permitted to establish accounts or place real money wagers on online casino sites. Customers who want to play online casino games like slots and roulette must wait till they reach the age of 18.

Lottery Nationale

For many years, the legal age to purchase national lottery tickets was 16, but following a review of the 2005 Gambling Act in late 2020, it was announced that the legal age would be raised to 18, and on April 22nd, 2021, this change was legally implemented and has stayed in effect ever since.

Pools for Football

The most frequent type of football pool betting involves players predicting and selecting 10, 11, or 12 football games from a fixture list to end in draws in which both teams score. Players earn points depending on the accuracy of their predictions, with the player with the most points receiving the prize pot or, if tied, the pot shared by the leading players.

Its popularity has dwindled over the years, owing primarily to competitors such as the National Lottery, but the 16+ age limit may tempt a new generation of gamblers now that the lottery’s age limit has been raised.

How Can Ages Be Determined?

Following the 2005 Gambling Act standards and therefore “taking all reasonable means to determine the individual’s age” and having enough proof to think that a customer isn’t a minor, bookmakers can defend themselves from being convicted of any crimes related to supplying underage gamblers.

As a result, many online betting organizations demand consumers to provide proof of age and identification in order to demonstrate that they are of legal betting age. Often, a customer’s betting account will be restricted (they will be unable to withdraw any wins, for example) until a document establishing their identification is produced, with businesses typically demanding that clients show at least one of the following documents:

a customer’s passport a customer’s photo card a customer’s driving license

Household bill in the name of the customer

Credit/debit card with the customer’s name National ID card with the customer’s name and photograph

A recent bank statement in the customer’s name is required.

What Are the Penalties?

A range of gambling-related offenses and consequences for underage gambling are outlined in the Gambling Act of 2005. Some of these offenses and their associated penalties are listed below.



Gambling by minors is not permitted in places where it is prohibited.


Employment of minors to provide gaming services

51 weeks in jail and/or a £5,000 fine

Cheating or enabling someone else to cheat at gambling can result in a 51-week jail sentence and/or a £5,000 fine.

The justice system will investigate and censure the stated offenses, however one punishment not specified above that bookmakers may commence without a court hearing is withholding a customer’s gambling winnings if it is suspected that the customer is underage.

Overall, underage betting is illegal in the eyes of the law, and those who attempt to gamble while under the age of 18 risk either a lengthy prison sentence or a punishment that would likely wipe out whatever earnings they had obtained from an illegal winning bet. Based on these penalties, it’s evident that placing underage bets isn’t worth it.

Of course, it is also illegal for betting companies to knowingly accept bets from people under the age of 18, but given the UK Gambling Commission’s strict regulation of gambling companies, it is very unlikely that any betting firms or online casinos would risk taking on customers they knew were under the age of 18. If they do, they may face steep fines and the suspension or cancellation of their gambling license.

Other Countries’ Legal Betting Ages, How old do you have to be to bet online?

Diverse countries have different attitudes toward gambling, which is reflected in the varying minimum betting ages within these countries. The following are just a few of the legal gambling age restrictions in various countries, some of which are comparable to and some of which are not to the UK’s age limit.

Gambling in a Legal Country Age

Belgium 21 \Canada Generally, 19 years old, while some provinces have 18 years old.

Estonia 21 \France 18 \Germany 18\ Greece 21\ Italy 18 \New Zealand 20\ Portugal 18 \Spain 18 /Sweden 18 \USA Age ranges from 18 to 21 years old, depending on the state.

Countries Where Betting Is Prohibited

While most countries require people to reach a particular age before they can legally take bets, certain governments do not allow anyone, regardless of age, to place bets at all. Instead, they have outright prohibitions on gambling. The following are only a few of the countries where betting is fully forbidden.

Algeria, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lebanon, North Korea, Qatar, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates

British people under the age of 18 who want to place an online bet but are counting down the days until they become 18 can look at the list of nations above and consider themselves fortunate that waiting until they reach 18 is all they need to do to bet legally. Some citizens in certain countries have little choice but to hope that their government will one day decide that the time has come to finally legalize gaming.

In fact, it wasn’t until the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1960 that off-course gambling in person became legal in the UK, which means that today’s under-18s can look to their British elders for insight into a time when legal gambling wasn’t an option for anyone at any age, and then these young Brits can realize how fortunate they are that they only need to wait.


One of the most significant worries for many prospective sports bettors is the minimum age requirement for legal sports betting. Even in 2022, underage gambling is considered a significant infraction that can result in huge penalties or even jail time for sports betting providers, so sportsbooks are highly vigilant about who they allow to gamble. Although federal law establishes very broad rules for most forms of gambling, it has traditionally left the particular of lawful gambling age requirements to individual states. International online sportsbooks are free to set their own age restrictions, but local providers must follow state laws.

