The UK Government is considering banning under 18s from purchasing scratchcards.
The Sport Minister Mims Davies revealed that the ban is currently being discussed in Whitehall as part of a crackdown on gambling, The Guardian reports.
In an interview with House magazine, Davies revealed she wanted to change the law in order to stop under-18s from gambling on scratchcards and national lottery draws, both of which can be played by anyone 16 and over.
She said: “We need to be very clear that gambling starts at 18… 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.
When asked about the sales of scratchcards to under 18s, Davies added: “I’d be hopeful to do that soon.”
Davies was also asked about the recent ban on gambling advertisements and insisted that the government’s assessment of the issue was “ongoing” before stating that she’d rather focus on the minimum age for gambling.
The Crackdown on Gambling
Davies’ comments come amid a crackdown on gambling advertisements. In December last year, it was revealed that several gambling operators had all agreed to a ban on gambling advertisements during live sports games.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) announced this month new rules that will ban gambling advertisements from appearing on child-friendly websites. It also bans operators from using people and celebrities who appear under the age of 18 from their advertisements.
More recently, gambling operator Tombola was banned from displaying gambling advertisements on the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here smartphone app after the firm sparked outrage when it was revealed that the ads were being viewed by under 18s using the app to vote for their favourite celebrities.