The National Lottery continues supporting you as a Responsible Retailer

National Lottery

Being a responsible retailer benefits all stores and customers. It includes only selling National Lottery products to, and accepting prize claims from, people 16 years or older – and, new for 2019, providing a player handout to anyone asking for help with their play.

Camelot – the operator of The National Lottery – is internationally recognised for selling National Lottery products responsibly and ensuring retailers have the correct safeguards in place to protect against underage sales.

To support this, Camelot conducts 11,600 mystery shopper test visits every year under its Operation Child programme. As part of this, independent retailers and multiples can be visited at any time.

How does it work?

An agency representative and a young person – who will be over 16 years of age to prevent retailers committing a crime, but will look young enough to be questioned – will enter a store and the young person will ask to purchase a National Lottery ticket or Scratchcard, or will use self-checkout to purchase. The sales assistant would then be expected to ask the young person for proof of age in the same way they would any other age-restricted product.

Immediately after the mystery shopper test visit has taken place, the agency representative will tell the staff of that store the outcome of the visit. Store managers will also receive a letter to confirm the result within five working days of the mystery shop visit taking place.

If ID has not been correctly requested, and a National Lottery product was sold to the young person, the store will be given a Responsible Retailing information pack, point of sale and will be provided with guidance. Camelot’s Customer Development team will then visit in the following days to ensure adequate steps are being taken and that the correct safeguards are in place to prevent underage sales.

The store will be subsequently visited again for a second mystery shopper visit. If The National Lottery retailer does not correctly ask for ID a second time, Camelot will provide further training and the store will receive one more final mystery shopper visit.

If the store fails to ask for ID on the third mystery shopper visit, the store’s National Lottery terminal will be suspended and an investigation will be conducted, which could result in the possible loss of The National Lottery terminal.

National Lottery retailers are reminded that it is illegal to sell National Lottery products to anyone under the age of 16. Trading Standards also carry out their own visits on a regular basis, with the consequences potentially being a fine of up to £5,000 and/or even two years’ imprisonment.

Tips for Responsible Retailing


  • Have a written age verification policy;
  • Ensure you train your staff on selling age-restricted products and provide regular awareness training for staff on selling age-restricted products;
  • Have a system in place to ensure all your staff ask for ID for young people –  consider using the ‘Think 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ policies;
  • Only accept approved forms of identity;
  • Passport
  • Photo Driving Licence
  • Military ID Card
  • ID which has the ‘PASS’ logo (e.g. CitizenCard)
  • Support young staff who may have less confidence to challenge young customers or part-time staff who may be less familiar with your policies;
  • Use a refusal register – one is provided in your National Lottery Retailer Organiser – regularly checking it is being used.





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