UK government opens consultation into National lottery sales
The National Lottery has made a huge contribution to life in the UK since it was launched in 1994, raising over £43bn for arts, sports, heritage and community projects.
More recently it has contributed over £1.2bn to those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, supporting everything from our outdoor spaces to our museums, theatres and sports clubs, helping to keep us active, entertained and safe.
Last year the government raised the age at which National Lottery tickets can be purchased from 16 to 18, protecting young people from the risk of gambling harm. The age of 18 is widely recognised as the age at which one becomes an adult, and gains full citizenship rights. This change was implemented by the operator and retailers in April 2021, six months ahead of the legislation coming into force on 1 October.
At the same time, the government also increased the age at which National Lottery tickets could be sold from 16 to 18. The operator and retailers have since warned that some types of sale risk being significantly impacted. For example on Saturdays, one of the main days for Lotto sales, when retailers may have higher numbers of 16 and 17 year olds at tills and checkouts and may cease or limit sales of Lottery tickets as a result.
In order to minimise the impact on retailers and offer additional flexibility, the government intends to introduce an approved sale mechanism for National Lottery tickets.
The National Lottery operator has said that they and many of their retailers support this small easement, which I am confident will serve our twin objectives of protecting the interests of young people while ensuring that the National Lottery can continue to raise funds for the good causes it supports.