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National Lottery scratchcard minimum age could be upped to 18

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Written by: Emma Lunn
16/07/2019
The minimum age to play National Lottery scratchcards and online instant win games could be increased to 18 to protect vulnerable young people.

The current age limit for all National Lottery games is 16, but the government has announced plans to consult on whether it should be raised to 18 for some or all National Lottery games and products.

The plans are to ensure young people are protected from the potential risks of gambling-related harm, although these remain very low on all National Lottery games.

The government also announced it will raise society lotteries’ annual sales limit to £50m, and the maximum per draw prize to £500,000.

Mims Davies, minister for sport and civil society, said: “I am immensely proud of the exceptional role that the National Lottery has played in Britain over the past 25 years. We want to protect its special place and these changes strike the right balance to ensure that both the National Lottery and society lotteries can thrive.

“The National Lottery raises vast sums for good causes, and society lotteries play a vital role in supporting local charities and grassroots organisations. These measures will ensure we create the best landscape so people across our communities can continue to benefit.

“But we also need to make sure that the National Lottery is fair and safe. That is why we are looking to raise the minimum age for instant win games so children and young people are protected. We are open to all feedback on changes to this and all of the various lottery products.”

Society lotteries (or raffles) can only be run for good causes and are usually run by charities such as the Health Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery. This type of lottery raises about £300m a year for good causes.

The new limits of £50m in annual sales and maximum draw prize of £500,000 come after a detailed consultation .

The Gambling Commission also plans to consult on measures to tighten the licensing framework for society lotteries, looking in particular at the information provided to players on how the proceeds of a lottery are used, and the good causes that benefit.

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