Are Scratch Cards Being Phased Out In The UK?

The landscape of lottery gaming in the UK is undergoing a decisive transformation. The traditional allure of scratch cards and ‘instant win’ games is experiencing a significant shift in line with the changing times. The incoming operator of the National Lottery, Allwyn, is spearheading this transformation.

Are Scratch Cards Being Stopped?

As part of a broader strategy to reposition the National Lottery at the core of the nation’s cultural fabric, Allwyn is steering the National Lottery towards a fresh direction. This strategic realignment involves a deliberate shift away from the familiar allure of instant win games, like scratch cards, and a renewed emphasis on draw-based games.

Sir Keith Mills GBE, Allwyn’s Bid Chairman, and Chairman Elect, Justin King, have stated that the move away from scratch cards is part of a broader strategy aimed at addressing the societal impacts associated with fast-play games. While scratch cards have long been a popular and accessible form of lottery entertainment, they have also been linked to problem gambling, raising concerns about potential risks to players.

Allwyn’s commitment to mitigating these concerns involves redirecting resources towards “Good Causes and the public purse,” thereby reducing the prominence of potentially harmful fast-play games. The emphasis on draw-based games is not just a change in lottery offerings, but a conscientious effort to contribute positively to society while ensuring responsible and enjoyable gaming experiences for players.

£10 Scratch Cards Removed

In 2019, Camelot, the long-standing operator since the Lottery’s inception in 1994, scaled back scratch cards by getting rid of all £10 scratch cards. This was a significant move as it marked the first step towards the phasing out of scratch cards.

Furthermore, in September 2019, the Gambling Commission supported the withdrawal of all National Lottery £10 scratchcard games. This decision was influenced by new information that highlighted a possible link between problem gamblers and the £10 scratchcard. 

As a result, the sale of all £10 scratchcard games under the National Lottery has been discontinued, and the regulations surrounding the Section 6 Scratchcard Class Licence have been updated. Now, only scratchcard games priced at £1, £2, £3, and £5 are allowed to be sold, with this rule remaining in effect until the conclusion of the existing licence period in January 2023.

How Long Do You Have To Cash In a Scratch Card?

The timeline to claim any potential winnings from scratch cards is quite specific. Some key dates to remember are the closure date of the game and the final date for claiming any winnings.

Although ticket sales end after the closure date, National Lottery scratch card winners typically have a grace period of up to 180 days to claim their potential prize, respectively.

Regrettably, if you miss this window, you won’t be able to claim any winnings. The rules are strict, and a claim on the 181st day will most likely be unceremoniously rejected.

Can You Still Buy Scratch Cards?

Despite the impending changes, scratch cards are currently still available for purchase. However, with the phasing out of physical scratch cards, opportunities to enjoy these games online still exist. Many online platforms like King Casino and Wizard Slots offer a wide array of online scratch card games that can be played on desktop and mobile devices.

Creating an account at these online platforms gives you access to a collection of new online slot games, casino games, scratch cards, bingo, and more. As the National Lottery evolves, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favourite games in a safe and responsible manner.

Will Scratch Cards Be Phased Out?

The phasing out of scratch cards in the UK is indeed happening, but the spirit of instant wins is far from being extinguished. With the shift towards online platforms and responsible gaming, the lottery landscape is set to become safer. The good news is that while physical scratch cards are being phased out, there are still opportunities to enjoy these games online.

In conclusion, whether you’re a casual scratch card player or an avid gamer, it’s crucial to be aware of the expiration dates and the procedure to claim any possible winnings. It’s equally important to know what happens to any potentially unclaimed prizes and how you can find out about any remaining prizes on a scratch card. As the old saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’. So, stay informed, play responsibly, and remember to claim any winnings within the specified time frame.

Please play responsibly.

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