Under-18s to be BANNED from buying lottery scratchcards under plan to toughen up gambling laws
- Teenagers aged 16 to 17 will not be able to buy scratchcards under planned law
- ‘We need to be clear that gambling starts at 18’ says Sports Minister Mims Davies
- Davies did not rule out banning gambling firms from advertising on football kits
- The proposed laws are not intended to stop people having fun says Davies
Under 18s are set to be banned from buying scratchcards as part of a toughening up of anti-gambling laws.
Sports Minister Mims Davies said she wanted to act ‘soon’ to outlaw sales of the cards to teenagers aged 16 and 17.
The Eastleigh MP also did not rule out banning gambling firms from advertising on football club kits, saying a review of the gambling industry was ‘ongoing’ in an interview with The House magazine.
Scratchcards and lottery tickets on sale (stock photo)
Asked if she wanted the age limit on scratchcards to be lifted to 18 she told the magazine: ‘Yes. We need to be very clear that gambling starts at 18.
‘We are very clear that where people are connected to their communities and they want to support causes in appropriate ways – it’s not to stop people from having fun, but it’s also to protect those most vulnerable people.
‘That’s where the Government needs to step in.’
Davies was appointed sports minister in November after her predecessor Tracey Crouch quit in protest over delays to the introduction of reduced stake limits on fixed odds betting terminals.
A month after Crouch’s exit, the main British gambling firms agreed to introduce a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on betting adverts in broadcasts of pre-watershed live sport.
That voluntary move followed a series of reports from academics and anti-gambling campaigners about the amount of betting-related messages that audiences receive during sports broadcasts and the expectation that the government was considering legislation on the matter.
Ms Davies warned that some professional sports had an ‘over reliance’ on gambling and needed to have strong ruled in place.
She said ‘those sports know who they are’, adding: ‘Sport needs to recognise what’s a healthy relationship between the type of sponsors that they’ve got. The FA, for example, have decided a particular sponsor wasn’t for them.
‘This is a matter for the football authorities as well. This is a matter for the Gambling Commission where they’re concerned about children.
‘If there is evidence, then the Government’s made no bones that we will act.
‘I’m pleased about that, and I will be at the forefront of that.’