Age limits on National Lottery products are now in place across both online and retail, with the UK’s under-18s officially unable to play any lottery game in store as of 1 October.
New age restrictions on National Lottery products have come into force across the UK, with those under 18 banned from purchasing lottery products in store as of October.
The move comes six months after online restrictions for players aged 16 and 17, and is indicative of the government’s increasingly tight re-regulation of the gambling industry.
“We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling-related harm which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery,” said minister for sport, tourism and heritage Nigel Huddleston.
“Patterns of play have changed since its inception, with a shift towards online games, and this change will help make sure the National Lottery, although already low-risk, is not a gateway to problem gambling.”
Implementation of the new regulation comes as the government draws closer to publishing its white paper on reforms to the Gambling Act – anticipated before the end of this year – which will then enter a three-month consultation before going to Parliament.
Even prior to the review announcement, the lottery has increasingly come under scrutiny from campaigners as “a gateway” to stronger forms of gambling, with Clean Up Gambling director and prolific anti-gambling campaigner Matt Zarb-Cousin stating: “Britain is the only country in the world that allows children to gamble.”
In anticipation of the changes, the Camelot sales team has been visiting retail venues across the country since March, delivering new consumer-facing POS material and helping vendors to be “fully prepared for the change.”
“It’s also worth remembering that the new 18+ age to play rule will bring National Lottery products in line with the purchase of other age-restricted products (such as tobacco and alcohol,)” said Camelot spokesperson.
“This change will actually help to keep store age verification policies consistent across all products being sold in store.”