Gambling explained

“to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance”

As a general rule, the minimum legal age for gambling in the UK is 18 years old. This applies to adult gaming centres, betting shops, bingo halls, casinos, racetracks and online gambling. The exceptions to this are the National Lottery and scratchcards – you’re allowed to take part in these from the age of 16.

Gambling is when people take part in a game – such as scratchcards, fruit machines or betting with friends – and stake money that they will be able to predict the outcome.

This is done with the chance of being able to win a bigger prize if you predict correctly. If you predict incorrectly, the money that you gambled will not be given back to you.

Why do people gamble?

Gambling is done for all different reasons; but most people will start gambling as a way to have fun. Check out exactly what we mean by gambling, and how the games work below

More on how gambling works

Feeling confused?

Different types of gambling use lots of different words and phrases. House edge, odds, luck – knowing what these words mean is the first step in becoming a responsible gambler.

Check out our jargon buster!

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Myth Buster

Staying safe

We don’t promote gambling, or say that gambling is bad.  At BigDeal, we encourage people to educate themselves about responsible gambling so they can make their own decisions and stay safe.

Check out our top tips

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