UK to increase legal age limit for National Lottery

Published by Daniel on July 26, 2019 in Industry News

UK National LotteryGambling has become one of the biggest sources of entertainment both online and offline.  

There are many ways to partake in gambling which includes online casinos, land-based casinos and lotteries.  
 

With its popularity at an all-time high, the UK authorities are considering changing the lottery laws.
 

The Age Gap 

Gambling can be a source of fun and rewards but it can also create big problems and addictions. Recently the British Government confirmed that they are considering new legislation that would lift the legal age for participating in the National Lottery.  

Currently those aged 16 and over are able to play the lottery but the authorities are considering increasing the legal age limit to 18. According to Culture Minister, Mims Davies, the measures are considered as an effort to protect those that are young and vulnerable.  

If these changes are implemented it would bring the lottery into line with other gambling in the United Kingdom. All other forms of gambling in the UK require participants to be 18 years or older before they can participate. The National Lottery has been the exception to the rule for many years but after months of criticism this could soon change.  

One of the younger Euromillions winners in the UK, Jane Park, was among many who criticised the law. Park stated that winning the lottery at age 17 ruined her life. She used her winnings on cars, luxurious holidays and plastic surgery but claimed that it left her feeling miserable.  
 

Responsible Gambling 

One of the primary focuses in the gambling industry over the past few months has been the safety of participants. This focus has been on both those underage and of legal age. The main concern is that as interest in the industry grows so does the number of problem gamblers.  

Gambling companies have received large amounts of scrutiny for the measures they take to protect young people. A recent survey showed that gambling has become even more popular than skateboarding and it is the belief of campaigners that the current legal age encourages young people into starting their habits at a young age.  

There are those who also believe that a younger age limit helps those under the age of 16 to gamble legally. According to the Gambling Commission, it has been found that one in 20 children aged 11-16 have played the lottery.  

Furthermore, Gamble Aware has released statistics showing that one in eight children aged 11-15 are gambling on a regular basis and up to 300,000 are at risk of being problem gamblers.  
 

Change for the better 

Gambling is a fun activity that can lead to wins but needs to be practised safely and responsibly. The Culture Secretary of the British Government stated that 18 is recognised as the age when children become adults and start taking on responsibilities.  

It is the age when they gain full citizenship rights and the responsibilities that come with it. As such the authorities are considering raising the minimum age to 18 for all National Lottery games and retaining the current limit of 16.  

It is a priority for the British Government to drastically bring down gambling and problem gambling among the youth.