Home Responsible Gambling Preventing Underage Gambling: A Guide for Parents and Guardians
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Definition of Underage Gambling

Underage gambling is cataloged as entering, playing, and wagering on games of chance in casinos. The legal age of gambling is set separately in set jurisdictions. The legal age of gambling is set at 18 or 21 years, but it can be higher and even banned altogether. Underaged gambling can be damaging, leading to financial and psychological issues, even from a young age. That’s why countries have implemented rules to fight against underage gambling.

How Know Your Customer (KYC) Prevents Underage Gambling?

Know Your Customer (KYC) is a regulatory requirement implemented by all regulated casinos that involves providing legal documentation about the player, this includes their age, their source of income, and their location, and therefore helps to prevent underage gambling. Casino operators use documents the players submit to verify if they are eligible to gamble in their jurisdiction and can effectively prevent underaged individuals from participating in gambling activities.

What are the Legal Gambling Ages?

The legal age for gambling can vary depending on the country. As a general rule, gambling is allowed for adults over 18, but other countries have made it even harder for kids to gamble increasing the legal gambling age. Here are countries and the legal age where players can gamble responsibly.

United Kingdom: 18+

United States: 21+, varies by state

Netherlands: 18+

Spain: 18+

Sweden: 20+ for casinos

Ukraine: 21+

Australia: 18+

Japan: 20+

China: 18+

Tips for Preventing Minors’ Access to Betting Accounts

Use strong passwords and PINs

Use strong passwords and PINs

Access can be limited to the websites kids can access while on the home IP. While this can be done through the browser, a better way of doing it is by creating passwords and secret PINs to prevent them from accessing the browser of a computer. To avoid them playing the guessing game, you can use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters and never use easily identifiable numbers like middle names, dates of birth, or addresses.

Educate children about the dangers of gambling

Educate children about the dangers of gambling

Talking to your child about gambling and its risks is a great way to take preventive measures as a child. It’s difficult to bring this to attention, but parents should discuss potential risks, negative consequences, and mental health impacts. Do that by providing real-life examples since that will significantly impact how seriously they perceive the issue.

Be a Rolemodel

Be a Rolemodel

While talking can help, it surely does not, if you yourself are gambling in front of your kids. Model behavior you want your kids to adapt.

Keep credit cards and betting apps out of reach

Keep credit cards and betting apps out of reach

Without access and reach, minors are less likely to gamble, so it’s essential not to make credit cards or betting apps easily available. Putting a lock on the app store is a great way to prevent your kids from even considering the games. We know digital payments are necessary, but parents can control how much money is allocated to their kid’s accounts. When kids get smart and save their parent’s credit card details, always check your balance to see if the card was used on any gambling website.

What are the Risks of Underage Gambling?

When gambling mania takes over, children are at risks of dangerous behaviour patterns that can lead far into the future! Here are some of the issues that can arise from gambling as minor.

Financial Problems

Without understanding the value of money and how this can impact a person’s well-being, underage gamblers can quickly go into debt. This doesn’t only cause problems for the child but also for the parent, who might need help to afford the losses. In turn, it can result in borrowing money that can damage someone’s financial stability.

Emotional Distress and Mental Health Issues

Losing money as a minor can take a significant toll and create additional pressure. As minors continue losing and failing to disclose the problem, it can lead to additional stress and anxiety, especially since the minor feels guilty about doing something illegal. Distress can lead to further issues, increasing emotional turmoil. Moreover children are less likely to use responsible gambling tools.

Academic Performance Issues

Minors have a short attention span, and if they focus on gambling, they will put schoolwork second. Their focus will shift from studying, which is dull, towards gambling, which can create excitement. As a result, this can impair their cognitive abilities and decision-making skills, affecting their future career potential.

Increased Risk of Addiction

Finally, getting started with gambling in the early stages can increase the risk of developing addictive behavior. Because cognitive responses aren’t that well established, getting hooked on fake adrenaline from gambling can be damaging and create further emotional distress. It can later transform into personal and relationship problems down the line and a gambling addiction.

