Age limits – gambling, cinemas, nightclubs

Gambling

If you are under 18, you are not allowed by law to go into a public betting shop or gaming club.

If you are under 18, you can only go into a licensed bingo club if you do not play the game. You cannot take part in online gambling.

If you are under 18, you are not allowed to play on fruit machines which pay out £10 or more.

If you are 16 or 17, you can take part in public lotteries, including the National Lottery, and in football pools.

If you are under 16, you can play on machines in amusement arcades and family entertainment centres which do not have a minimum legal age; the arcade or centre should make it clear if this applies.

If you are 16 or 17, and take part in any gambling which is not allowed, you are guilty of a criminal offence: it is not just the business which is punished.

Cinema

In the UK, films are all given “classifications” by the British Board of Film Classification (the BBFC). This is what the different classifications mean:

U – universal – suitable for all. Any age may watch.

PG – parental guidance – general viewing but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children (PG films generally should not upset children aged 8 or over). Unaccompanied children of any age may watch in the cinema.  

12A – suitable for 12 years or over. No one under 12 may watch a “12A” film in a cinema unless they are with an adult – it is for the adult to decide whether the film is suitable for that child, and to take responsibility for that decision.

15 – suitable only for 15 years or over. No one under 15 may watch a “15” film in a cinema – whether they are with someone or not.

18 – suitable only for adults. No one under 18 may see an “18” film in a cinema – whether they are with someone or not.

Local councils are responsible for what is shown in cinemas in their area. If cinema owners allow under-age customers to see age-restricted films, they can be fined or may lose their licence from the local council.

Nightclubs

Many nightclubs require you to be at least 21, though some operate special nights for younger people. The legal rules on bars and pubs are set out here.

 

You might be interested in our other pages on age limits:

legal-1143115_640
Understand age limits