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National Lottery playing age to rise as Govt launches major review

8 December 2020
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Today the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched its long anticipated review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

It follows a manifesto commitment during the 2019 General Election to look afresh at the current gambling legislation and to make changes where necessary.

At the same time, the Government has announced the minimum age to play the National Lottery will rise to 18 from October 2021, closing the loophole that allowed 16yo's to play.

The review will look at a number of areas, including online stake limits restrictions, gambling advertising and age restrictions to help protect young people.

Gambling Commission powers will also be looked at as part of a call for evidence which will run until March 2021.

Secretary of State for DCMS, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.

“This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely."
Oliver Dowden

CARE’s Response

CARE’s Head of Communications, James Mildred, said: “With reports only last month that the review would not start properly until next year, it’s welcome that the DCMS has launched its call for evidence this side of 2021.

“Gambling related harms range from serious financial loss, to job losses, relationship and family breakdown and cause social devastation for individuals and whole communities.

“The existing 2005 Gambling Act is out of date in the digital age where more and more people are betting online, especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This review, which was a manifesto commitment, is the first step towards making significant changes to gambling laws and CARE will be making a robust case for positive change.

“From stronger actions against betting companies, to a mandatory levy to make sure gambling firms pay their share towards research and treatment, to tougher measures to protect children from gambling related harms.

“There are many areas where the law is currently weak and that’s why this opportunity to inform new laws is so welcome.

“We are also pleased to see the minimum age for playing the National Lottery rising to 18 from October next year - that particular loophole has existed for far too long and it’s right that it’s now being closed.

“We need laws that prioritise the protection of individuals from gambling related harms and we hope this review will help contribute to genuine and real reform.”

CARE's James Mildred speaks to TWR UK's Holly Cook

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