Responsible Gambling toolkit

Why Gambling Can Be Appealing to Minors?

Gambling is mostly appealing to minors who come from difficult home situations. It is a way to cope for them.

Thrill of Winning

This is one of the strongest triggers. Young players aren’t accustomed to winning or having large sums of money. That’s why the thrill of knowing they can increase their finances without much work can be a powerful hook.

Peer Pressure

Adolescents want to stand out. They want to experiment with what’s cool. If friends are actively gambling, a minor might feel social pressure to try to fit in and be accepted by the group. Because of that, gambling can think that it’s acceptable even though it’s not common for minors.

Exposure to Gambling Through Advertising

Gambling advertising is designed to quickly grab the viewer’s attention. They’re also available through almost every medium possible: online, offline, and TV. Since minors are less likely to read the fine print, they only understand that gambling is cool, rewarding, and fun. More importantly, celebrity endorsement can make minors want to mirror their activities and gamble to be like the ones they follow.

Signs Your Child May Be Gambling

Lightbulb - idea in the makingRecognizing the signs of underage gambling in your child can be crucial for early intervention and prevention. Here are some potential indicators:

Finding Gambling-Related Materials in Their Possession or in their Social Media

Unexplained Money or Valuables Going Missing

Increased Secrecy About Online Activities

Declining Academic or Social Performance

Sudden Mood Swings or Irritability

How to Prevent Underage Gambling as a Parent?

responsible gambling miniIt always begins with you and the behavior you model to your children. It is important to ensure that your child grows up in a secure and safe environment – financially, emotionally, socially, mentally and physically.

Then there are additional steps you should take to prevent underage gambling and encourage healthy behaviour.

Encouraging Healthy Screen Time

Keep your kid busy to avoid him getting bored. Be sure that his screen and computer time is limited and focus his attention on learning, playing sports, or socializing.

Set Reasonable Time Limits on Device Usage

Since gambling can be quickly done on mobile, set time limits for how much he can spend. It can help prevent accessing gambling and also encourages offline activities.

Promote Alternative Hobbies and Activities

Encourage the young ones to take on activities that don’t involve the computer. Sports is a good alternative since it combines socializing, effort, and team play, giving a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Foster Open Communication About Online Experiences

Create a safe environment for minors to discuss their online habits and activities. This is the only way you can identify if external factors trigger gambling. It also helps you prevent it by removing possible triggers. So, make sure to keep communications open.

Educate Your Child About Responsible Internet Usage

Teach your kid about the possible drawbacks of gambling. Also, let him know about the risks of gambling, including financial loss and emotional distress, while providing concise examples.

Website and Software Blocking Apps

Here are some of the best apps to use to diminish gambling activities for minors.

Cyber Nanny

Cyber Nanny is an app that offers web filtering options and time management features. It allows you to block content you don’t want and manage screen time, including on social media. It has a real-time content analysis feature that can block new websites or content that falls into banned categories.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a very well-known software with a range of features to help parents monitor their young ones. It primarily monitors internet activities, including gambling websites and profanity masking.

Norton Family

Norton, a digital security firm with antivirus tools, developed the Norton Family. Norton Family offers web filtering options, time, search, and social network supervision. It can also send users reports on whether they want to access a gambling website.


Qustodio is a parental control tool that helps parents protect their kids from unwanted websites and online experiences. The program includes website blocking, panic buttons for kids, and a social monitoring feature. This means that parents can control what their kids are accessing.

Family Zone

Family Zone is the last tool we’re reviewing for parental control. It gives parent control over what websites their kids can access, can increase or decrease computer time allowance, and monitor their social media activity. Parents can also set routines for each device and block content that’s unsuited for kids, including gambling.


Underage gambling is a serious issue, and with growing numbers of online casinos and paid casino advertising, it becomes challenging for parents to protect their young ones. By understanding the risks of gambling and identifying a child’s odd behavior, guardians can ensure their children grow up in a safe environment. Only by taking preventive measures can parents protect their children against gambling when they’re most vulnerable.

As a parent it is always best to model, so if you do not want your child to gamble, quit gambling yourself.