Irish Finance Minister dismisses fears over lottery betting

6 March 2019

The Irish Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has rejected claims that lottery betting could harm the country’s national lottery.

Speaking in response to a Parliamentary question, Donohoe (pictured) has said there does not appear to be “any evidence of a significant impact on the national lottery arising from online lottery betting at present”.

Donohoe has also said contributions made by the national lottery to good causes has “not yet been materially affected by other developments” in terms of online or electronic lotteries, adding that the level of tax paid by the national lottery “attests to that”.

Elisa Field, chairperson of the European Lotto Betting Association (eLBA), which was established last July to support operators in the lottery betting sector, has welcomed the comments and hopes this view will be reflected in an upcoming report Irish Lottery Regulator on betting on lotteries.

“As we have said for some time, the evidence clearly shows that lottery betting does not impact the national lottery; we are pleased the Minister has recognised this,” said Field, who is also senior legal counsel at myLotto24.

The eLBA, whose members include the likes of myLotto24, Lottoland, Multilotto and Lottogo, is now keen for more regulators and relevant ministries across the world to engage with the lottery betting sector to learn more about the market.

The organisation has said that its members are keen to work with regulators and ministries to educate about this form of gaming and help facilitate the creation of proportionate regulatory environments.

Regulations regarding lottery betting remain unclear in jurisdictions worldwide. In January, new laws came into effect in Australia banning all betting on the outcome of lottery draws.

However, this did not halt Lottoland Australia launching a new betting product based on financial markets. The operator has denied this breaches the new laws, saying the product differs to those prohibited by the lottery betting ban.

Image: Oireachtas