Camelot UK has stated that it aims to enforce +18 wagering across the National Lottery’s retail network and online platforms by April of next year.
The National Lottery operator issued a response to yesterday’s formal announcement made by the DCMS regarding its wholesale review of UK gambling laws, in which it ensured the minimum age for purchasing National Lottery products would be raised to +18 by October 2021.
MPs had previously branded Camelot’s failure to raise the age limit on purchasing National Lottery products as farcical, lambasting company CEO Nigel Railton at a November All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) hearing.
Addressing criticism of Camelot’s inactions, Railton said that National Lottery network changes could take up to a year to implement, at a significant cost for the company.
Cross-party MPs and England’s Children’s Commissioner had urged that DCMS enforce a +18 restriction on National Lottery ticket and scratch card purchases as a guaranteed condition of its gambling review.
In its response, Camelot stated that it always “fully supported any decision made by the government to raise the minimum age to play” – with the company having already started work to begin restrictions, “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,” it said.
Camelot stands by Railton’s former statement to MPs on raising age-limits, underlining the complexities of the National Lottery’s network servicing 44,000 independently owned retailers across the UK and more than 8.5 million active registered players.
“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,” Camelot detailed in its statement.
“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.”