Helping you to play responsibly
We want lots of people to play a little, rather than a few playing a lot – it's our guiding principle. Around 70% of UK adults play our games and encouraging Responsible Play is at the heart of everything we do. From the way we design our games to the tools we develop that put you in control of your play, we're here to help.
Game design with you in mind
We believe that prevention should always come before the cure and this is why we design games that are both responsible and fun to play. We complement this with tools and processes that closely monitor the games that are being developed and launched.
Game design process
We conduct a continuous review of our game design process. Researchers, academics and public interest groups are involved at an early stage when a new game design is considered. This is part of our risk management process.
GAM-GaRD was originally developed in the UK by Dr Richard Wood, Dr Mark Griffiths and Camelot, with input from an international advisory team comprising 20 expert responsible gaming researchers and clinicians. By examining the available evidence worldwide, it was possible to develop a tool that utilised the most-up-to-date findings about the impact of specific game elements that influence vulnerable players. GAM-GaRD is updated and tested regularly to ensure that it continues to take into account the latest research findings relating to responsible gaming and the development of problem gambling behaviour.
We use GAM-GaRD to identify how risky a proposed game is likely to be for a vulnerable player. By examining the specific characteristics of the game, it pinpoints exactly where the potentially problematic elements of the game lie so that they can be addressed.
Game design protocol
Our Game Design Protocol (GDP) is a ‘risk matrix tool’ designed in partnership with universities and charities with an interest in problem gambling. It helps us to predict how new draw-based lottery games or scratchcards will be used by people in particular risk groups, including those under the age of 16, those on low incomes and those who already have gambling problems.
If the results of these tools show that a game poses an above-average risk, we will either revise the product or review additional factors, such as our advertising and marketing strategy. If this does not satisfactorily reduce the risk, we will not launch the game.
Putting you in control
We don't want you to spend more than you can afford, so whether you want to limit your spend or play, take a break from our games or simply keep an eye on things, there is a range of features designed to help you do just that.
Limiting your spend or play
We set you up with a maximum number of 75 Instant Win Games you can play or try in any 24 hour period, and a £350 weekly limit on how much money you can add to your account. You can adjust your limits at any time in the spend and play settings section of your account as long as you don't exceed these maximum limits. Reducing your limits takes effect immediately, while increasing your limits will take 24 hours.
Taking a break from our games
- You can take a break from playing (and trying) all or specific Instant Win Games by moderating your play in your account. Changes take effect immediately. You will need to contact us to remove the controls.
- You also have the option to temporarily or permanently exclude yourself from playing all games by giving us a call. There is a minimum period of 6 months for temporary exclusions but permanent exclusions cannot be reversed.
Keeping an eye on things
There are a few other features we provide to help you along the way:
- Try any of our Instant Win Games for free before you buy. You need to have an account to do this but you don't have to have a debit card registered on the account.
- Also, each time you play or try an Instant Win Game, we'll tell you how many you've bought or tried in the last 24 hours.
- Keep track of how long you've been signed in to your account – you can see this in the top-right corner of every page.
- We show you how much money you've added in the last 7 days in spend and play settings. Plus, we tell you how much you've added AND spent when you add funds.
- There's also a full transaction history and a games played listing in your account.
Strategy to Prevent Excessive Play
Our approach to preventing excessive play are described in our ‘Consumer Protection Strategy’.
Keeping it fun
Gaming is fun but for a few, it may become a problem.
If you're worried about yourself, or someone you know, you can speak to someone in confidence at GamCare on 0808 8020 133 or visit the GamCare website for assistance.
We want you to enjoy our games responsibly and stay within your means, so please consider the following:
- You're buying fun, not investing your money.
- Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you're going to spend.
- Quit while you're ahead.
- Only play with money you can afford to lose.
- Don't spend more money on gaming with the hope to win back money that you have lost.
- Keep up other interests and hobbies – don't let gaming take over your life.
- Don't play in order to escape from stress or boredom.
- Gaming in moderation is okay.
