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Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors

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Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors
11:30 CEST+02:00
Starting October 1st, no minors under 18 will be able to buy scratch cards from Sweden's state-owned lottery company Svenska Spel.

The age limit aims to curb the risk of minors developing a gambling problem, Sveriges Radio's P3 news reported on Wednesday. The move may spell the end of sports club fundraising drives based on the sale of lottery tickets by children.

The age limit only applies to those buying lottery tickets, not for the sellers and applies primarily to scratch cards. However, Svenska Spel believes that it would be too difficult for clubs to ensure that children do not sell lottery tickets to minors.

As a result, children will not be allowed to continue selling lottery tickets on Svenska Spel's behalf.

"We think that the lottery should be for adults," Johan Tisell, communications director at Svenska Spel, explained to news agency TT.

According to him, the purpose is to prevent gambling among young people "to the largest extent possible."

"Research shows that the earlier one starts playing the lottery, the greater the risk for problems later in life," Tisell added.

As a result of the decision, sports clubs are now racing to find other sources of funding for their organisations.

"This is a shame. It feels like they are going about it the wrong way and it will affect sports clubs and voluntary associations that are operating with strained finances," said Ove Lansén of Enskede Sport Club's office in Stockholm.

The club, which has about 2,000 active members, sell 30 to 40 lottery packages every year to raise funds. The proceeds amount to 400,000 kronor ($59,313) per year, equivalent to about 6 percent of the association's total budget.

"This is a quite a setback for us," said Lansén.

The board is now considering other possible options for financing their organisations.

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