For the most part, the legal age for gambling is eighteen years old. This includes any gambling that takes place in a casino, betting shop, and race tracks. Other forms of gambling – such as the National Lottery and certain low-stakes forms – have a slightly lowered restriction of 16 years of age, while games like coin pushers or grabbing machines have no recommended age restriction. Failing to follow these restrictions can result in the premises losing their licences and an underage gambler may be unable to collect any prize they win.
Research suggests that around a quarter of all gambling addicts engage in some sort of criminal act. Theft is the most commonly associated crime as the gambler becomes desperate for a way to fund their addiction. For some, this may be taking money from friends or family without them knowing but there are numerous cases of embezzlement or theft from stores to conceal their gambling debts across the internet.