Mimimum Age Online
The gambling age online can be even more confusing than it is when visiting a gambling establishment to play. This is due to the fact that it is generally easy to find out the gambling age in a certain area if located there, but when it comes to internet gambling the question of jurisdiction isn't quite as easy to resolve. Is it the local gambling age from where you connect, the gambling age where the servers are located, the age where the company is incorporated or the gambling age from where the casino has received its license that matters?
To resolve that question we start by looking at the casino or poker room. The company does not want to break the rules of their gambling license or the laws where they are incorporated, so you can assume that the age requirement listed on their internet site is the gambling age for the license and incorporation country/countries or higher.
But what if the gambling age at the internet casino is lower than those in the area where you live; can you then legally play in the casino or poker room? The short answer is that in most areas you will not, but it all depends on local law. The fact that you play online does not alter local law. At least, that is the dominant opinion at the moment.
That being said, it is unlikely that anyone would notice or care of you play online while still being under the legal gambling age in your own country as long as you do not break the gambling sites' age requirement, only play for money you can afford lose and make sure you have your parent's permission if you're under 18. This does however not mean that you should go ahead and play, since there are several risks with this type of action. Your winnings might for instance be confiscated if you win big and draw attention to your self.
The gambling age at most online casinos is 18 or 21 years. Many have the same age requirement for all their services, while some allow anyone to play their games for free and only limit access to real-money games. To allow underage gambling as long as it does not involve real money is generally considered unethically and in bad taste. The usual viewpoint is that the age requirement should be for all gambling, even gambling for play money. This is because play money gambling is seen as an introduction to the gambling world and play money games are considered a type of advertising that allows young people to develop a taste for casino games.
Casinos online never actually see you so it can be tempting to simply lie about your age to get to play. This is a bad idea. First of all, it gives the casino the right to suspend your account at any times since you violated the rules for said account. Even more importantly, no winnings will be paid out if they discover you to be a minor since you can not legally play. This could be very traumatic if you win big just to have the win taken away from you. It might be tempting to try to cheat the gambling age but in the end it is best not to.