Scratchcard laws in UK mean prizes may have already be won when card is bought

  • UK lottery laws have left players confused about prizes
  • Camelot confirms jackpot games under £121,000 may play on

Lottery scratchcard players in the UK have voiced concerns about the fairness of the games they’re playing after provider Camelot revealed that tickets are still sold even if the main prize has been won.
scratch card payout lottery

It has caused some to feel they are being misled by the operator. However, the lottery provider’s stance falls within the law, so the situation is likely to continue.

The UK Gambling Commission has also confirmed that Camelot acts fairly and within the law.

The law on scratchcard sales

Under the terms of the Gambling Act, scratchcard tickets sold in the UK must adhere to fairness rules and cannot be sold under false pretences.

For this reason, operators such as Camelot keep a running total online of scratchcard prize wins, informing players when a prize has been won. However, this information is rarely available at retail outlets where the tickets are bought – so players might not always be aware that the biggest prizes have gone when they buy their ticket.

Restrictions on game sales

There are rules prohibiting the sale of scratchcards once all the biggest prizes in that game have been won. This includes games where the jackpot, or largest prize, is more than £121,000.

Any game with prizes smaller than this, and games where the main prizes are non-cash goods such as holidays, cars or other gifts, is exempt from the retiring rule.

If a jackpot game has all main prizes won, the game should be retired from retail outlets within 24 hours. Of course, this relies on the message reaching shopkeepers – and on them acting on it. It is possible that a scratchcard might be purchased after all top prizes have been won, though there are many steps in place to prevent this.

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