Find out the most common age range of gamblers, exploring demographic trends and factors that influence gambling habits. Gain insights into how age impacts gambling preferences and behaviors.

What Age Are Most Gamblers

Gambling has been around for centuries, but the age of those who gamble has shifted over time.

Today, gambling is more accessible than ever before with the rise of online betting and increased legalization.

But what age groups tend to gamble the most in the modern era? Statistics show some interesting trends regarding the ages of gamblers today.

The Minimum Legal Gambling Age

First, it helps to look at the legal gambling age, as those under the legal age are less likely to openly gamble. In the United States, the minimum legal gambling age is 21 in all states except for Montana and Puerto Rico, where it is 18.

Other countries range from ages 16 to 21 as the legal minimum. This means most legal gamblers today are adults over the age of 21.

Those who gamble illegally underage make up a small percentage, and legal adulthood is a clear dividing line for participation in legal gambling.

Statistics on Gambling Participation by Age

Digging further into the statistics on gambling participation by age group in the U.S.:

  • 18-29 year olds have the highest participation, with 61% reporting they’ve gambled in the past year.
  • 50% of 30-44 year olds report gambling.
  • For the 45-64 age range, 48% are gamblers.
  • Only 34% of seniors over 65 gambled recently.

So while gambling participation declines slightly with age, a significant percentage of adults gamble all the way into their 60s and beyond. Gambling is certainly not just a young person’s activity.

That said, young adults ages 18-29 do gamble the most of any age group. This may be because they have more leisure time, greater access to gambling opportunities like online betting, higher risk tolerance, or feel more peer pressure to gamble with friends. But middle-aged adults are not far behind in gambling participation.

Types of Gambling By Age

It’s also useful to break down the types of gambling popular across age groups:

Online gambling has high participation from young adults. About 13% of 18-29 year olds bet online, more than any other age group.

The anonymity, convenience, variety of betting opportunities, and digital focus of young generations draw them to online gambling.

Casino gambling tends to skew slightly older. Only 11% of young adults visited a casino recently, while 15% of mature adults 30-44 and 15% of middle aged adults 45-64 reported casino gambling. Casinos seem to appeal more to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Sports betting is gaining popularity with younger generations. Around 13% of those 18-29 bet on sports in the past year.

But 10% of middle aged adults also reported sports bets. March Madness office pools and Super Bowl parties bring in gamblers of all ages.

Bingo is predominantly played by older adults. Only 5% of those 18-29 played bingo, while 13% of adults 45-64 reported playing. It’s a social game that appeals more to older generations.

Poker attracts players of all ages but is particularly popular amongst 30-44 year olds. Over 7% play poker, more than any other age group. Poker became a cultural phenomenon in the 2000s, pulling in many 20 and 30-somethings who continue to play.

Lotteries have participation across the board but are played by 52% of 45-64 year olds, the highest of any demographic. Buying lottery tickets is a gambling habit many carry well into middle age.

In summary, while online and sports betting tend to pull younger crowds, traditional casinos, bingo, lotteries, and poker appeal more to those 30 and over. Gambling preferences evolve with age and exposure to different gambling formats.

Problem Gambling Statistics by Age

There are also revealing statistics regarding problem gambling rates across age groups:

  • 18-20 year olds have the highest rate of gambling addiction at 13%.
  • 21-29 show a rate of 7%.
  • For the 30-39 age range, the rate drops slightly to 6%.
  • Middle aged adults 40-49 have the lowest rate at 3%.
  • Seniors over 70 actually have a higher rate at 4%.

So while young adults gamble the most in the U.S., they are also disproportionately affected by disordered gambling. Lack of experience and underdeveloped judgment may lead more 18-29 year olds down the path of addiction.

For middle aged adults, they gamble less than younger demographics and have cultivated more self-control and perspective. Seniors, meanwhile, may be affected by isolation, fixed incomes, and excess free time that increase compulsive gambling tendencies later in life.

Overall, the highest participation and problem gambling rates affect those under 30. But a significant percentage of middle aged and older adults also gamble regularly, especially at traditional casinos, while battling lower rates of addiction.

Ultimately, gamblers span every age group, though habits and motivations may shift with maturity and experience. While gambling problems clearly impact the youth disproportionately, it remains an activity pursued by Americans of all ages.

Global Gambling Statistics by Age

Looking internationally, a few other gambling age statistics stand out:

  • In Australia, 80% of 18-24 year olds gamble, the highest rate of any group.
  • In Canada, 18-24 also have the highest gambling rate at 75%.
  • In the UK, 16-24 gambled the most at 58%, with steady declines into old age.
  • In New Zealand, 15-17 are most likely to gamble frequently.

The details differ by country, but a similar theme emerges globally: younger adults and late teenagers gamble the most frequently across international jurisdictions.

This age group has the most interest, access to online gambling, and inclination to take risks. Of course, other age demographics continue to gamble in large numbers, just at somewhat lower rates in most countries. But the young adult cluster consistently gambles at higher rates worldwide.


In conclusion, gambling participation and problems do disproportionately affect younger adults. Those 18-29 gamble the most in the U.S., though Middle Aged groups are not far behind in betting activity.

Online and sports wagering appeal most to the younger demographics, while traditional casinos, bingo, and lotteries skew older. Globally, late teens through 20-somethings also tend to gamble at the highest rates internationally.

But plenty of 30+ adults continue to gamble regularly at casinos and online well into old age. Ultimately, gambling attracts players across the full age spectrum, though habits and motivations may evolve over a lifetime.

With expanded legalization, gambling is becoming a recreational activity pursued by adults of all ages.

Gambling Problem Help

While gambling is meant to be enjoyable, it can become a serious issue for some individuals. If you’re experiencing difficulties related to gambling, seek help from:

The Legal Stuff

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Hao Cheng Cheng is a renowned authority in the online gambling industry, with over a decade of hands-on experience. Holding a Master's in Cryptographic Engineering from Singapore Institute of Technology, he spent years working at Marina Bay Sands, igniting his passion for the intricacies of casino operations and regulations.
For the past 11 years, Hao has dedicated himself to becoming a leading voice in Singapore's online gambling space. His incisive analysis and meticulous research have earned recognition from the Singapore Casino Association, where he serves as an advisory board member.
In addition to his work on BetCasinoSG, John has also contributed articles to the Gambling Insider, The Washington Post, and Business Insider.
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