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Thursday, 15 April 2021

Camelot To Raise National Lottery Minimum Age To 18 This April

Camelot National Lottery

The UK National Lottery operator Camelot has announced that it is increasing the minimum age required to play National Lottery ahead of its October deadline.

The UK Government launched its review of the Gambling Act 2005 in December and as part of it, announced that the minimum age for buying National Lottery products would increase from 16 to 18 from October 2021.

This week, however, Camelot has announced that the age limit will be implemented on April 22, six months ahead of its deadline. From that date, Camelot has announced that it will shut down all access to online lottery products for people aged under 18, affecting more than 3,000 accounts. The age limit will also be applied to retail shops too.

In a statement to SBCNews, Camelot said: “From 22 April 2021, players must be 18 or over to play National Lottery games online, in-store and on the app. This is in line with the Government’s decision to raise the legal minimum age to play The National Lottery, which we fully support. Encouraging healthy play is at the heart of everything we do. Remember, you can set limits for the amount you deposit and spend each week, moderate your Instant Win Games play limit or even take a break from playing.”

The news comes after Anne Longfield OBE, the Children’s Commissioner for England, criticised Camelot for “abusing its position of privilege” and allowing people aged under 18 to gamble. More recently, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), which is spearheading the Government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005, was criticised for not imposing tighter age limitations.

In addition to limiting the age for National Lottery products, the review of the Gambling Act 2005 could potentially see the UK Government introduce a ban on sports betting sponsorships as well as restrictions on the design and play of games.

GambleAware Publishes Voluntary Donation Details For 2019-2020

Also this week, leading gambling charity GambleAware has published a report detailing the voluntary donations it received for the 12 months ending March 31, 2021.

According to the report, GambleAware received £19 million in voluntary donations, £9 million more than the donations it received for the 2019/20 period, which totalled £10.5 million. GambleAware has stated that the rise in donations has come from operators Entain, William Hill, Flutter, and Bet365 as part of their commitment to donate £100 million to the charity over the next five years. In addition to voluntary donations, GambleAware also received £8.8 million in regulatory settlements.

The funding allows the charity to continue to improve its problem gambling services, including the National Gambling Treatment Service. The funds will go towards commissioning a coherent, coordinated and efficient system of prevention and treatment to keep gamers across the UK safe when playing.

Zoe Osmond, the CEO at GambleAware, said in a statement: “This growth in donations is the largest we’ve seen year on year driven largely as a result of the commitment by the ‘Big Four’. This will enable us to continue and expand our work to ensure evidence-informed services are developed according to need within a robust and accountable system. We will shortly be releasing our commissioning strategy which will detail how we plan to use this increased funding to help keep people safe from gambling harms.”

She continued: “It is estimated that two million adults in Great Britain are experiencing some level of gambling harm, and research published this year indicated that more than one in three people with a gambling disorder have not accessed any support or treatment. With these donations, we will continue to fund and improve the National Gambling Treatment Service to provide support for those who need it, while working in partnership with many other organisations to increase awareness of support available.”

The news comes several days after GambleAware published its submission to the UK Government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005. In its submission, the charity called for a mandatory levy on the gambling industry to fund the research, education and treatment of problem gambling.

Microgaming Announces New Agreement With GONG Gaming Technologies

Microgaming has announced a new content agreement with GONG Gaming Technologies, a game development studio that launched back in 2020. The team is comprised of passionate industry veterans with over two decades’ experience within the gaming industry.

Despite its infancy, GONG Gaming Technologies has already released several new casino games and previously collaborated with Microgaming to release games Pirate’s Quest and Skulls Heap.

Under the brand new partnership, GONG Gaming Technologies will develop games exclusively for Microgaming, and the first title to release as part of the agreement will be Inferno Gladiator. The high-volatility slot is set in a fiery colosseum and comes with special features such as a free spins mode and sticky wilds.

Dima Farbman, the Co-Founder and CEO at GONG Gaming Technologies, said in a statement: “We at GONG are honoured and excited to collaborate with Microgaming! Our main goal is to create high-quality, entertaining and engaging games, and we’re constantly looking to improve and innovate. We were really pleased with the feedback we received for our two recent Microgaming releases, Pirate’s Quest and Skulls Heap, and we can’t wait to take our future content to the next level alongside Microgaming.”

Andrew Booth, the Director of Games at Microgaming, added: “It’s great to see a new studio bringing multiple games to the market so quickly, and we’re thrilled to welcome GONG to our platform. With a maths-first logic, and some great creations to their name already, GONG are actively pursuing innovative content. We believe they have the potential to deliver even more sophisticated gaming technology, wrapped up with strong artwork, into the future.”

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