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What Happens if You Get Caught Gambling Under 18?

What Happens If You Get Caught Gambling Under 18

Online casinos are widely available to the general public, and that means to minors as well. In the UK, the legal age for gambling is 18, while in some states in America, it’s 21. Even with strict laws, we’re seeing more underage individuals dabble in gambling and other illegal activities, such as underage drinking.

In this article, we explore what could happen to underage individuals who get caught gambling. Read below for more information.

Potential Consequences of Gambling for Underage Individuals

Keeping underage individuals from physical casinos is much easier than keeping them away from online ones. Underage gambling has skyrocketed, with a report of 0.2% to 12.3% of underage youth meeting the criteria for a gambling problem.

But what are the consequences for these individuals? Firstly, many consequences are mental. Gambling can spike our dopamine, especially in young, developing brains. As the gambling progresses, so does the stress over time. While people may consider gambling as stress relief, the consistent losses can lead to anxiety and a gambling disorder. Developing brains should not be exposed to this.

Secondly, the consequences can be related to fines and penalties the individual can get. Getting caught gambling underage in the UK may result in penalties established by the UK Gambling Commission. The fines do vary depending on the severity of the offence.

Other things include confiscated winnings; anything obtained if the individual is underage could prevent them from claiming them. In some instances, the underage individual could be sent to get professional help, similar to counselling and educational programs.

Circling back to legal consequences, underage individuals could also be legally charged, which could result in them having a criminal record and possibly community service as part of their punishment. In addition to fines, they could face probation, with supervision from a probation officer and perform any activities that the court orders, such as attending counselling or restraining from future gambling activities.

Restrictions also come in place, such as banning underage individuals from entering gambling establishments or accessing online gambling platforms for a certain amount of time.

Legal Consequences for Gambling Establishments

Land-based and online casinos have regulations, but what happens when they break their own rules and the rules of the country where they have opened their casino?

The legal repercussions for individuals are harsh, but casinos get the bad end of it. Casinos that let underage players gamble experience harsh fines and could have their licence suspended or even revoked.

They may also face legal prosecution if they repeat their actions. UKGC can suspend or revoke the operating licence of an online casino or betting platform that fails to prevent underage gambling, which could easily disrupt the platform’s work.

That’s why land-based and online casinos are cautious and strictly follow UKGC’s provisions and regulations. Land-based and online casinos must take proactive measures to strengthen their prevention of underage gambling. Such as:

  • Age verification – Checking each ID of a young individual is crucial in preventing underage gambling.
  • Notices – Having notices highlighting the required age of the individual to gamble.
  • Security – Hiring security that monitors the premises and intervenes if individuals seem suspicious.
  • Policy Enforcement – The casino has strict policies, and if an individual is found to be an underage gambler, they, for example, face immediate expulsion.
  • Collaboration With Authorities – Working closely with UKGC would definitely help casinos with advice on how to enhance their efforts to avoid such things.

FAQ: Repercussions of Gambling Under 18

Why are the penalties for underage gambling so harsh?

This is because young people’s brains are still developing, as mentioned above. They could quickly develop a gambling addiction, which can lead to financial and mental instability. These penalties are to protect minors from potential threats. Overall, these penalties help children and parents be hyper-aware of all the damage underage gambling could do.

What can I do to prevent my child from gambling?

Using GamStop is one way to prevent your child from gambling. This free service lets you put controls in place, helping restrict your child’s potential online gambling habit. Education is another thing. Educating yourself and your children about your area’s regulatory laws could benefit you and your child.

Are there any gambling alternatives allowed for underage individuals?

There are lots of healthy alternatives to gambling, and your child’s dopamine could skyrocket; it just depends on the child. If you are looking for a healthy alternative to gambling, teaching your child card games could be fun for them and all family members involved.

Related Articles

We cannot keep our children hidden in a bubble forever, but keeping their rosy-coloured glasses on for a bit longer is not a bad idea either. Check out these related articles that can teach you more about underage gambling.