The UK government is planning to increase the minimum age for buying lottery tickets from 16 to 18. Gambling addiction is at an all-time high in the UK, and the government and the Gambling Commission have been continuously introducing new measures to tackle problem gambling and curb gambling addiction.
Culture Minister Mims Davies said Tuesday that the minimum age to play National Lottery scratchcards and online win games could be increased to 18 to protect vulnerable young people.
While the minimum legal age is already 18, National Lottery is exempt from this regulation.
According to GambleAware, one in eight children aged between 11 and 15 years old are gambling regularly, and as many as 30,000 may be problem gamblers.
Studies by the UK Gambling Commission revealed that one in 20 children aged between the ages of 11 and 16 plays the National Lottery.
Talking of increasing the age limit to 18, Ms. Davies said: “The age of 18 is widely recognized as an age one becomes an adult, gaining full citizenship rights and the responsibilities.
“At present, all lotteries can be played from 16 – one of the very few age limits for gambling under-18 products.
“So in addition to the option to raise the minimum age to 18 for all National Lottery games and retaining the current limit of 16, I’m also seeking views on a differentiated approach that would increase the minimum age of instant win games only – this includes scratchcards and online instant win games.”