NOG 18. Lotteries

The rules in this section are designed to ensure that lottery advertisements are socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect under-18s and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by advertisements that feature or promote lotteries.

This section applies to advertisements for lottery products that are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission, the National Lottery Commission, or in the case of small society lotteries, registered with local authorities in England and Wales or licensing boards in Scotland.

The UK National Lottery may be advertised under The National Lottery etc Act 1993 and The National Lottery Regulations 1994 (as amended). Advertisements for the UK National Lottery are subject to the National Lottery Advertising and Sales Promotion Code of Practice, approved by the National Lottery Commission.

18.1 Radio Central Copy Clearance – Radio broadcasters must ensure that advertisements subject to this section are centrally cleared.

Rules for all advertisements

18.2 Advertisements must not:

  1. 18.2.1 portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm
  2. 18.2.2 suggest that participating in a lottery can provide an escape from personal, professional or educational problems such as loneliness or depression
  3. 18.2.3 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
  4. 18.2.4 portray participating in a lottery as indispensable or as taking priority in life, for example, over family, friends or professional or educational commitments
  5. 18.2.5 suggest peer pressure to participate in a lottery or disparage abstention
  6. 18.2.6 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
  7. 18.2.7 link participating in a lottery to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness
  8. 18.2.8 not portray participation in a lottery in a context of toughness or link it to resilience or recklessness
  9. 18.2.9 suggest participation in a lottery is a rite of passage
  10. 18.2.10 suggest that solitary gambling is preferable to social gambling

Rules for lottery advertisements

18.3 Advertisements for lotteries that can be participated in only by entering gambling premises must make that condition clear.

18.4 Advertisements for lotteries must not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of under-18s or other vulnerable persons.

18.5 Advertisements lotteries must not be likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. Please refer to Section 32 for scheduling restrictions.

Advertisements should not use visuals or music that are likely to appeal to children. Youth culture might include skateboarding, graffiti, break dancing or featuring top flight sports celebrities. Care should be taken with animation to ensure it is not appealing to children.

This does not preclude advertisers from using animation in their advertisements although care needs to be taken with the style of animation to ensure it does not appeal to children.

The ASA has ruled on this issue. Links to sample rulings are below:

18.6 Advertisements for lotteries may include under-18s. No-one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be seen gambling or playing a significant role.

18.7 Advertisements that exclusively feature the good causes that benefit from a lottery and include no explicit encouragement to buy a lottery product may include under 18-s in a significant roles.

18.8 Advertisements for lotteries must not exploit cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling or luck.

18.9 Advertisements for lotteries must not condone or encourage criminal or anti-social behaviour.

18.10 Advertisements for lotteries must not condone or feature gambling in a working environment (an exception exists for workplace lottery syndicates and gambling premises.