Published: May 21, 2023

Camelot announces that National Lottery retailers are correctly asking for ID as proof of age at the first time of asking at the highest rate ever

18 April 2023




Camelot is delighted to announce that National Lottery retailers are correctly asking for ID as proof of age at the first time of asking at the highest rate ever, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to selling National Lottery games responsibly.

Camelot made over 11,600 retailer visits as part of its 2022/23 ‘Operation 18’ mystery shopper programme, with the final results showing that 92% of retailers correctly asked for ID as proof of age on their first visit. The record-breaking results are particularly impressive given that the age to play The National Lottery only changed from 16 to 18 years of age in 2021.

Complementing the ‘Operation 18’ programme were a range of other ‘Responsible Retailing’ training initiatives that Camelot ran during 2022/23 as part of its commitment to healthy play. For example, Camelot’s Retail Team made over 160,000 contacts to National Lottery retailers – via phone calls, face-to-face visits and emails – to offer advice on preventing underage play and how best to support healthy play in store.

Elsewhere, Camelot’s ‘Healthy Play’ mystery shopping initiative involved over 4,000 additional store visits, helping to educate retailers on the signs of potential unhealthy play among their customers.

As a direct result of these initiatives, 94% of National Lottery retailers visited in 2022/23 successfully passed a healthy play knowledge check – demonstrating just how effective regular communication with retailers is on this important aspect of their role as the face of The National Lottery.

Capping off all of this was a strong end to the year – with over 88% of retailers saying that they were satisfied with the level of service they received via Camelot’s dedicated retailer hotline in Q4.

Camelot’s Retail Director, Alex Green, said, “I’d like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to National Lottery retailers for continuing to prioritise healthy play in retail and selling National Lottery games responsibly. Only a year after the age to play changed from 16 to 18, retailers have achieved their best-ever pass rate for our ‘Operation 18’ mystery shopper programme. This incredible result is testament to the hard work that both retailers and the team at Camelot have put in over these past two years.

“Of course, although integral, age checks form only one branch of our overall player protection strategy in retail. We also topped up retailers’ knowledge on underage play and healthy play through our responsible retailing contact programme, and delivered thousands of ‘Healthy Play’ mystery shopper visits – all of which was tested through our special knowledge checks. We couldn’t be happier with the outstanding results.”

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 2022/23, over 11,600 test visits were carried out with a 92% first visit pass rate. ‘Operation 18’ replaced ‘Operation Child’ in 2021 after the age to play The National Lottery changed from 16 to 18.

– Ends –

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 £47 billion has now been raised and more than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK – the equivalent of around 240 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.
  • The National Lottery has so far awarded over £88 billion in prizes and created more than 6,600 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 44,500 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 £6,000 in commission per store in 2021/22.
  • Since 1994, Camelot’s retail partners have earned over £7.5 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: and
  • Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 18 or over.



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