The Government is to close a loophole allowing children to gamble hundreds of pounds a week on the National Lottery’s website, it has been reported.
Currently, children as young as 16 could be spending up to £350 a week on online games.
But it is expected that the legal age limit for the National Lottery will be raised to 18, in line with other gambling laws.
According to The Times, an upcoming review of gambling legislation will be “focused on the online betting industry and seek to address concerns around children, including advertising”.
Latest figures show that from 2017-2018, 16 and 17-year-olds spent around £47m on National Lottery games.
Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling Related Harm, said: “This review cannot come quick enough.”
Earlier this year, the APPG wrote to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden saying the lottery’s age limit should be raised to 18 as a “matter of urgency”.
According to new research published in August, playing the lottery as a teenager leads to an increased risk of problem gambling later in life.
The study by the University of East London, Warwick University and CQUniversity in Australia, found that people who purchased lottery tickets and scratchcards at 16 and 17 years old were more likely to be “associated with adult disordered gambling” than those who did not.
It also indicated that the more tickets and scratchcards gamblers bought as teenagers, the more severely they suffered from problem gambling later in life.