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The NFSP's latest guidance on selling National Lottery products - new age restrictions and Camelot's 'healthy play' campaign

Dec 7, 2021 |

New legislation came into effect from 1 October 2021 mandating that any retailers selling National Lottery products must ensure they are preventing sales to under-18s.

The new regulations also mean that anyone selling a National Lottery ticket or issuing a Fast Pay card must be 18 or over unless their sale is approved by a responsible colleague over the age of 18 themselves.

The new age restriction has received full support from the National Lottery’s operator, Camelot, who has decided to co-run (alongside the implementation of this new law) a campaign asking retailers to encourage ‘healthy play’ while selling their products as well.

As many NFSP members sell National Lottery products in their post offices, the NFSP has put together some guidance to help ensure you remain a responsible retailer in light of these new developments.

How can National Lottery retailers prevent underage play?

  • Ensure a strict ‘No ID, No Sale’ policy is followed by all staff members
  • Ensure staff members are only accepting valid forms of identification:
     – Passport
       – Photo Driving Licence
       – Military ID Card
       – Or any other ID which has the PASS logo e.g., CitizenCard
       – Use the Post Office EasyID app (for more information, visit their website, HERE)

Being aware of mystery shoppers

Each year, Camelot conducts more than 11,600 mystery shopper visits to ensure age restrictions on National Lottery games are upheld by retailers. Members should be aware of this and ensure their staff are too.

NOTE: Retailers of National Lottery products can receive up to three mystery shop visits if you fail to ask for identification. If you fail on all three visits, you are at risk of losing your National Lottery terminal.

The age to sell National Lottery products

Staff members below the age of 18 are now prohibited from selling National Lottery products, unless one of two strict protocols are followed:

  1. The sale or issue by a 16- or 17-year-old staff member has been specifically approved for each and every transaction by a responsible person over the age of 18 at the time of the sale/issue or;
  2. The staff member (no younger than 16) has been ‘pre-authorised’ (in advance) to sell National Lottery tickets by an authorising person over the age of 18, and such authorisation is recorded in writing.

In a Government statement on the consultation which led to the change in legislation, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP Minister of State (Minister for Media and Data) said:

“Retailers reliant on 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to implement changes in a manner that works best for them, either by enabling colleagues over the 18 to approve sales, or by allowing managers to pre-authorise sales by 16- and 17-year-old staff.”

But to be sure, let’s look at these two authorisation routes in more detail below:

What is an ‘approved sale’?

An approved sale, sometimes referred to as an ‘assisted’ or ‘supervised sale’, is when a staff member who is 18 or over supervises the sale of National Lottery products by a 16- or 17-year-old staff member.

This is how retailers currently authorise the sale of alcohol by a 16- or 17-year-old staff member.

What is a ‘pre-authorised’ sale?

A pre-authorised sale is where a formal written record is completed, retained, and kept up to date for all staff aged 16 or 17. This record must then be countersigned by an authorising person at the store location, typically the business owner or store manager. This provides full authorisation for that staff member to proceed to sell National Lottery products, providing the age verification procedures have been followed, and there does not have to be any further intervention during a sale transaction.

Pre-authorisation can be considered an alternate route to the ‘approved sale’ one outlined above.

The full Government report can he read HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: The age to pay out prizes on The National Lottery has also increased to 18 years and over, following an amendment to The National Lottery Retailer Agreement in September 2021.

However, as with the regulations on the legal age to sell National Lottery products, 16- and 17-year-olds can validate prizes if approval has been granted.

What is ‘healthy play’?

Healthy play is Camelot’s term for sensible, non-excessive participation in lottery gaming.

“We want lots of people playing a little, rather than a few playing a lot,” say operator Camelot. It is therefore crucial that members and their staff remain vigilant of signs of unhealthy play when serving customers.

Signs of unhealthy play in customers to look out for include:

  • Purchasing tickets daily or several times a day
    ● Purchasing more tickets in the hope of recouping losses
    ● Increased spending on tickets over time
    ● Speaking about financial difficulties

What can you do to encourage healthy play in-store?

You should make sure all staff are trained on spotting the signs of unhealthy play and feel confident in speaking to players about it.

The ‘Healthy Play’ terminal button allows you to discreetly print GamCare’s details on a pink terminal ticket to provide to players whom you think might be showing signs of unhealthy play.  

You should therefore also ensure your staff know how to print a hand-out using the ‘Healthy Play’ button on the terminal to provide to customers showing signs of unhealthy play.

For more information on Camelot’s healthy play campaign, visit the National Lottery website HERE.

Still unsure of what the new measures might mean for you or your staff or want to raise a query on anything mentioned above? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at We’ll be happy to help.

Tags: Customer, Policies, Lottery, Retail