Higher age limit of 18 urged

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The Independent Online
The Gaming Board for Great Britain yesterday called for the age limit for buying lottery tickets and scratchcards to be raised to 18, writes Marianne Macdonald.

The board's annual report said it was an "anomaly" that anyone over 16 can buy lottery tickets when the minimum age for casino gaming, betting and playing bingo in clubs is 18. "The Board considers a common age of 18 would be better," it says.

It also calls for research into the effect of the lottery and recent changes to gaming laws on gambling addiction and expresses concern that the lottery has an unfair advantage over its rivals.

"Many of the gaming associations and organisations with which the Board deals have made representations to it about the adverse impact that the National Lottery is having on their businesses," the report says. "They express particular concern about the way in which the Lottery is able to promote all its activities aggressively whilst they are strictly circumscribed."

t Report of the Gaming Board for Great Britain: HMSO; pounds 12.75.