National Lottery minimum age could increase to 18

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
National Lottery minimum age could increase to 18

The government has announced plans to review the age limits for all National Lottery games. Currently, UK residents can buy Lottery tickets once they turn 16, whereas the minimum gambling age for online casino sites and bingo is 18. 

Culture minister Mims Davies explained that the consultation will also look at only increasing the age limit for instant-win scratch cards and online games which are slightly higher risk than draw-based games such as Lotto.

Labour's shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson, says that scratchcards are a "gateway" for many teenagers and that there is "absolutely no need" to consult on the age limit.

He said: "It's our strong view, and I'm sure members across the House will agree, that we already have all the evidence we need. To gamble you should be an adult, so the minimum age for all gambling products should be 18 – it's as simple as that."

National Lottery operator Camelot said it has "no issue" with the review. However, it’s disappointed by the increase the maximum prizes in draws run by “society lotteries” from £400,000 to £500,000.

"This will have a further negative impact on returns to National Lottery good causes and society," said a spokesperson.

"The National Lottery’s huge success in raising over £40 billion for good causes across the UK over the last 25 years has, in part, been because of the clear distinction between it and society lotteries. 

However, the rapid growth in recent years of synthetic national lotteries has eroded the ‘single-operator’ model on which The National Lottery is based and significantly blurred this distinction."