Minimum age for playing National Lottery set to be raised

The minimum age for playing the National Lottery is set to be raised as part of moved to curb problem gambling.

Figures show that more than 200,000 16 and 17-year-olds regularly play the Lotto and buy scratchcards and a report in the House of Lords last month revealed many of the 55,000 ­children with a gambling problem began by playing the Lottery.

Matt Zarb-Cousin of campaigners Clean Up Gambling told The Mirror : “The younger you start gambling the more likely you are to fall into addiction. All gambling should be restricted to 18 and over.”

MP Tracey Crouch tried to introduce the new age limit two years ago when Sports minister.

Raising the age limit is also supported by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, the European Lotto Betting Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Dr Steve Sharman of East London University School of Psychology said: “Our research showed a robust link between legal youth gambling and adult gambling problems.”

Lottery operator Camelot boss Nigel Railton said: “For 25 years the age has been 16 so it is probably a good time to look at it.”

The change is most likely when the lottery licence comes up for renewal in 2023.

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