Spanish national lottery suspends ticket sales

16 March 2020

Spain’s initiation of a countrywide lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has prompted state-owned lottery operator Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE) to suspend all ticket sales.

As of 15 March, the sale of tickets at all points of sale and online, as well as the payment of prizes of less than €2,000 (£1,816/$2,240) has been suspended.

All draws taking place from 16 March onwards are postponed until a later date, with all tickets purchased to date to remain valid when the draws are finally held.

The EuroMillions and El Millón draws scheduled for 17 and 20 March will be held as scheduled, though no more tickets will be sold.

With citizens ordered to remain at home, the deadlines for claiming and collecting winnings will be extended.

Some financial institutions such as banks will remain open, meaning it is possible for prizes over €2,000 to be collected. However, SELAE recommends that players do not go to these establishments for this purpose, as a result of the extended deadlines.

All measures will remain in force until the state of emergency is declared over. At the time of writing, the lockdown is due to be in effect for at least two weeks, during which time citizens are banned from leaving their homes unless to buy essential supplies and medicines or for work.

Covid-19 has already led to widespread disruption for the gambling industry, which began with all Italian retail gaming outlets being shuttered earlier this month. Countries including Belgium and the Netherlands have also shut their casinos, while almost all major sports leagues have suspended fixtures at least until 3 April.

Over the weekend casinos in a number of US states also closed their doors as measures against the virus are stepped up.