Further Age Restrictions on National Lottery Products
by Glenn Baird - July 27, 2020
A ban on 16 and 17 year olds playing the National Lottery and derivatives of it, including scratch cards, will be introduced in the UK within the next few months.
Whilst tradioinal forms of gambling have always been restricted to over 18s in the UK, it has been possible to buy lottery tickets and scratch cards from the age of 16 since it was launched back in 1994.
The UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnstone, is concerned that exposure to National Lottery products from the age of 16 could be dangerous for young people’s relationship with gambling.”
A report in the Sun newspaper claims that a source within the government has stated that, ““The PM believes it is a necessary step to protect children.”
Some National Lottery products include scratch cards shaped like Monopoly boards and “Love Island” themed cards.
What was once a UK rite of passage will now have to be put on hold until teenagers in the UK are allowed to legally drink and gamble.
The announcement to lower the legal age of National Lottery purchases in the UK comes at a time when there is increasing pressure being placed on the government to add to the high number of restrictions that have already been put in place.
We have seen it made impossible to use credit cards to make deposits, the removal of VIP schemes and incentives, whistle to whistle advertising and stricter age and self-exclusion verifications brought in over the last few years but there are some still asking for more.
A complete ban on advertising is unlikely but it might not be long before certain sports are forced to remove all signs of sponsorship from their kits.
Additionally the loot-box debate has never really gone away and has the potential to resurface any day of the week.
Add to this the reduction of maximum stakes, and the increasingly likely overhaul of the 2005 Gambling Act and you have an industry that is under fire and one that will have to learn to adapt to the changes that are coming its way.