Prohibition on children gambling and the National Lottery
Prohibition on children gambling and the National Lottery

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Prohibition on children gambling and the National Lottery
  • Gambling Act 2005 offences
  • Summary of the main underage gambling offences found in GA 2005
  • What is reasonable belief about a person's age?
  • National Lottery etc Act 1993
  • Sentences for gambling and lottery offences

Gambling Act 2005 offences

The Gambling Act 2005 (GA 2005) introduced a new regulatory system to govern the provision of all gambling in Great Britain, other than the National Lottery and spread betting. In general there is prohibition on gambling by children and young people. 'Child' means an individual who is less than 16 years old; 'young person' means an individual who is not a child but is less than 18 years old. There are a number of exceptions to this general prohibition. These are:

  1. children and young people may participate in all forms of private or non-commercial gaming and betting (eg school raffles, tombolas, church fetes etc)

  2. young people may participate in lotteries and pool betting on association football

  3. children and young people may use the category of gaming machine with the lowest stakes and prizes (Category D)

  4. children and young people may also take part in equal chance prize gaming on certain premises (Part 13 GA 2005)

The main offence is found in section 46(1) of the Gambling Act 2005, which provides that a person commits an offence if he invites, causes or permits a child or young person to gamble. Invitation includes advertising and other actions that bring attention to the facilities available for gambling. It is a defence to prove the information was provided without