Government considers raising National Lottery age limit to 18

Some MPs say a review is not needed

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The age limit for playing the National Lottery could be raised from 16 to 18, according to culture minister Mims Davies.

She announced the government is to consult whether the age limit on national draws, scratchcards and online games should increase.

Addressing MPs in Parliament, Ms Davies said a “split could be the best approach”, which would maintain the age limit of 16 for the National Lottery draw, while increasing it to 18 for instant win games.

She said this would take into account the higher risk of harm associated with instant-win games compared to that of draw-based lottery games.

MPs say there is enough evidence to safely raise the age limit and they dismissed the need to review the proposal.

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson said there was “absolutely no need” for a consultation on age limit and said there was already "all the evidence we need.”

"To gamble you should be an adult, so the minimum age for all gambling products should be 18, it’s as simple as that," he said.

Iain Duncan Smith MP also backed the move. "Frankly, we should just get on with it," he said.

SNP member Ronnie Cowan said the UK is “approaching a gambling epidemic” and “the grooming of young adults in the gambling arena should be stopped, and should be stopped now."

National Lottery operator Camelot said it had “no issue” with the review.

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