What someone can do in one country, another risks a criminal record in the other. That is why you must be aware of what the official legal ages are for each country. In an age where people use air travel frequently, one must always come to understand that each society is different.
Canada & USA
In Canada, the average gambling restriction sits at 19 years of age. There are, however, several exceptions where the legal age is 18 years old. These are Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta. The US is much more complicated.
In the US, the legal age varies from the age of 18 to 21. As a rule of thumb, it is safe to assume that it is 21, given that most of the US prescribes to the rule. In states such as California, there are permissions for certain activities at 18, and others at 21.
Are you under 21 years of age? No problem. South America has set the restriction at 18. However, certain countries, such as Ecuador, have a total prohibition on gambling. The only exception to this is online gambling using a foreign provider. Ecuador has banned it since 2011.
The case in Europe is an interesting one. The legal gambling age differs depending on the country or even the province that you’re in. The legal age in Europe varies from a general 18 years old to 21 years old. There are exceptions to the rule, however.
In the United Kingdom's case, you can take part in the lottery when you’re 16. The United Kingdom does, however, set other activities at 18. Greece is a country that errs to the more liberal end with the legal age of 21.
You’ll also notice foreign policies on the topic. Certain countries, such as Portugal, allow tourists to gamble at 18, but locals at 21 years of age.
Unfortunately, in the Middle-East, gambling is mostly prohibited and illegal. This ban is due to the religious influence of Islam. Some countries in the region do provide exceptions for tourists.
Japan has set the legal age to 20 years of age. There have been legislative changes that set 18 as the minimum in certain areas.
In Oceania, the legal age is quite varied. New Zealand displays one of the more interesting cases where it is legal to bet on horse racing at 18, but they have prohibited casino gambling until you’re 20. Australia, on the other hand, is set at 18.
Other countries, such as Papua New Guinea, have limited themselves to non-existent gambling infrastructure. This lack means that there are no concrete gambling laws. An exception to this would be their online gambling regulations. As a general rule, the legal age is 18 years old.
There are several African countries where gambling is illegal. These include but are not limited to: Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, Mauritiana, and Libya. Certain countries, such as Ethiopia, allow for online gambling, but not for brick-and-mortar establishments. Most countries allow for a legal age of 18.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. An example of this is Egypt that has set the legal age to 18 for foreigners. It may also be 21 in certain casinos. Egyptian residents may only enjoy sports betting, as it is illegal for them to gamble.