Gambling Minister on advertising and a ban on sale of lottery scratch cards to under 18s

In the current edition of The House magazine, Gambling Minister Mims Davies is interviewed. The following extract from the article relates to the following gambling related issues:

  • gambling advertising and
  • a ban on under 18 year olds buying lottery scratch cards

Issues relating to gambling also fall under Davies’ brief. Current statistics on the health impacts of gambling are stark, with 430,000 adults classified as having a serious gambling problem and 75,000 children at risk of addiction.

Gambling companies in December agreed to a “whistle-to-whistle” TV advertising ban during live sport broadcasts. And this month it emerged that gambling adverts will no longer be allowed to appear on websites or in computer games that are popular with children.

Is the next step in the process to ban gambling firms from advertising on sports clothing? While the Government’s gambling review has already reported, Davies says the study is “ongoing”. “It doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped.” Ministers will continue to assess the case for taking further action, she adds.

The minister, for the time being, is ready to act elsewhere, she reveals. “There are other areas where I would like to see some things sorted out. That’s around buying scratch cards at lotteries, 16- and 17-year-olds. I would like to act there. I’d be hopeful to do that soon.”

Is she calling for the sale of scratch cards to under 18s to be outlawed? “Yes. 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.