8 December 2020
A Camelot spokesperson said:
“We’ve said all along that we would fully support any decision made by the government to raise the minimum age to play. Now that a decision has been made to raise the age to 18 by October 2021, we’ll be doing everything we can to implement all of the changes that will be necessary as quickly as possible, while ensuring that we maintain the very high standards demanded of The National Lottery. We’ve already started this work in preparation and, subject to receiving the appropriate licence variations and waivers from the Gambling Commission, we’re aiming to complete all of the changes that are needed in our online channels by early April 2021 and, in our retail channel, over the course of the summer – well in advance of the change in law.”
The National Lottery is a vast and complex operation, with a network of 44,000 independently owned retailers across the UK and more than 8.5 million active registered players, making it Europe’s largest online lottery in terms of sales. With our operating licence requiring us to ensure that the minimum age to play appears on all physical materials, as well as in all online channels, the changeover will not happen overnight. This isn’t simply a case of sending new stickers to retailers or flicking an online switch.
In retail, for example, around 80 individual items need changing or removing – including fixed signage, permanent point of sale equipment, physical tickets and Scratchcards, and play slips. And online, more than 50 separate areas need addressing – including Games Rules and Procedures, online Player Guides, app alerts and notifications, and automated emails. On top of that, any COVID-19 restrictions will need to be taken into account to ensure that we implement the changes as safely and responsibly as possible.