Around the world
The gambling age across the world varies greatly. In some countries and areas gambling is outlawed altogether, in others gambling is only legal for foreigners. In some regions, everyone is allowed to play but the gambling age requirement is not the same for citizens as for foreigners. An example of such a country is Portugal where foreigners are allowed to gamble in all casinos at the age of 18, while citizens needs to be 21 or 25 depending on the casino.
The most common gambling age across the globe is 18 years and more than 50% of western countries have this gambling age. There are however plenty of examples of countries that has a higher limit, such as Greece and Germany. Germany is a good example of how thorny the question of gambling age really is as Germany - just like in the USA - has different ages in different states within the nation. Most German states require you to be 18 years old, but some have placed the age requirement at 21 years instead.
Generally speaking, one can see a trend of countries and states lowering the gambling age from the once dominating gambling age of 21 year to just 18 years. This trend has been going for quite some time and across large parts of the world.
If you plan a trip where a gambling element is planned and you are 25 years or younger you should always check to verify the gambling age before you go. It is very disappointing to get turned away at the door because the gambling age for that particular state or casino turns out to be 21 years instead of 18 years, or 25 years instead of 21 years, and so on. The best way to check is to contact the casino you plan to visit. Casinos are normally allowed to set a higher (but never lower) age requirement than the legal gambling age. Today, most casinos has a web site and you can find the gambling age information you need. It is definitely a good idea to spend 5-10 minutes online to verify the gambling age to avoid problems down the line.
Below you will find a list with gambling age for some popular tourist destinations.
Antigua and Barbuda: 18 years to gamble in a casino
Aruba: Must be 18 to enter a casino
Australia: Usually 18 years
Belgium: Members of 21 years or older. All players must be members of private clubs.
Bulgaria: 18 years
- British Columbia: 19 years.
- Nova Scotia: 19 years
- Ontario: 19 years
- Quebec: 18 years
Denmark: 18 years
Egypt: 18, many casinos are only for foreigners
Finland: 18 years
France: 18 years (lowered from 21 years)
Germany: 18 years or 21 years depending on state. 12 of 16 States have 18 years, the rest have 21 years
Great Britain: Need to be a member of the casino and at least 18 to join
Greece: 23 years (which is older than in most other countries)
Italy: 18 years
New Zealand: 20 years to enter or gamble in a casino
Norway: 18 years
Portugal: Portugal has a rather confusing system. The age limit is 21 or 25 depending on the casino. Foreigners over 18 years of age are however allowed to play at all casinos.
Spain: 18 years
Sweden: 18 years to enter or play in a casino
The Bahamas: the current gambling age is 18 years, but an older not yet properly revoked (but unenforced) law says 21 years
Please not that there can be errors in the above list and that you should check the legal age in the country you plan to visit even if it is listed in the list above to verify that the data you read here is correct.