Irish Lottery Regulator Bans Subscriptions

The lottery regulator in Ireland has prevented the Irish Lotto operator from allowing players to set up direct debit subscriptions to allow them to enter their numbers automatically for every draw.

Subscription play is popular and common with other lottery draws around the world, including the UK Lotto, and allows players to ensure they never miss a draw, but the Irish Lottery regulator believes it to be problematic. The regulator has refused Premier Lotteries Ireland permission to operate the system on the basis that it doesn’t sufficiently protect the interests of players and creates too many risks for the reputation and sustainability of the lottery.

PLI responded by stating that they wished to introduce the service in response to consumer wishes for a more convenient play, bringing the lottery in line with other draws around the world.

Problem Gambling Ireland, who provide advice and support, welcomed the decision saying that a subscription service could make it more difficult for players who want to quit, and that anything that encourages a problem gambler to keep playing should be discouraged.

The PLI has expanded the Irish Lottery greatly since they took over the tenure three years ago—a move that has caused concern in some quarters. While the lottery is considered to be a low-risk activity for gamblers, there is a concern that the lottery normalises gambling, creating problems for the future. Problem Gambling Ireland is particularly concerned about the increase in scratchcards and instant wins, which can be a real issue for problem gamblers. Already, the regulator has banned some games that could appeal to children, such as Snakes and Ladders Egypt and Monopoly Jackpot.

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