Op Guardian 2

National Lottery operator, Allwyn, has launched Operation Guardian: an expanded mystery shopper and knowledge check programme.

The firm claims that the initiative will increases the levels of support for retailers and enable them to sell National Lottery products even more safely. Operation Guardian comprises three different types of store visits: an Underage Play Mystery Shop; an Excessive Play Mystery Shop; and a new Healthy Play Knowledge Check.

Together, the visits are designed to help support retailers by checking they have the right knowledge, tools and safeguards in place to prevent underage play and minimise excessive play. The first Operation Guardian visits will begin from next week.

With the inclusion of the brand-new Healthy Play Knowledge Check, Operation Guardian can support stores that may require any improvements to their knowledge about responsible retailing topics related to The National Lottery. This includes areas such as: 

  • the legal age to play of 18+
  • acceptable forms of ID
  • how and when to refuse a sale
  • identifying any potential signs of excessive play
  • offering support to players
  • understanding spend limits 

Allwyn’s director of channel operations, Alex Green, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching an expanded store visit programme to further encourage retailers to sell National Lottery products to the really high standards we’ve come to expect from them. With the addition of a new Healthy Play Knowledge Check, we’ll be able to offer greater support to our retail partners and empower them to be all-round responsible retailers. The expanded programme dovetails nicely with the new Retailer Training Centre that we launched earlier in the year, which features all the necessary training and information for retailers to view and complete so that they are fully prepared for Operation Guardian visits.”

Top Tips from Allwyn to make sure your store is ready for Operation Guardian:

  • Regular training: Ensure staff are kept up to date with responsible retailing information.
  • Complete the Healthy Play training modules on the Retailer Training Centre if your store is eligible
  • Detailed records: Refused sales must be recorded using your Refusals Register inside your Retailer Organiser folder
  • Accessible signage: 18+ signage must be visible to players at all times and retailers are encouraged to use Challenge/Think 25 when asking for ID 

If retailers have any questions about Operation Guardian, they can ask their sales representative during their next visit.