In the UK, the gambling industry offers gamblers diverse ways to gamble, including casino games, bingo, gaming machines, and sports betting. All these forms of gambling are available online as well as on the high street. However, these online gaming operators who offer gamblers a gaming experience and a chance to win real money must be licensed and regulated by local authorities and gambling commissions.
When an online casino limited is licensed, it is under the terms of the agreement that an underage wouldn’t use their product. Underage players are not allowed to play table games, slot games, video slots, live blackjack, live roulette, or any other online casino games. So, what is the legal age to gamble online in the UK? Well, the general rule is that the minimum legal age to gamble in the UK is 18 years old. This age limit applies to online betting, online casinos, and online gambling.
An exception is the National Lottery and lotteries. Anyone can take part in these from the age of 16 and above. From the age of 16, you are also allowed at some non-commercial gambling, prize gambling and low stakes too.
There are gaming machines like the teddy grabbers, coin pushers, and other low-stake fruit machines found mostly at amusement arcade; have no age restriction. So, anyone can play these games at an amusement arcade without breaking the law. But anyone who is over 16 years old and under 18 years old who participate in gambling except under these exceptions is breaking the law and guilty of a criminal offence.
That is why online casino restricts underage players from gambling online. Moreover, there are other reasons why there is an age limit for those who can gamble online.
Why is there an age limit to who can gamble online?
Online casinos must abide by the law of the land
Most casinos are licensed and regulated to protect their integrity and their license, they follow the age limits of the UK.
In some countries, there is a zero-tolerance for gambling. Even if you are 30 years old in such states, you cannot gamble there. Most often, online casinos do not accept players from such countries.
However, it is allowed to gamble in the UK, provided casinos abide by certain rules and regulations laid down by the law. When a casino limited is licensed to operate in the UK, the terms and conditions of the license include that they agree to comply with the UK laws. If the online casino goes contrary to the laws of the country or state, they stand a chance of losing their license. Moreover, the gambling industry in the UK is one of the largest industries in the country and in the world. Therefore, casinos and specifically online ones are under great scrutiny by regulations authorities and anti-gambling associations. The age limit being the most important rule a casino must abide for, being negligent on that restriction would be instantly noticed and sanctionned.
Another problem why there is an age limit to gamble is because teenagers quickly get addicted compared to adults. For instance, a teenager can play slot games like video slots or live blackjack to earn real money for days without even noticing the time. Because of this, there is an age limit that allows gambling for matured minds only. Gambling is for people who can gamble with money they can afford to risk and lose in worst cases. Even with the age limits restrictions, there is also the responsible gaming awareness at most online casinos because they understand gambling is very addictive.