The age limit for participating in the United Kingdom National Lottery is going to rise to eighteen. It will start from next year, as per a statement by the government. The announcement was made on the same day the ministers announced the launch of the review of the iGaming laws. Such laws might affect the industry drastically by limiting stakes, at UK Casinos curbing advertisement, and the application of stricter safety and player protection measures.
Culture Minister – Comments on the Review and National Lottery Age
Oliver Dowden, the Culture Minister, stated that the Gambling Act of 2005 was written before the spread of Smartphones. Therefore, he considered it as an analog law in today's digital age. The government will launch a review that is going to most likely unwind much of the legislation that occurred in the Blair-era.
While the review still has a long way to go and plenty of phases, there is one concrete measure that is confirmed by the government. It is regarding the minimum age for the United Kingdom National Lottery. Currently, the age is set at 16, but it will rise to 18 years. The application of the new law will start next year, in October of 2021. The minimum age change reflects the concerns regarding the expansion of the weekly draw into areas like online play. There are concerns regarding the national lottery becoming a gateway to problem gambling.
New Funding to Tackle the iGaming Parallel Market
It is not all about the National Lottery. The UK government's ministers are also considering providing the UK Gambling Commission with additional funding. The funding aims to power and help the UKGC in tackling the parallel unregulated gambling market. It is also to enables it to implement stricter punishments on legit operators that are failing to provide protection to vulnerable players.
Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP, stated that the upcoming review is a one in a generation chance to apply needed reforms. These reforms are aimed towads thee iGaming industry and the National Lottery. The industry has grown at a fast rate over the last ten years. The gambling market evolved from traditional wagering that people grew up with to become an international corporate identity. It became an industry that extracts a lot of profit from people around the country. On the other hand, the regulations and laws have not evolved at the same pace. It is a fact that is clear for everyone.
While plenty of players gamble in a responsible way, whether at casinos or the National Lottery, the Gambling Act 2005 is an outdated law in the modern digital age. The industry has evolved at tremendous breakneck speed. It evolved from a flutter of betting shops and racecourses on high-street to online gambling, casinos, and more. Accessing gambling is easier than ever, through a few clicks and a stable internet connection. Although the industry has taken several steps voluntarily, such as the whistle-to-whistle ban on adverts, a lot still has to be made to protect the youth and vulnerable people.