UK govt considers raising National Lottery age limit

The government is studying the possibility of preventing 16 and 17 year olds from playing the National Lottery by raising the age limit.

UK.- The government of the UK is considering raising the age limit to play the National Lottery. The government would look at different measures to prevent 16 and 17-year-olds from playing the lottery by raising the current age limit to 18.

Mims Davies, Culture minister, announced on Tuesday a consultation on the issue in the house of Commons. “The age of 18 is widely recognised as an age one becomes an adult, gaining full citizenship rights and the responsibilities,” she said. “At present, all lotteries can be played from 16 – one of the very few age limits for gambling under-18 products.”

The Culture minister said that the consultation would explore three options: keeping the current minimum age of 16, raising the minimum age to 18 for scratch cards and online instant win games, or raising the minimum age to 18 for all National Lottery games.

Davies hinted that the government might favour action on scratchcards and instant win games instead of all games. “My initial view is based on the evidence reviewed so far, so it is that such a split could be the best approach. This takes into account the risk of harm associated with playing the National Lottery is at the lowest of any form of gambling.

“But we do know the risk of harm is slightly higher for instant win games than it is for draw-based games such as Lotto. Therefore I am keen to seek further evidence in this area and hear what others think given that the National Lottery matters so much to so many people, including hearing from the operators, distributors and retailers about any potential impacts and benefits of the change.”

The consultation

The consultation on the issue will run until October 8, Davies said. Moreover, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added that its aim is to ensure the protection of young people from the potential risks of gambling-related harm,” despite that they remain “very low on all National Lottery games.”

A spokesperson for Camelot, which owns and runs the National Lottery, told Sky News that they have no issue with the consultation. “We have no issue with a government review of the age limit for buying National Lottery products and are happy to assist in any way we can to help inform the decision.”

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