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14 April 2022

– 90% of retailers correctly asked for ID on the first visit in new ‘Operation 18’ programme –
– Survey linked to healthy play lottery terminal handouts shows overwhelming player positivity –

Camelot today thanked its retail partners after final results for 2021/22 showed that 90% of National Lottery retailers visited correctly asked for ID as proof of age on their first ‘Operation 18’ mystery shopping visit – rising to 95% for second visits. These visits replaced the previous ‘Operation Child’ visits – which had been running for two decades – following the change to the minimum age to play The National Lottery from 16 to 18, which came into force in April 2021.

These results come alongside interim findings from a recent player survey that looks at the effectiveness of a relatively new feature on the National Lottery terminals in retail, which allows retailers to print and discreetly give healthy play handouts to players by pressing the ‘Healthy Play’ button on their terminal. If a retailer is concerned about a customer’s playing habits or if a customer asks a retailer for support, the button allows retailers to subtly print a pink ticket – much like a Lotto, EuroMillions, or Set For Life ticket – with details of where support is available, such as through GamCare and The National Lottery’s healthy play webpage. The initial survey findings show that 72% of National Lottery players who received the handout felt positive about it, and that two in five players are going to think about their play after seeing the handout.

Camelot’s Retail Strategy Manager, Guy Goodacre, commented: “With the age to play change from 16 to 18 in April last year, this has been a critical year for The National Lottery – and we can’t thank our retail partners enough for their hard work and dedication every step of the way. From updating all of their in-store POS and reminding customers in the lead-up to the change last year, to showing their ongoing commitment to preventing underage play through these fantastic ‘Operation 18’ results – it’s plain to see that our retail partners are totally committed to responsible retailing.

“It’s also fantastic to see the overwhelmingly positive player response to the healthy play terminal handouts. We’ve designed the handouts to be discreet but also highly informative, and this is clear evidence that, if a retailer is worried about a customer’s playing patterns, they should feel confident about printing one out for a customer and handing it to them with their purchases.”

The new ‘Operation 18’ mystery shopping programme uses people who are over 18, but who look younger – this is to avoid retailers inadvertently breaking the law during a test visit. If a retailer fails a mystery shopping visit on three occasions, their National Lottery terminal will be suspended and is likely to be removed. In 2021/22, over 8,850 test visits were carried out with a 90% first visit pass rate; this rose to 95% for second visits. The ‘Healthy Play’ lottery terminal button was launched at the end of 2019 and, since then, has been used more than 1.7 million times.

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For further information, please contact:

Camelot Press Office: 020 7632 5711

Notes to Editors:

  • Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery® and is committed to raising money for National Lottery Good Causes designated by Parliament. Camelot is not responsible for distributing or awarding these funds.
  • Under Camelot’s operation, The National Lottery generates over £30 million each week for National Lottery-funded projects. In total, over £45 billion has now been raised and more than 660,000 individual grants have been made across the UK – the equivalent of around 235 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.
  • The National Lottery has so far awarded over £83 billion in prizes and created more than 6,300 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch in 1994.
  • Accounting for nearly 60% of sales last year, retail is the largest National Lottery sales channel. Camelot now works with around 44,000 retailers across the UK, with independent outlets making up the majority.
  • National Lottery retailers earn 5% commission for each draw-based game sold and 6% on each Scratchcard sold, as well as 1% on certain prizes paid out in-store. On average, National Lottery retailers earned around £6,200 in commission per store in 2020/21.
  • Since 1994, Camelot’s retail partners have earned over £7.3 billion in total sales commission.
  • Despite being the fifth largest lottery in the world by sales, the UK National Lottery is ranked just 62nd in the world in terms of per capita spend (Source: La Fleur’s 2022 World Lottery Almanac).
  • In 2019, Camelot became the first lottery operator to achieve Advanced Level 2 of GamCare’s Safer Gambling Standard for its online and retail operations.
  • In 2022, Camelot achieved for a fifth successive time the highest level of the European Lotteries’ Responsible Gaming Standard, as well as Level 4 – the highest level possible – of the World Lottery Association’s Responsible Gaming Certification.
  • For further information on Camelot, The National Lottery and its games, please visit: www.camelotgroup.co.uk and www.national-lottery.co.uk
  • Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 18 or over.