UK sport minister Mims Davies intends to change the law banning 16 and 17-year-olds from buying scratchcards.

Davies told The House magazine she wants to alter the law to ban under-18s from all forms of gambling, including national lottery draws and scratchcards, which as it stands are available to anyone over the age of 16.

“I would like to act. I’d be hopeful to do that soon. We need to be very clear that gambling starts at 18,” Davies said.

“It’s not to stop people from having fun, but it’s also to protect those most vulnerable people. That’s where the government needs to step in.”

Davies, appointed sport minister when Tracey Crouch quit last year in protest over a delay to reduced stake limits on FOBTs, also issued a warning over professional sport’s reliance on gambling.

“Sport needs to recognise what's a healthy relationship between the type of sponsors that they've got,” she said. “The FA, for example, have decided a particular sponsor wasn't for them.

'This is a matter for the football authorities as well. This is a matter for the Gambling Commission where they're concerned about children.

“If there is evidence, then the Government's made no bones that we will act. I'm pleased about that, and I will be at the forefront of that.”