The rules in this section are designed to ensure that marketing communications for lotteries are socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons under 18 and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by advertising that features or promotes lotteries. It should be noted, however, that although the minimum age limit for purchasing National Lottery products is 18, the minimum age limit for participation in society lotteries is 16.
This section applies to the marketing communications of the National Lottery and 'large' society lotteries licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission and, in the case of 'small' society lotteries, those promoters registered with local authorities in England and Wales or licensing boards in Scotland.
This section also applies to marketing communications for lottery products that are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission for National Lottery products. The UK National Lottery may be advertised under The National Lottery etc Act 1993 (as amended). Society lotteries are promoted under the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005.
Radio Central Copy Clearance – Radio broadcasters must ensure that advertisements subject to this section are centrally cleared.
Rules for all advertisements
Advertisements must not:
portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm
suggest that participating in a lottery can provide an escape from personal, professional or educational problems such as loneliness or depression
suggest that participating in a lottery can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security. Advertisers may, however, refer to other benefits of winning a prize
portray participating in a lottery as indispensable or as taking priority in life, for example, over family, friends or professional or educational commitments
suggest peer pressure to participate in a lottery or disparage abstention
suggest that participating in a lottery can enhance personal qualities; for example, that it can improve self-image or self-esteem, or is a way to gain control, superiority, recognition or admiration
link participating in a lottery to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness
portray participation in a lottery in a context of toughness or link it to resilience or recklessness
suggest participation in a lottery is a rite of passage
suggest that solitary gambling is preferable to social gambling.
Rules for lottery advertisements
Advertisements for lotteries that can be participated in only by entering gambling premises must make that condition clear.
Advertisements for lotteries must not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of under-18s or other vulnerable persons.
Advertisements for lotteries must not be likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. They must not include a person or character whose example is likely to be followed by those aged under 18 years or who has a strong appeal to those aged under 18.
Where the subject of a lotteries product (for example, good causes benefitting from lottery funds) or features of the product itself (for example, the creative content, gameplay or a prize involved) are of strong appeal to under-18s, an advertisement for that lottery may depict the subject and/or product, but it must not feature a person or character whose example is likely to be followed by those aged under 18 years or who has a strong appeal to those aged under 18.
Lotteries advertisements that solely depict the good causes supported by the lottery may include persons or characters whose example is likely to be followed by those aged under 18 years or who has a strong appeal to those aged under 18 provided that:
a)they are directly associated with the lottery good cause (for example, an athlete who has received lottery funding directly);
b)there is no explicit encouragement to purchase a lottery product; and
c)there is no reference to scratchcards or online instant-win lottery products.
Lotteries advertisements including product references that comply with rule 18.7.2 are also acceptable.
Please refer to Section 32 for scheduling restrictions.
Advertisements for lotteries must not feature anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old participating in gambling.
Advertisements for lotteries which include any reference to scratchcards or online instant-win lottery products must not feature anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old in a significant role. Other advertisements for lotteries must not feature anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old in a significant role unless either:
they are featured solely to depict the good causes supported by the lottery and there is no explicit encouragement to purchase a lottery product; or
they are representative of the primary beneficiaries of the lottery and the lottery primarily benefits under-25s (including in a family setting).
Advertisements for lotteries must not exploit cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling or luck.
Advertisements for lotteries must not condone or encourage criminal or anti-social behaviour.
Advertisements for lotteries must not condone or feature gambling in a working environment (an exception exists for workplace lottery syndicates and gambling premises).