Government ministers are set to increase the minimum age for the National Lottery to 18 in a bid to curb gambling among teenagers.
The move, expected to occur in 2023, will be enforced when the renewal of the lottery license comes up. As a result, 16 and 17-year-olds will be prevented from playing online games, from buying scratch cards and from buying lottery tickets in stores.
Matt Zarb-Cousin of activists Clean Up Gambling called for all gambling to be limited to over 18s, published by the Mirror.
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.”
The House of Lords Gambling Select Committee’s report last month entitled ‘Gambling Harm – Time for Action’ called for ‘urgent action’ to address gambling harms, including raising the minimum age for lotteries to 18.
In addition , the study proposed that the UK Gambling Commission would look at the advertisement and admin expenses of lotteries quarterly, and also called for lotery duty to be replaced by gross income tax.
It is not the first time politicians have requested that the minimum age be increased for the national lottery, with former DCMS minister Tracey Crouch pushing for a new age cap two years ago.
Lottery operator Camelot also suggested revising the age limit. CEO Nigel Railton said: “For 25 years the age has been 16 so it is probably a good time to look at it.”