Ministers may raise National Lottery age limit to 18 years
Culture minister announces consultation into law change
The government is considering raising the age limit for playing the National Lottery from 16 to 18.
Announcing a consultation on the issue in the House of Commons, Culture Minister Mims Davies told MP: “The age of 18 is widely recognised 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.”
She added that the consultation will consider whether the existing age limit of 16 for all National Lottery games should be raised for some or all games and products. For instance, it could be raised for scratchcards and other instant win games while remaining at 16 for draw-based games.
The minister hinted that such a scenario is the current favourite, but added that any such move would acknowledge that “the risk of harm is slightly higher for instant win games than it is for draw-based games such as Lotto” and that she is keen to “seek further evidence in this area and hear what others think, given that the National Lottery matters so much to so many people, including hearing from the operators, distributors and retailers about any potential impacts and benefits of the change.”
The experience of Britain's youngest ever EuroMillions winner, Jane Park, has raised questions about whether she should have been allowed to win £1 million aged just 17, The Sun says. Park has said her life would have been “10 times better” had she not become a millionaire at such a young age.
Moreover, the addiction charity, Gamble Aware, says one in eight children aged between 11 and 15 years old are gambling regularly, and as many as 30,000 may be problem gamblers.