Pressure on the gambling industry is rising in the UK as the government has enforced a ban on under-18s from purchasing National Lottery tickets.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, British lawmakers have implemented further regulatory change as the legal age to buy a lottery ticket and scratch-card has risen from 16 to 18.
In April this year, minors were banned from online gambling, however, from today, minors can no longer purchase tickets for the Lotto, Set for Life or Euromillions products.
Supporters of the move label the lottery as a ‘gateway to problem gambling’ for young people, especially with online gambling freely available.
The anti-gambling campaigner Matt Zarb-Couzin, Director of Clean Up Gambling, told the Daily Mirror: “Britain is the only country in the world that allows children to gamble.
“The loophole that lets under-18s buy lottery tickets has been exploited to peddle rapid instant win games to children, which act as a gateway to harder forms of gambling.
“These games have more in common with online casinos than lotteries. The government should increase the minimum age to 18 as soon as possible.”
Camelot has been in support of the government’s decision to raise the minimum age to play, as a spokesperson said on the topic last December: “We’ve said all along that we would fully support any decision made by the government to raise the minimum age to play.
“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.”
It is the latest in a series of hits to the gambling industry in the UK in recent times, most notably the potential banning of gambling companies from being the front-of-shirt sponsor for football clubs in the top two English leagues.
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals were the target of government intervention in 2018 as the maximum deposit was reduced from £100 to £2.
The ongoing review of the Gambling Act 2005, undertaken by DCMS headed by Nadine Dorries, is the backdrop for these changes as the governmental body aims to reduce problem gambling amongst young people.
Meanwhile, the Public Health England ‘gambling-related harms evidence review’ concluded that problem gambling is costing the UK £1.27bn.