The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation on whether it should implement a new retail sale mechanism for National Lottery products.
The consultation has been launched in response to the government increasing the minimum age to purchase National Lottery products from 16 to 18 – a change that was implemented by UK retailers last April, six months ahead of legislation coming into force on October 1.
Overseeing the lottery, the DCMS noted that retailers have since highlighted that some forms of sale are at risk of being significantly impacted by the new age restrictions, especially Saturday draws as retailers may have more 16 and 17-year-olds working at tills and checkouts.
John Whittingdale, DCMS Minister for Media and Data, said in a statement: “In order to minimise the impact on retailers and offer additional flexibility, the government intends to introduce an approved sale mechanism for National Lottery tickets.
The government will aim to apply a sales mechanism “similar to those in place for alcohol sales in England, Wales, and Scotland, and sales of tobacco and nicotine vaping products in Scotland, through which a designated person over the age of 18 can approve a sale by someone under 18 years old”.
Launching its consultation, DCMS seeks guidance on the key areas of how a new sales mechanism would impact retailers lottery sales performance and operations as 16-and-17-year-olds form a vital part of their workforce.
An effective sales mechanism is regarded as essential to maintaining the National Lottery’s track record of raising £43bn for arts, sports, heritage and community projects including a further £1.2bn in COVID-19 relief programmes.
The consultation will consider two actions – whether to ‘do nothing’ and maintain the current policy with no changes as to how lottery products can be purchased or proceed with ‘introducing a new sales system’.
The DCMS added: “The framework of minimum age policies is a complex one and it is important to consider National Lottery products alongside other age-restricted products available at mainstream retailers.”
The consultation will close on August 12 at midday, with stakeholders required to send their responses to [email protected]