Camelot has congratulated National Lottery retailers in the UK, after news that 89% of vendors visited in 2016 correctly asked for ID as proof of age on the first occasion – up 3% on the previous year’s results.
This was following the company conducting 11,600 such visits last year – as part of its long-term commitment to preventing underage and excessive play of The National Lottery.
As the mystery shopping visits kick off for 2017, Camelot is now in the process of reminding retailers of their responsibilities in this area.
A leaflet and terminal sticker will be landing in all National Lottery retailers with top tips on acceptable forms of identification, what to do if a customer appears to be underage or playing too much, and ways of ensuring all staff are correctly trained.
Camelot’s head of retail, James Pearson, commented: “To play any National Lottery game, you must be 16 or older. Obviously, many retailers already have their own underage policies in place – such as Challenge 21 or 25 – but we’re doing all we can to provide support and guidance for National Lottery products specifically.
Pearson added: “While ensuring people under 16 aren’t playing our games is vital, it’s also important that retailers look out for people who might be playing too much.
“We hope that the leaflet and terminal sticker provide retailers with some easy-to-use top tips – and we’ll also be conducting telephone calls and face-to-face visits to talk through what it means in their individual store.
Camelot’s mystery shopping programme has been in place for over a decade, and uses young people who are over 16, but who look younger. If a retailer fails a mystery shopping visit on three occasions, their National Lottery terminal will be suspended and is likely to be removed.
“We’re delighted with the 89% pass-rate and I’d personally like to thank all of our retailers for this achievement. I hope that we can all work together to do even better in 2017,” said Pearson.
The news that National Lottery retailers are increasing their vigilance in relation to potential underage gamblers comes as Camelot continues to enjoy revenue growth.
For the third quarter of the financial year to December 24, the group saw sales of £1.8 billion, up £68.5 million on the prior-year quarter, due primarily to the successful launch of the new-look EuroMillions game.
Since its launch in 1994, the National Lottery has given away over £61 billion in prizes and created more than 4,400 millionaires.
Totally Gaming says: While the proof of identification success rate of 89% represents an increase over 2015, Camelot’s latest campaign to remind retailers of their responsibilities in this area should help bolster the figures further still during 2017 and beyond.