The DCMS has launched a consultation on whether the government should implement a new retail sale mechanism for National Lottery products.
The consultation has been launched in light of the government increasing the purchase age of National Lottery products from 16-to-18 – a change that was implemented by UK retailers last April, six months ahead of legislation coming into force on 1 October.
Overseeing the National Lottery, DCMS cites that retailers have since warned that some forms of sale risk being significantly impacted by the enforced age restrictions – especially on Saturday draws as retailers may have higher numbers of 16 and 17 year olds at tills and checkouts.
“In order to minimise the impact on retailers and offer additional flexibility, the government intends to introduce an approved sale mechanism for National Lottery tickets,” read a statement by John Whittingdale, DCMS Minister for Media and Data.
The government will aim to apply a sales mechanism “similar to those in place for alcohol sales in England, Wales, and Scotland, and sales of tobacco and nicotine vaping products in Scotland, through which a designated person over the age of 18 can approve a sale by someone under 18 years old”.
Launching its consultation, DCMS seeks guidance on the key areas of how a new sales mechanism would impact retailers National Lottery sales performance and operations as 16-and-17-year-olds form an important part of their workforce.
An effective sales mechanism is regarded as vital to maintaining the National Lottery’s track record in raising £43 billion for arts, sports, heritage and community projects including a further £1.2 billion in COVID-19 relief programmes.
The consultation will consider two actions – whether to ‘do nothing’ and maintain the current policy with no changes as to how National Lottery products can be purchased or proceed with ‘introducing a new sales system’.
The DCSMS added: “The framework of minimum age policies is a complex one and it is important to consider National Lottery products alongside other age-restricted products available at mainstream retailers.”
DCMS will close the consultation on 12 August at midday, with stakeholders required to send their responses to [email protected]