DCMS launches consultation on National Lottery sales by under 18s

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is considering a new framework to let 16 and 17 year-olds sell National Lottery tickets - wherein a designated adult would approve transactions - after the minimum age to play was raised to 18.
National Lottery

Concerns were raised by operator Camelot and retailers that sell tickets after the government announced last year that the the minimum age to purchase National Lottery products would be raised. These concerns were partially due to the issues it may cause for retailers employing 16 and 17 year-olds.

In response, DCMS has now launched a consultation welcoming opinions on the suggested alteration to the structure.

DCMS considered the change to be alike to the framework on selling alcohol, where a “responsible person” must approve the transaction if the alcohol is being sold by someone aged 16 or 17 in England, Scotland and Wales.

Scotland has a similar structure in place for the sale of tobacco products.

In relevant data collected by DCMS it was found that 16 and 17 year-olds make up a significant portion of the retail workforce, especially on Saturdays, which is a peak day for National Lottery ticket sales.

“The National Lottery operator has told us 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,” said John Whittingdale, minister for Media and Data.

At the time the minimum age for selling lottery tickets was raised, the government also raised the age to purchase lottery tickets from 16 to 18. The change was put in place in April 2021, with legislation to that effect coming into force in October 2021.

The consultation will close at midday on August 12 2021.

In August 2020, the Gambling Commission launched its fourth National Lottery tender with hopes of securing a licensee by September 2021.

Gaming operator Sazka Group was the first business to announce its application in October 2020, followed by Sugal & Damani. Camelot – which currently operates the lottery – showed interest by completing the selection questionnaire, but has not confirmed whether it is competing for the tender.

More recently, Italian lottery operator Sisal partnered with BT to bid for the license.

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