Are Scratch Card an Innocent Pastime or a Compulsion to Ruin You?

Are Scratch Card an Innocent Pastime or a Compulsion to Ruin You?

An investigation by the respected British newspaper, The Guardian, has revealed that it may be impossible to win some of the jackpots on National Lottery simply because the organizer does not mention at its distribution outlets, the number of jackpots that have been already won by people even as it continues to advertise the total number of jackpots existing. In their defence, the Lottery claims that it does publish the number of prizes left on each of its games online and that it updates the list regularly. The problem is that customers are not told of this when they are purchasing a National Lottery scratch card at a store.

Co-op Launching Scratch Cards to Compete with the National Lottery

With the launch of its series of scratch card, the Cooperative is taking the battle of the jackpots right into the territory of National Lottery that had hitherto reigned supreme. According to the Co-op, it will be donating up to four times the National to good causes. A minimum of 20% of the sale of its scratch cards will be reserved to support “local good causes” as compared to the average of 10% by the National Lottery. 

New Scratch Card Reflect the Country’s Obsession with Gambling

Even as many people have hailed the entry of the Cooperative into the scratch card business as good for the people who will now get a wider choice, it is a controversial move that reflects UK’s obsession with gambling. Scratch card is already the country’s second most popular gambling choice after the National Lottery draws, and many think that this move will cause the market to explode, especially because the Cooperative has considerable goodwill for its ethical way of doing business. The entry into the scratch card market by the Co-op highlights the booming market of this pastime in Britain. 

Sales of Scratch Card Increasing Rapidly

The National Audit Office, U.K.’s watchdog on national spending has reported that in the last few years there has been a rapid increase in the sales of scratch cards in the country. This popularity has also coincided with the tailing off of the sales of draw-based games. The Gambling Commission also confirms that in 2016, as many as 12% of Britons had bought at least one scratch card in the previous four weeks, which is significantly up from the 9% reported in the year before. With this kind of popularity, it is hardly a big surprise that other players will want to grab a slice of the pie. 

According to a Co-op spokesperson, the cards that will be launched across England, Scotland and Wales look to raising millions of pounds for a variety of good causes like hospices playgroups, animal sanctuaries, and luncheon clubs. The cards will be priced at just £1 or £2 with the chance of winning a prize pegged at one in three to four and a half. A study has revealed that is more or less on the lines of National Lottery scratch cards that offer chances to win prizes in the range of one in 3.45 to one in 4.67. However, the significant difference is that the top prize of Co-op cards is £25,000 instead of the £1 million jackpots offered by Camelot. 

Do Scratch Card Encourage Gambling

The boom in the sales of scratch cards can be worrying. Not only do these cards give significantly less amount to fund good causes than draw-based lotteries but also there are many complaints that people are getting addicted to these cards. The online gambling forums are filled with discussions on how people are getting obsessed with scratch cards. The Co-op has responded that their cards will be sold in a way that is socially responsible while National Lottery responded that the popularity of scratch card was due to the higher prizes and it was good that people were spending more on them as then more money could be generated to support good causes.


The ease of accessing scratch cards couple with attractive prizes has led to the boom. However, it is up to the individual customer to decide how much he wants to play and whether he can afford it or not. The increased competition is bound to be better for customers in the long run.

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Name: Are Scratch Card an Innocent Pastime or a Compulsion to Ruin You?

Posted On: 01/12/2019

Author: Alex Karidis