The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has begun a consultation on whether the government should introduce a new retail sale mechanism for National Lottery items.
The consultation has been conducted in light of the government’s decision to raise the buying age of National Lottery items from 16 to 18 years old — a change that UK merchants introduced last April, six months ahead of the legislation’s implementation on October 1st.
Retailers have since warned that the enforced age restrictions may have a significant impact on some forms of sale, according to DCMS, which oversees the National Lottery. This is especially true on Saturday draws, when retailers may have a higher number of 16 and 17 year olds at tills and checkouts.
Minimising impact on retailers whilst offering additional flexibility
A statement by John Whittingdale, DCMS Minister for Media and Data, read: “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.”
The government plans to implement 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”.
DCMS has launched a consultation to get feedback on how a new sales mechanism might affect shops’ National Lottery sales performance and operations, given 16- and 17-year-olds make up a significant proportion of their workforce.
The National Lottery’s track record of raising £43 billion for arts, sports, heritage, and community projects, with a further £1.2 billion for COVID-19 assistance programmes, requires an effective sales system.
The consultation will look at two options: doing nothing and keeping the current policy in place with no changes to how National Lottery items are purchased, or moving forward 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.”
The consultation will finish at noon on August 12th, and stakeholders are asked to send their views to [email protected]