UK Sport Minister wants to raise age limit on lottery tickets
How young is too young to be playing the lottery? That’s a question that UK gambling operators are facing this week after UK Sport Minister Mims Davies announced her desire to raise the minimum age for purchasing lottery tickets and scratch cards from 16 to 18.
Davies made her comments in an interview with House magazine, which was reported on by the Guardian. In the interview Davies made her thoughts on the matter very clear saying, “We need to be very clear that gambling starts at 18 … It’s not to stop people from having fun, but it’s also to protect those most vulnerable people. That’s where the government needs to step in.”And, in case anyone had any doubts about the matter she added, “I’d be hopeful to do that soon.”
Davies’ comments come on the heels of a recent study by the UK Gambling Commission that found that roughly 16 percent of all UK residents between the ages of 11 and 16 purchase lottery tickets or scratch cards every week. That same study concluded that about 450,000 of the children in that cohort engage in some sort of gambling on a weekly basis.
The good news, for UK lottery operators, is that any proposed changes to lottery and scratch card sales would not take effect until at least 2023. That’s when the next round of license renewals is up for the National Lottery.
This potentially bad news for lottery operators is part of a larger trend in UK politics to vigorously enforce, and beef up, any regulation that prevents young people from gambling.