National Lottery minimum age will rise to 18 from April 2021

The UK government has recently undertaken a review of the existing gambling laws that are used to regulate the industry. This review began at the end of 2020 and so far, a few key changes have been made to the existing laws. One major change to be announced was the raising of the minimum age for National Lottery participation.

In this blog, AgeChecked looks at what has changed and why this has happened. We also offer solutions for those offering these kinds of products online.

Change of minimum age for participation

As of April 2021, the minimum age for National Lottery participation will move from 16 to 18 years old. This change refers to online sales of National Lottery products and so any organisations offering this service must have made the transition before then. This previous age restriction has been in place for many years now and the change will come as a shock to retailers who rely on the sales of these tickets.

For physical sales of National Lottery tickets and scratch cards in stores, the raising of the minimum age will come into effect from October 2021 at the latest. According to reports, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Nigel Huddleston noted that the change would help to ensure that the lottery is not a “gateway to problem gambling”.

There is a lot of concern for problem gamblers and minors who might have been able to access gambling products. This issue has been highlighted even more throughout the pandemic. This is one of the major reasons why this change has been put in place.

Review of existing gambling laws

Alongside the change in National Lottery age restrictions, the UK government has also spent time taking a closer look at the other existing gambling laws. Launched in December 2020, the Gambling Act 2005 review aims to gather views of those involved in the industry in order to make some positive changes.

Some of the items to be reviewed include advertising rules, extra protection for young people and limits on online stakes. This isn’t the first time that the UKGC has tightened restrictions and it certainly won’t be the last.

What does this change mean?

While many might be disheartened by this change in the law, the National Lottery operator Camelot has thrown its support behind the government. A spokesperson for Camelot said, “Now that a decision has been made to raise the age to 18 by October 2021, 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.”

They intend on adapting their online channel to meet the new requirements. This will likely involve the use of an age verification solution that will check the age of those hoping to play the national lottery online.

For physical retailers who offer scratch cards and lottery tickets, however, the responsibility to verify age will be on them. Additionally, any operators or affiliates who promote the sale of the National Lottery must be willing to adapt their marketing to match the new age limits.

Age verification solutions for gambling

As the government continues with the Gambling Act review, there could be further changes on the horizon. Many would not have expected to see the age limit on the National Lottery to change so soon but the government does not wait around when it comes to protecting minors.

Operators and affiliates in the gambling industry must stay alert when it comes to regulatory changes. If your business offers gambling or lottery products online, AgeChecked can help to ensure you remain compliant at all times.

We offer a compliant, secure and fully anonymised solution for operators in the UK and across Europe. Our innovative platform is able to identify that players are over the age of 18 and ensure the process is completed swiftly with little or no disruption to the customer onboarding. Check out some of our age verification solutions for gambling operators and get in touch to get started.

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