National Lottery retailers are making great strides in clamping down on underage sales, with 91% now correctly asking for ID to check that customers are 16 or over before selling tickets and scratch cards, latest mystery shopping results show.

The latest set of results, compiled from 11,600 mystery shopping visits in 2017, paint an improving picture - up 2% on 2016 and 5% on 2015.

Camelot said it had worked hard throughout the year to educate retailers about asking for the right types of ID, how to talk to customers who appeared to be playing too much, and to ensure that staff did not sell National Lottery products to anyone under the age of 16,.

“I’m absolutely delighted that our National Lottery retailer partners improved on their mystery shopping scores for a second year running, up against some fantastic results from 2016,” Camelot retail director Duncan Malyon said.

“Keeping players safe is hugely important to us, and we have lots of processes in place to prevent underage and excessive play. So, these results clearly show that it’s working.

“A massive thanks to all of our retail partners who ensure that people under 16 don’t play and who also watch out for people who might be playing too much. Here’s hoping for an even better score in 2018.”

Camelot’s mystery shopping programme has been in place for over a decade. If a retailer fails a mystery shopping visit on three occasions, their National Lottery terminal is suspended and is likely to be removed.