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Can You Gamble on a Cruise at 18? Cruise Line Gambling Guide

If you are taking a cruise, you may be wondering how old you need to be to gamble in the onboard casino or play games like Bingo.

The age restrictions can vary by cruise line and destination and – doesn’t always follow the regulations of the country that the cruise ship is visiting.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Gamble On A Cruise?

On most mainstream cruise lines, guests must be 18 to gamble in the casino or take part in gambling in the form of Bingo.

Some cruise lines increase this age to 21 when cruising in certain places such as Alaska – or more generally in US waters.

MSC Preziosa casino

Where do the gambling age restrictions apply?

  • Slot Machines
  • Table Games
  • Bingo or other similar games
  • Shows like “Deal or No Deal” where the prize is money

American Cruise Lines

Cruise LineGambling Age
Royal Caribbean18+ (21+ in Alaska)
Norwegian Cruise Line18+
Carnival Cruise Line18+
Princess Cruises18+ (20+ in Japan)
Celebrity Cruises18+ (21+ in Alaska)
Holland America Cruise Line18+ (21+ in Alaska)
Virgin Voyages18+

The majority of US cruise lines have 18 as the gambling age.

In most US states the gambling age is 21 – although some states do allow 18-year-olds to gamble.

Alaska has a gambling age of 21, and Alaskan cruises often adopt the 21+ gambling restriction.

The busiest cruise ship casino I have EVER seen was onboard Carnival Magic. I was stunned by how busy it was! Find out all about that very American cruise in this video:

British Cruise Lines

Cruise LineGambling Age
P&O Cruises18+
Cunard18+ (21+ in US Waters)
Fred Olsen18+
Saga Cruises18+

All British cruise lines have 18 as their gambling age.

Cunard does increase this to 21 when cruising in US waters.

To learn more about the casinos on Cunard Cruises, check out the post below:

Inside a Cunard Cruise Ship Casino – Games, Tables, and Smoking Policy

European Cruise Lines

Cruise LineGambling Age
MSC Cruises18+ (21+ in US Waters)
Costa Cruises18+
Celestyal Cruises18+
AIDA Cruises18+
Tui Cruises18+

Similarly, European cruise lines also have a gambling age of 18.

MSC and Costa are based in Italy, which has a gambling age of 18.

Both usually have an 18 gambling age on their cruise ships, with MSC increasing this to 21 in US waters.

Celestyal Cruises are based in Greece which has a gambling age of 21, but the gambling age on the ship is only 18.

This is similar to the way that a lot of US lines have a gambling age of 18, but many states require gamblers to be 21.

AIDA and TUI cruises are both based in Germany where the gambling age is 18.

Norwegian Encore Casino

Luxury Cruise Lines

There are a couple of luxury cruise lines where the gambling age onboard is 21.

Windstar and Seabourn Cruises both have this regulation in place.

When is the Casino Open on a Cruise?

Cruise ship casinos are only open when the cruise ship is out to sea.

Due to various restrictions and taxes, cruise line casinos are closed when the ship is in port.

The opening times of the casino will vary from day to day, depending on how long the ship spends docked.

The distance that the ship has to be from land to open the casino does vary, but in the US this is usually 12 miles.

norwegian sun casino roulette slot machines

To find out when the casino is open guests can check their daily schedule. which is delivered to the room each night or check the cruise line app if the cruise line has one.

The opening times will also usually be shown on a board in the casino.

You don’t need to buy the cruise line WiFi to use the cruise line App on your phone. Find out why here:

You Don’t Need to Pay For Wi-Fi To Use a Cruise Line App – Here’s Why

What Restrictions are in Place to Stop Underage Guests Gambling?

Many cruise lines do not allow anybody under the gambling age to be in the casino when the casino is open.

If this is the case and the cruise line suspected a guest of being under the gambling age onboard, they would be asked to leave.

On a cruise, cash is rarely used and the majority of gambling is done using the guest’s onboard cruise account.

The age of the passenger is recorded within the cruise account and as a result, the cruise card of an underage passenger wouldn’t work in the casino.

On many cruise lines, guests have a virtual casino account, where they load money to spend in the casino. An underage guest may not have this virtual casino account.

Could a Guest Gamble With Another Passenger’s Cruise Card?

In theory, a guest may be able to do this but the cruise line would treat this as a serious offense.

It is against the law for the cruise line to allow underage gambling and as a result, the cruise line would be within their rights to remove the guest (and their guardians) from the cruise.

Guests caught trying to gamble underage may also be banned from the cruise line.

Before You Go

To learn more about how cruise lines operate without using cash, including where you can get cash on a cruise, check out this post:

You Can’t Use Cash on a Cruise – Here’s Why

You may wish to spend money in the casino when you cruise. Find out about other expenses you need to allow for in this article:

Onboard Expenses – What Costs Extra On A Cruise? Gratuities, Wi-Fi And More…

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.