According to a report in The Sun newspaper, Boris Johnson will soon unveil a change in the law which will raise the minimum age required to play National Lottery products from 16 to 18.
The paper cited a source in Whitehall in claiming that the move was being taken because “the PM believes it is a necessary step to protect children.”
Whilst all other gambling products carry a minimum age of participation of 18, National Lottery games – including scratchcards – have been open to 16 and 17 year olds since launching in 1994.
Whilst the prize draw itself was initially viewed as an entertaining means of raising money for charities, Camelot’s operation of Lottery products quickly expanded into other areas – with scratch-cards proving particularly popular amongst younger players.
Last week Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield weighed in on this very subject, arguing that she thought it “surprising, given the large, worrying and well established numbers of children who problem gamble, that any gaming platform should have a lower age limit than any other.”
Back at Whitehall meanwhile, and The Sun’s source has suggested that this discrepancy in the market was likely to be rectified “within months.”