Ireland Looks at Online Lottery Services

Across the world, many lottery concierge services exist allow us to bet on lotteries that aren’t based in our own country. Earlier this year, Irish Lotto regulators banned online sales of Irish Lotto tickets, preventing the lottery from being available to players overseas. Now, organisers are going after other online lottery services, stating that they affect Good Causes money in Ireland.

The online services allow players to play on different lottery draws around the world, either by betting on the result, or buying tickets via a “concierge” in the country where the draw takes place. The Irish Lotto officials argue that these unregulated online services actually affect Irish Lotto sales, reducing money for good causes.

These bet-on-lottery services have no obligation to contribute to good causes, and the National Lottery of Ireland says it is concerned that unregulated, offshore betting has increased over the last 18 months.

However, many of the lottery sites have hit back, saying that the amount they take is minuscule compared to the turnover of the National Lottery. It was also pointed out that while National Lottery Ireland’s unclaimed prizes used to go to good causes, they now go back in the pot to be used for marketing and advertising and this itself has depleted good causes funds.

Many of these services are now speaking out, stating that they hold bookmakers’ licences granted by the Revenue Commissioners and so the idea that they are unregulated is simply untrue.

The Australian government has already worked to ban these online sellers, and it looks as though Ireland may follow.

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