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UK Government is planning to raise the Minimum Age for Playing National Lottery Games to 18

The UK Government is set to raise the minimum age for playing the National Lottery as part of the local authorities’ efforts to prevent underage individuals from gambling.

All customers under the age of 18 are set to be suspended from playing Lotto and Thunderball at the time when a massive crackdown on the industry comes into force. The ban will mean that 16 and 17-year-olds will no longer be able to play lottery games on the Internet or purchase some of the National Lottery products, such as popular scratchcards that are being sold at petrol stations, newsagents and supermarkets.

The stricter measures that are expected to be unveiled in the lottery sector come after reports have shown that over 200,000 individuals under the age of 18 regularly play the lottery. At the same time, the country’s regulators and campaigners have shared fears that 55,000 children could be categorised as gambling addicts.

For several years now, the UK Government has been making efforts to tackle problem gambling among youngsters. Its latest move that would ban under-18s from using the services of the National Lottery is not expected to be brought into force until 2023. According to reports, the change could be implemented at the time when the operating licence of the National Lottery comes up for renewal.

This is not the first time when ministers have insisted on the implementation of raising the minimum age for participating in games of the National Lottery. Two years ago, the former DCMS Minister Tracey Crouch campaigned for a new age limit.

Campaigners Insist on New Minimum Age Limit in a Bid to Tackle Underage Problem GamblingFor the time being, individuals under 18 years of age are not allowed to gamble, but the games offered by the National Lottery are accessible to everyone over the age of 16.

However, the more relaxed rules for National Lottery games have faced some criticism from anti-gambling campaigners. Matt Zarb-Cousin from Clean Up Gambling organisation has previously commented that research had shown that the younger people started gambling, the more likely they were to get hooked on the practice. Mr Zarb-Cousin called for the country’s regulatory body and the Government to make sure that all forms of gambling are restricted to people who are under 18 years old.

So far, purchasing Lottery tickets has been considered “a rite of passage” for young people turning 16 years of age. Last year, Camelot Group that still operates the UK National Lottery rolled out a scratchcard based on “Love Island” as part of its efforts to make its product more appealing to younger audiences. For the time being, two draws are run by the National Lottery operator every week as part of its Lotto and Thunderball games, with the draws taking place every Wednesday and Saturday night, respectively. Another lottery game that is quite popular among British customers is Euromillions.