National Lottery credit card purchases to be restricted

The minimum age to play the National Lottery will rise from 16 to 18-years-old from October next year.

The increase, which was proposed in July, comes alongside an announcement of a major review of gambling laws by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). To support retailers with the change, National Lottery operator Camelot said it will be going in stores from February to swap any material displaying the current age restrictions with updated versions.

The company has already begun producing updated signage, PoS, ticket rolls, play slips, till rolls and player guides. Camelot’s customer operations team will also be trained to handle queries.

A Camelot spokesperson said: “We’ve said we would fully support any decision made by the government to raise the minimum age to play. Now that a decision has been made, 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.

“We’ve already started this work in preparation and, subject to receiving the appropriate licence 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 retail channel, over the course of the summer – well in advance of the change in law.”

Minister for sport, tourism and heritage Nigel Huddleston added: “We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling related harm which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery. Patterns of play have changed since its 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.”

As part of the review, DCMS will also examine the actions a customer can take if they feel an operator has not shown responsibility in stopping gambling-related issues. It has not been confirmed whether this would apply to a retailer.