UK Lottery Age limit to Increase with Reform to Gambling Act Considered
By Simon Wright Dec 8, 2020
As we reported back in July this year that there was a growing groundswell of support to increase the age limit of the National Lottery, raising the bar from 16 years of age to 18 years to be able to purchase a ticket and take part. It has now been confirmed this morning that the age limit will increase to 18 from October 2021.
In addition it has also been announced by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Downden, that the government will be reviewing the current Gambling Act that came into force back in 2005, with Downden stating: “The current legislation, established in 2005, was “an analogue law in a digital age.”
Downden further stated: “The industry had evolved at breakneck speed and the aim of the review was to tackle problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people.”
The raising of the minimum age to play the UK National Lottery will no doubt be welcomed by groups campaigning for responsible gambling, as will the forthcoming review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone, commenting on the news of next years age limit increase said: “We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling-related harm, which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery.”
“Patterns of play have changed since its inception, with a shift towards online games, and this change will help make sure the National Lottery, although already low-risk, is not a gateway to problem gambling.”
Review of UK 2005 Gambling Act
As previously covered here on Casinomeister, the UK government initiated a ‘call for evidence’ canvassing views concerning the current legislation in place, which is to run until the end of March 2021. All aspects of the Act in its current form will be looked at, with the view to tighten up areas where it is perceived to be lacking in protection of players and also minors.
Solutions being considered include the possible introduction of loss limits, maximum stake limits and also a ban on gambling firms advertising with and sponsoring professional football clubs.
The review is welcomed by the Gambling Health Alliance, a collection of 50 responsible gambling charities and academics, with their chair Duncan Stephenson commenting on the news: “The public had been at the mercy of a gambling industry which has taken advantage of “sluggish and inadequate” regulation.”
“We have seen the devastating effects of this on lives lost and ruined, with gambling companies shamelessly exploiting the young and vulnerable, making obscene amounts of money at the expense of some of our most deprived communities.”
The Gambling Health Alliance is just one of a number of bodies calling for a ban on all gambling advertising and sponsorship in professional sports.