Options being explored to allow under-18s to sell lottery tickets

  • Updated
  • By Max Jenner
Lottery ticket age
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The British government is considering introducing legal changes to address the issue of under-18s being able to sell lottery tickets.

Legislation raising the minimum age requirement to buy tickets from 16 to 18, which would originally have applied from October, effectively came into force in April after Camelot UK, the operator of the National Lottery, decided to fast-track its implementation of the changes.

Given that 16- and 17-year-olds make up such a significant proportion of the retail workforce, however, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is now considering introducing a legal technicality which would eliminate confusion surrounding the legality of the sale of tickets by under-18s. It has therefore opened a consultation period to review the situation. This will remain open until 12th August at midday.

The proposal favoured by the DCMS would work similarly to the current policy regarding the sale of alcohol by 16- and 17-year-olds in England, Scotland and Wales: the transaction would need to be approved by a ‘responsible person’ in charge.

According to John Whittingdale, Minister of State for Media and Data, Camelot UK and major retailers “support this 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.”

Camelot is currently in the process of bidding to continue running the National Lottery after its current licence expires in 2023, having won every bid since 1994. Although celebrated for its successful running of the lottery in its early years, Camelot’s 27-year-run has not been without controversy and several rivals will be vying to take its place. Among these are Italian operator Sisal and Indian provider Sugal & Damani. The winner is expected to be announced in September.

Whoever wins, the popularity of the lottery seems set to continue — but the effect that a change of operator will have on your odds of winning the jackpot won’t be very significant at all. If you’re still holding out hope of pocketing some substantial winnings from the lottery, you might be better off playing bingo instead.