In the United Kingdom and the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly unveiled a plan that would raise the minimum age for those wanting to participate in the National Lottery to 18 from next year.
According to a Tuesday report from The Sun newspaper, the proposal being pushed by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) is part of a wide-ranging government review on iGaming and could see the minimum age requirement increased from its current threshold of 16 by October some six months after being introduced for all online sales.
Dowden reportedly told the newspaper that the United Kingdom’s gambling industry had evolved ‘at breakneck speed’ since the passage of the governing Gambling Act 2005, which was ratified under the administration of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and that the changes are intended to ‘help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.’ The Conservative politician purportedly pronounced that the planned alteration also ‘builds upon our clear track record of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm’ such as the recent ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling and the cut in the maximum stake for the nation’s collection of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Reportedly read a statement from Dowden…
“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act 2005 is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed. This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.”
The National Lottery is currently run by Camelot Group under a contract that is due to expire in the summer of 2023 with the operator reportedly declaring that it would ‘fully support’ any move to raise the minimum age for domestic lottery players to 18. The Watford-headquartered firm purportedly moreover stated that it would do ‘everything we can to implement all of the changes that will be necessary as quickly as possible’ in order to ensure that it ‘maintains the very high standards demanded of the National Lottery.’
Reportedly read a statement from Camelot Group…
“We’ve already started this work in preparation and, subject to receiving the appropriate licence variations and waivers from the Gambling Commission, we’re aiming to complete all of the changes that are needed in our online channels by early-April and in our retail channel over the course of the summer, [which would be] well in advance of the change in law.”
The newspaper reported that Michael Dugher, Chief Executive Officer for the Betting and Gaming Council lobby group, additionally welcomed the move for the National Lottery and asserted that it should be ‘one rule for all’ when it comes to the promotion of safer gambling practices. However, he purportedly furthermore advised parliamentarians to remember ‘the huge economic contribution made by the betting and gaming industry’ along with its over 100,000 employees in the United Kingdom when considering further legislative moves.
Dugher’s statement reportedly read…
“I hope ministers will focus in with laser-like precision on problem gamblers and those at risk. The government must ensure that any changes do not drive people to the unregulated black market online where there aren’t any safeguards to protect vulnerable people. Millions of people enjoy an occasional flutter on sports, on bingo, on the National Lottery, in casinos and online. I hope that everyone has their say in the review including millions of customers who enjoy betting safely as well as the hardworking men and women employed in the industry.”