UK govt set to raise national lottery age limit to 18 by October 2021. The minimum age for playing the UK National Lottery is set to rise from 16 years to 18 years from next October as the government moves to crackdown on gambling.
The government has pledged a “major and wide-ranging review” of the sector, which may include limits on online stakes and restrictions on advertising. Betting firms could also be banned from sponsoring football shirts. The current legislation, established in 2005, was “an analogue law in a digital age,” the government said.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the industry had “evolved at breakneck speed” and the intention of the review was to tackle “problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people.” Online sales to 16 and 17-year-olds will stop in April 2021.
“We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling-related harm, which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery,” Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said.
“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.”
The review would also discuss the measures that can be taken by consumers if they believe operators have violated the criteria of social responsibility. According to the Department for Digital, Entertainment, Media and Sport (DCMS), the goal is to ensure that the safety of customers is at the core of the legislation, while allowing those who are gambling safely the right to do so.
“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age… the industry has evolved at breakneck speed,” Mr Dowden said.
Jo Stevens, Labour’s shadow culture secretary, said it was “disappointing that the government has taken more than a year to launch this review, during which time more people have suffered with gambling addiction and without getting vital support.”