The government said it is considering to raise the minimum age to play National Lottery scratchcards and online instant win games to 18.
Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies told House of Commons on Tuesday (16 July) that the government will launch a consultation on whether the age limit should be raised to 18 for some or all National Lottery games and products.
The current age limit for all National Lottery games is 16. Davies said the government wants to ensure children and young people are protected from the potential risks of gambling related harm.
In the statement at the Commons, Davies also set out next steps on society lotteries following a consultation. She said the government will raise the society lotteries’ annual sales limit to £50 million, increasing the money they can raise for good causes, and the maximum per draw prize to £500,000.
The changes “strike the right balance” for both lotteries to thrive, she claimed.
“The National Lottery raises vast sums for good causes, and society lotteries play a vital role in supporting local charities and grassroots organisations. These measures will ensure we create the best landscape so people across our communities can continue to benefit,” she said.
Since the first National Lottery draw in 1994, over £40 billion has been raised for good causes. Society lotteries – such as those run by charities, the Health Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery – raise around £300 million a year for good causes.
The current licence to run the National Lottery is due to expire in 2023 and the bidding process for the fourth National Lottery licence competition will be launched next year.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said it intends to ensure there is a clear position on the minimum age ahead of this.