From October next year the minimum age for playing the National Lottery in Britain will be raised to 18, although online sales to under-18s will cease in April.

The move is partly in response to a report by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry which was released earlier this year. The report, Gambling Harm — Time for Action, found the rate of problem gambling among 11–16-year-old children “is twice as high as for adults” and “for boys alone it is three times as high”.

The report states: “The legal availability of certain forms of commercial gambling to under-18s in Great Britain is unusual by international standards and has been described as an ‘historical accident’.” It goes on to ask: “Should young people between 16 and 18 be able to purchase National Lottery products?”

The London Telegraph has pointed out that the problem has been growing at a time when children are tending to grow up more slowly:

Not that long ago there was little dissent from the notion that adulthood began at 21, and that was in a time when it was commonplace for people to leave school and start work at 14. Nowadays it is compulsory to stay in some form of education, traineeship or apprenticeship until 18. The fact is that most people consider a 16-year-old to be a child, and that is essentially the legal position… Young people seem to grow up more slowly today than previous generations, living at home for longer, marrying and becoming parentslater and delaying entry into full-time work. Arguably these are welcome trends.

And yet for decades now, we have seen the very unwelcome trend of girls aged under 16 able to access contraception and abortion, despite it being “essentially the legal position” that the age of sexual consent is 16. Many of them are not delaying entry into parenthood, but are actually becoming parents earlier. 

Allowing children to become addicted to gambling is no light matter, and earlier this year it was reported that the National Lottery was exploiting a loophole in the law that allows children to bet £350 a week online.

But neither is an abortion a minor thing like having a haircut or a manicure, or even a minor operation; there is a separate human being involved, and the after-effects of abortion even on adult women can last for decades. 

Unfortunately, many now see abortion for children as “value for money”, since it saves the state from paying out not only for single mothers but for their children, and now it seems that that was the aim of the rule about withdrawing benefits from those who have more than the official limit of two children.

If this rule is supposed to be about “teaching them a lesson”, then why do schools continue to teach children the lesson that they can “have sex” without worrying about the consequences to themselves or to others? In 2018, 143 women underwent at least their eighth abortion since, thanks to sex mis-education, children have been taught the “how to” of sex along with the “why not”, rather than helping them to understand the joys and benefits of committed relationships, or what used to be known as marriage. 

If this is now seen as a killjoy attitude, nothing kills joy quicker for a child than being sexually abused. The progressive Left insist that when it comes to sex, children can’t help themselves, but with the help of the state, which has underwritten this abuse and continues to do so, sexual abusers can happily help themselves to the gigantic cookie jar of pre-groomed children, whose minds were molested before their bodies. Under-18s are supposed to be in some form of education, but this is not a form of education that most people would support. 

When it comes to eating, smoking, alcohol and gambling, children are helped to help themselves avoid harmful behaviour, but it seems that while they must gamble responsibly, they can be reckless about even more fundamental matters. 

When it comes to their golden calf — “the right to sex” – the progressive Left would rather help the abusers than their victims. It is good for the Government to prevent children being corrupted by being drawn into gambling, but it is a safe bet that we cannot expect a similar approach to their being corrupted by sex education any time soon. 

Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St...