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UK National Lottery raises minimum age to play the lottery to 18

Apr 19, 2021, 4:47 pm

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UK National LotteryUK National Lottery: UK National Lottery raises minimum age to play the lottery to 18Rating:

By Kate Northrop

In an effort to reduce problem gambling, the National Lottery will be raising the minimum age to play the lottery in the UK from 16 to 18 on Thurs., Apr. 22, 2021.

Figures show that over 200,000 16- and 17-year-olds regularly play the lottery or buy scratch-off tickets. This week, they will no longer have access to both online and retail Lottery products in a bid to reduce problem gambling among teens.

"We're committed to protecting young people from gambling-related harm, which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery," Nigel Huddleston, the Minister for Sport, Heritage and Tourism said. "Patterns of play have changed since [the Lottery's] inception, with a shift towards online games, and this change will help make sure the National Lottery, although already low-risk, is not a gateway to problem gambling."

In December 2020, Camelot Group, the operator of the National Lottery, released a statement on a government review conducted last year that found it necessary to raise the legal age to play the lottery in the UK.

"We've said all along that we would fully support any decision made by the government to raise the minimum age to play," a Camelot spokesperson said. "We'll be doing everything we can to implement all of the changes that will be necessary as quickly as possible, while ensuring that we maintain the very high standards demanded of The National Lottery."

Last year, the National Lottery made definite plans to raise the minimum age to 18 by October 2021 at the latest. Camelot estimated that the change would come into effect by early April 2021.

"We've already started this work in preparation and, subject to receiving the appropriate license variations and waivers from the Gambling Commission, we're aiming to complete all of the changes that are needed in our online channels by early April 2021 and, in our retailer channel, over the course of the summer – well in advance of the change in law," the Camelot spokesperson said in December.

However, the Lottery stated that the change will apply to all sales channels, including online games, in-person retail, and through the app.

Notable lottery winner Callie Rogers, who won a £1.9 million (US$3 million) fortune at the tender age of 16 in 2003 has been an advocate for raising the legal gambling age, drawing evidence from her own tragic experiences as Britain's youngest lottery winner. She argued that winning the lottery as a teenager, let alone gambling, is financially and mentally detrimental.

"You are only 16, with all that responsibility," Rogers said in an interview with The Mirror. "At that age, you can get the best advice ever, but you are not going to listen. I was too young."

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in 2012 found a strong correlation between problem gambling severity and an earlier onset of gambling.

In addition to curbing the potential for developing problem gambling in teens, another motivation for raising the legal age to play the lottery was to create synergy across all forms of gambling in the UK, which requires players to be at least 18 years of age.

The Lottery also reminded players that there are options available to help limit excessive spending and gambling, like setting limits for the amount you can deposit and spend each week or moderating your Instant Win Games play limit.

"Encouraging heathy play is at the heart of everything we do," a spokesperson said.

Lottery Post Staff

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5 comments. Last comment 22 days ago by CDanaT.
Page 1 of 1
United States
Member #163182
January 22, 2015
2533 Posts

I applaud them on this and was kind of shocked that the 16 year old teenage girl won that much money back then!

    Chasing $ Millions.
    White Shores- California
    United States
    Member #136471
    December 12, 2012
    6577 Posts

    I applaud them on this and was kind of shocked that the 16 year old teenage girl won that much money back then!

    The Callie Roger's experience is written all over this bill. 

     * Voice of Reason *   


    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

      Blue Bell,Pa
      United States
      Member #156241
      June 12, 2014
      40 Posts

      The Callie Roger's experience is written all over this bill. 

      I hope the experience of one girl isn't why they raised the minimum age.

        hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

        United States
        Member #52343
        May 21, 2007
        3353 Posts
          CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
          Central TN
          United States
          Member #121187
          January 4, 2012
          5149 Posts

          And you think 18 is going to make things any better ?  Got some mildly devastating news for ya UK lottery officials...

          Let me remind you of a man that was 55(Jack W) and all of his wonderful activities. Heck, we have a whole host of "lottery winning geniuses" that have done some real doozies and they are double/triple the age of 18 - Marie Holmes,Alex & Ronda Toth, Janite Lee, David Lee Edwards, Evelyn Adams, Billie Bob Harrell Jr, Curtis Sharp, William Post, Gerald Muswagon, Sharon Tirabassi, Lou Eisenberg, Marva Wilson just to name a few that live over on this side of the pond.

          As far as Callie Rogers and her personal experiences---- Seems to me that a reasonable conclusion would come from the lack of guidance/boundaries in life starting much younger than 16.

          Then again 18 seems to be a reasonable number at which time you need to be held accountable for something.

          Integrity: There is just no substitute.