The UK Government is to launch a consultation on whether further restrictions to National Lottery age limit should be made to see under 18s banned from playing National Lottery games. The change of the current status quo has been proposed as part of the authorities’ attempt to protect vulnerable people from gambling-related harm.
The Culture Minister Tracey Crouch revealed her intentions to gather further information about the effect the above-mentioned games have on individuals aged below 18 who are currently allowed to play. Anti-gambling campaigners have shared their concerns that the Lottery games which were officially rolled out about two decades ago could open the door to more serious forms of gambling for younger individuals.
Both competent authorities and gambling opponents have pointed out their fears that the National Lottery was not in line with the requirements to the rest of the gambling variations. Yesterday, the Government shared its gaming strategy, which unveiled its decision to considerably lower the maximum stake allowed at local fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The strategy, however, also revealed some of the plans related to National Lottery games.
For the time being, National Lottery games are accessible to individuals under the legal age of 18, unlike the rest of the commercial gambling products offered in the UK. As revealed by the Ministers, the Government intended to take into consideration this issue and possibly implement some new rules in terms of the minimum age at which access to National Lottery games is to be allowed.
Camelot Wants to Take Part in the Talks
The considered change in the minimum legal age for Lottery games could take effect in 2023, at the time when the next National Lottery licence is set to come into effect. Camelot, the operator which currently runs the UK National Lottery, commented that it hopes that it would be given the chance to actively take part in the negotiations on the matter.
Camelot has faced a lot of criticism in the past, after being alleged in encouraging under-aged individuals to gamble by offering scratch-cards based on various games such as Monopoly.
Lately, the UK Government has been focused on providing safety for British players and protect them from the possible negative effects of gambling, with ministers being aimed at preventing gambling-related harm from hitting young and vulnerable individuals. The Culture Minister Crouch confirmed a crackdown that is to be imposed on FOBTs in order to reduce the maximum stake allowed from £100 to £2 and tackle concerns that the machines fuel problem gambling behaviour.
Apart from dealing with the increased number of gambling addictions across the country, ministers also revealed that they intend to boost the tax imposed on online gambling operators offering casino games. The levy is set to be increased to up to 25% and is expected to help the Government deal with the shortfall faced by the UK Treasury.