- The key is...if you choose to play, play responsibly!
What type of player are you?
We also have an online test that aims to make you think about certain behaviours to ensure that playing our games, and any games, remain fun. A series of interactive videos walk you through what academics and treatment organisations tend to consider when looking at responsible gaming. Find out what type of player you are using our online test.
Protecting our young people
We're committed to preventing underage play.
It is an offence for National Lottery products to be sold to under 16s. If you believe this is happening, please call 0345 301 6216.
Our games are accessible only by users whose age and identity have been confirmed. We use an independent organisation to verify a player's age, which provides an Interactive Age Checked accreditation (iAC).
If you're concerned about young people having access to your National Lottery account, please keep your username and password confidential. There are also many third-party content filtering applications you can use to monitor or restrict internet use on your computer, such as:
www.netnanny.co.uk – Net Nanny filtering software, which protects children from viewing inappropriate web content
www.cybersitter.com – CYBERsitter filtering software, which allows parents and guardians to add their own lists of blocked sites to its filter.
We've also introduced measures to help prevent sales to under 16s in retail outlets, such as:
- Mandatory training for all new National Lottery retailers – covering Responsible Play, underage sales prevention, treatment referral and wider consumer protection issues.
- Regular communication with our retailers – such as presentations on underage play prevention and Responsible Play.
- Our Operation Child programme – test purchasing visits carried out by young people who are aged 16 or over, but look younger, to test awareness among our retailers of the safeguards for selling National Lottery tickets to young people.
Strategy to Prevent Underage Play
Our approach to preventing underage play are described in our 'Consumer Protection Strategy’'.
The green way to play
We're committed to running the lottery in an environmentally-responsible way.
That's why we've reduced, re-used and recycled the materials we use. And you can help too by playing online or recycling tickets and scratchcards.
Reducing packaging waste
We've reduced packaging waste and made ordering of our scratchcards more efficient. Plus, you can now see instructions for our games on digital media screens at your local shop, meaning a big saving in paper and fuel.
We re-use the wooden pallets in our Distribution Centre, sending the used pallets back in the lorries that drop off the new products.
We shred and recycle 100% of our deactivated scratchcards – that's 300 tonnes every year! Our scratchcards become products like paper towels, cup holders and magazines.
Over 90% of The National Lottery promotional material you see in your local shops, like posters, is recyclable.
We have a code of conduct and work closely with specific suppliers to make sure we're reducing packaging, waste and CO2 emissions, through individual supplier feedback on their environmental performance.
As the operator of the UK National Lottery, we've also introduced many schemes to reduce waste and CO2 emissions throughout our own business. For more information, visit www.playingourpart.com.
How you can help
By playing our games online, you save paper and other resources, because you don't need paper play slips or tickets. This also means we need less transportation for distribution, reducing CO2 emissions.
If you still prefer to play our games in store you can still help. All the products that go out to our players are recyclable and most are printed on sustainably sourced or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper. If all our players recycle their used scratchcards, tickets and receipts, together we can reduce the impact on our environment.
If you would like to get involved but are unsure how you can recycle, contact your local council or visit www.wrap.org.uk for more information.
We're accredited by GamCare
GamCare is the UK's national centre for information, advice and practical help on the social impact of gambling. We were the first organisation in the UK to achieve GamCare accreditation for our interactive services and have maintained it every year since.
GamCare is pleased to award Camelot with GamCare Certification to acknowledge their achievement implementing the GamCare Code of Practice for Remote Gambling.
Camelot continues to achieve high standards in player protection and social responsibility and recognises the need to assist their customers to play responsibly. To achieve GamCare Certification Camelot has implemented the following practices at www.national-lottery.co.uk:
- Age verification systems
- Controls for customer spend
- Self exclusion options for players
- Information about responsible gambling and sources of advice and support
- Training for customer services in social responsibility and problem gambling awareness
- Consultation with GamCare when developing new technologies and products
- Support for the work GamCare carries out in addressing the social impact of gambling