People under the age of 18 could be banned from purchasing lottery tickets or scratchcards if a new set of proposals is approved. Although most gambling activities are illegal for under 18s in the UK, the law currently allows 16 and 17-year-olds to buy lottery tickets and scratchcards. The plans are currently being discusses in Whitehall.
In an interview with The House Magazine, sport minister Mims Davies said she wanted to change the law so that under 18s could not gamble at all.
“We need to be very clear that gambling starts at 18… It’s not to stop people from having fun, but it’s also to protect those most vulnerable people. That’s where the government needs to step in”.
If the changes do come into effect, it won’t be before 2023, when the current licence to operate the national lottery is up for renewal.
Research from the Gambling Commission back in 2018 found that 450,000 young people aged 11 to 16 gambled in a week. In the same study, 16% of 11 to 16-year-olds admitted that they purchased national lottery scratchcards at least once a week.