Some states allow restricted kinds of gambling (bingo, charity games, etc.) before the age of 18, but all states require participants to be at least 18 years old to bet on sports. 35 states have raised the legal gambling age above the age of 18, which is negative for sports bettors. Fortunately, even in these states, legal sports betting is available to all gamers over the age of 18 who use international online sportsbooks.

Sports Betting Ages in Each USA State

Each state has its own sports betting laws, but the legal sports betting age is almost always 21, but the legal lottery and pari-mutuel betting age is usually 18. (except for Alabama, where all gambling ages are 19 for some reason). You should stick to the following age minimums for sports betting, which are listed alphabetically by state. (Note: States with an age range represent locations where there is a difference age limit for commercial vs. tribal casino gaming and betting, and you should usually err on the side of the younger age.)

  • Alabama Betting Age – 19 • Alaska Betting Age – 19 • Arizona Betting Age – 21 • Arkansas Betting Age – 21 • California Betting Age – 18-21 • Colorado Betting Age – 21 • Connecticut Betting Age – 21 • Delaware Betting Age – 21 • Florida Betting Age – 21 • Georgia Betting Age – 21 • Hawaii Betting Age – 18 • Idaho Betting Age – 21 • Illinois Betting Age – 21 • Indiana Betting Age – 21 • Iowa Betting Age – 21 • Kansas Betting Age – 21 • Kentucky Betting Age – 18 • Louisiana Betting Age – 21 • Maine Betting Age – 21 • Maryland Betting Age – 21 • Massachusetts Betting Age – 21 • Michigan Betting Age – 18-21 • Minnesota Betting Age – 18-21 • Mississippi Betting Age – 21 • Missouri Betting Age – 21 • Montana Betting Age – 18 • Nebraska Betting Age – 21 • Nevada Betting Age – 21 • New Hampshire Betting Age – 21 • New Jersey Betting Age – 21 • New Mexico Betting Age – 21 • New York Betting Age – 21 • North Carolina Betting Age – 21 • North Dakota Betting Age – 21 • Ohio Betting Age – 21 • Oklahoma Betting Age – 18-21 • Oregon Betting Age – 18-21 • Pennsylvania Betting Age – 21 • Rhode Island Betting Age – 18 • South Carolina Betting Age – 21 • South Dakota Betting Age – 21 • Tennessee Betting Age – 18 • Texas Betting Age – 21 • Utah Betting Age – 18 • Vermont Betting Age – 18 • Virginia Betting Age – 18 • Washington Betting Age – 18-21 • West Virginia Betting Age – 21 • Wisconsin Betting Age – 21 • Wyoming Betting Age – 18

At Land-Based Sportsbooks, What Is the Legal Sports Betting Age?

  • The majority of land-based sportsbooks demand bettors to be 21 or older; however, some simply require bettors to be 18 years old. This component is established by state legislation — unlike online and mobile sports betting operations, all authorized land-based sportsbooks are controlled by the state and must adhere to the state-mandated age minimums. Some sportsbooks sell alcohol within their sportsbooks; if this is the case, the minimum age for access is normally 21 years old, even though the state merely needs individuals to be 18 years old to bet on sports.

 Age Limit for Legal Sports Betting at Online Sportsbooks

  • Depending on where you reside, the legal sports betting age at online sportsbooks may differ. People who use online sportsbooks in Rhode Island, Oregon, and New Hampshire, for example, must be at least 18 years old. However, in some states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, you must be 21 or older to utilize authorized sports betting sites. A good rule of thumb is to verify your state’s casino gambling rules, as these are frequently used to define the required sports betting age. When it comes to accessing online offshore sportsbooks, consumers must usually be 18 years old or older. However, if your state’s sports betting rules demand bettors to be 21 or older, you must adhere to that rule before using offshore options. This will ensure that you are completely safe when accessing these sites; otherwise, you risk getting into difficulty later on. Underage gambling is taken very seriously by these offshore sites, and anyone discovered betting as a minor would have their earnings confiscated and their account cancelled.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Bet On College Football?

  • The legal betting age for college basketball varies by state. Most jurisdictions require bettors to be at least 21 years old, however certain markets, like as Wyoming, accept bets from bettors who are 18 years old or older. However, regardless of a state’s regulations, international regulated sportsbooks will provide odds for all US players who are at least 18 years old, so betting aficionados may get in on the action.

How to Wager on the NFL When You’re 18 or Older

 There are a few sports betting websites that allow 18-year-olds to bet on the NFL. Online sportsbooks such as Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie all need an age of 18 to sign up, but there may be limits if your state has a 21-year age limit on legal sports betting. There are only a few jurisdictions that allow legal sports betting at the age of 18, so it’s better to wait until you’re 21 before betting on the NFL this year. Players may not face legal consequences if they bet on the NFL at the age of 18, but there are other consequences such as losing your earnings, being blacklisted from the sportsbook for life, and more. What Is The Minimum Age To Bet On Basketball?

