Under 18s Could Be Banned from Buying Scratchcards

In the UK the lottery is one of the few forms of gambling that is allowed for under 18s, players have to be just 16 to play National Lottery based games. Since the launch of the lottery, this discrepancy in gambling laws has come under much scrutiny and now it looks as though at least for the scratchcard part of the lottery, the age for buying tickets could be increased to 18.

UK Sport Minister Mims Davies told House Magazine this week that she wanted the age limit on scratchcards increased so under 18s cannot gamble, but she could even go so far as to increase the overall age of playing the lottery draws to 18 too. It’s long been a controversial subject, you have to be over 18 in the UK to enter amusement arcades, and even bingo halls, but the lottery has always been the exception to the rule.

Now her plans are to be discussed in Whitehall as a serious proposition and something that could cut problem gambling in the UK. Most gambling organisations in the UK have strict rules to protect children from encountering their products but if 16 year olds can buy National Lottery scratchcards, that is a gateway to gambling.

A study by the Gambling Commission last year found that 450,000 people under 18 gambled in the UK each week, finding loopholes, or ways to access online gambling, and buying lottery products, leading brands to find new ways to protect children from problem gambling.

We’ll be watching with interest to see if this leads to a change in the law and we’13ll bring you news on that as we have it.

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