In a move to curb gambling among teenagers, Government ministers are expected to raise the minimum age for the National Lottery to 18.
The change, which will likely happen in 2023, could be implemented when the lottery licence comes up for renewal. As a result, it will prevent 16 and 17-year-olds from playing games online, purchasing scratch cards and buying lottery tickets in stores.
Reported by the Mirror, Matt Zarb-Cousin of campaigners Clean Up Gambling called for all gambling to be restricted to over-18s.
He said: “The younger you start gambling the more likely you are to fall into addiction. All gambling should be restricted to 18 and over.”
Last month, the House of Lords Gambling Select Committee’s report entitled ‘Gambling Harm – Time for Action‘ called for ‘urgent action’ to address harms caused by gambling, which included raising the minimum age for lotteries to 18.
In addition, the report suggested that the UK Gambling Commission should look annually at lotteries advertising and admin costs, and also called for lottery duty to be replaced by gross profits tax.
This is not the first time that ministers have called for the minimum age for the national lottery to be raised, with former DCMS minister Tracey Crouch campaigning for a new age limit two years ago.
Lottery operator Camelot has also suggested that the age limit should be reviewed. CEO Nigel Railton said: “For 25 years the age has been 16 so it is probably a good time to look at it.”