Those interested in legal NBA betting and wondering what the minimum betting age is have come to the right place. NBA betting, like betting on any sport, is governed by the laws of each state. Most states demand that bettors be at least 21 years old. However, there are a few markets that welcome bettors beyond the age of 18. Checking your state’s legal betting age is the easiest approach to find out what age you must be to bet on basketball.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Bet On MLB Baseball?

  • While the minimum betting age for MLB is 18, most state-sanctioned sportsbooks demand consumers to be at least 21 years old. Online sportsbooks that accept all US bettors typically set their age requirement to 18 regardless of state, so these well-known books may be the best option for people wishing to wager in a state where you must be 21. Underage Sports Betting Is Dangerous
  • Underage gambling is legally forbidden, and the act can result in serious legal consequences. This is why it is critical to know and comprehend your state’s gaming regulations. If you are detected betting on sports while under the legal betting age in your state, you may be permanently barred from the sportsbook, penalized by the courts, or even prosecuted. Any form of illegal gambling can result in misdemeanor or even criminal penalties. Underage gambling is a risk that should be avoided because the consequences can be life-changing. The best option is to wait until you reach the legal gambling age in your jurisdiction.

Age Limit for Horse Betting

  • Unlike traditional sports betting, many markets allow 18-year-olds to wager on horse racing, as opposed to the 21-year-old restriction for regular sports betting. Horse racing betting is often done outside at a racecourse, therefore there are no bars that would ban young patrons from entering, like sportsbooks do. Indeed, racetracks have long welcomed the entire family to go and watch the events, so it’s understandable that many markets accept wagers from betting aficionados 18 and older. While most sportsbooks still require you to be at least 21 years old, these jurisdictions accept wagers from 18-year-old customers.
  • Alabama, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

Why Is There An Age Limit For Sports Betting?

Because the sportsbook will offer alcohol on the premises, there is generally an age restriction when wagering on sports within a casino sportsbook. To preserve its liquor license and comply with federal law, the casino requires that everyone in their building be 21 or older. Because sports betting laws allow it, several jurisdictions, such as Rhode Island, have sportsbooks that accept bettors as young as 18 years old. When it comes to online sports betting, most sites in the United States will set their age restrictions based on the state in which they are based. When using an offshore sports betting site, the majority of them will set the minimum age to 18 because that is the legal gambling age in the country in which they are based.


How Can I Prove My Age to a Sportsbook?

You will be required to produce legal papers proving your legal age to wager on sports at both land-based and internet sportsbooks. This could be a normal government-issued identification card. It is also required at overseas sportsbooks, with online sports betting firms demanding ID to prevent you from opening multiple accounts and to ensure payments are sent to the correct individual. It is not difficult to establish your age at sportsbooks, and if you want to wager on sports, you must have proof of your age.

Is there an age limit for entering a sportsbook?

Yes, and as of today, practically every legal land-based sportsbook in the United States requires anyone attempting to enter to be 21 or older. Only Rhode Island, New York, and Montana will accept bets from bettors as young as 18. Some casinos have their own betting apps or post their odds on their website so you may read lines from there, but you must be of legal gambling age to attend the casino or racino.

Will I Get In Trouble If I Bet on Sports While Underage?

Yes, and the fines vary depending on the state and the sportsbook. If you are discovered betting on sports minors at a land-based bookmaker, you could face a misdemeanor penalty, forfeit your profits, and pay a fee to the state. If you are detected betting underage through an online offshore sportsbook, you will forfeit all wins in your account and may be permanently banned from the site.

Where Can I Bet On Sports Under the Age of 21?

Currently, Rhode Island, New York, Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. permit land-based sports betting to persons under the age of 21.

What Is the Legal Age to Bet on Horses?

The legal age for horse racing betting in most states is 18 or older. This includes wagering on both live and simulcast races. However, a few states, including Arizona, require pari-mutuel bettors to be 21 or older. Some places even require that you be 19 or older to bet on the horses, so be sure to check your state regulations. To wager on races, most online racebooks will need users to be at least 18 years old.

Which online sportsbooks and betting apps do not require age verification?

The answer is no, and if you do come across one that does not check, we recommend that you avoid it. Online sportsbooks that do not check age demonstrate a lack of concern for their country’s rules and may be a scam. If you are under the age of 18 or 21, we recommend that you wait and study the industry so that when you reach the legal gambling age in your state, you will be well-versed in sports betting and ready to begin winning.

At Bovada, what is the legal betting age?

Bovada merely requires users to be at least 18 years old, regardless of where they live. Bovada, on the other hand, does not accept players from Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, or Nevada. Players in all other states should still check their state’s betting age to see whether their age limit is greater. Though it is important to know your local betting age, there have been no reports of anyone being arrested for underage gambling online. However, there are consequences for anyone who does not satisfy the minimum betting age at Bovada or any other online sportsbook.

Karina Peterson
More than 15 years in the gambling industry, working for the big players in the affiliation market. I won't name them, you know them. Also I enjoy seeing a new project taking life and expanding like this one.