The regulator of the Irish National Lottery has failed to disclose its figures on the number of self-excluded players amid growing concerns over Premier Lotteries online instant games.
As reported by Independent.ie, the regulator stated it is not allowed to report on the number of self-excluded players due to ‘contractual confidentiality’.
Furthermore,the number of players betting the maximum limit of €900 per month is also off-limits for the same reason.
Concerns have been raised by campaigners that the Irish National Lottery’s online instant-win games are contributing towards gambling addiction, whilst online instants are also the fastest-growing vertical in the lottery’s portfolio.
“One of the big drivers towards problem gambling is repetitive play because you can chase your losses instantly,” Norman Foster, chairperson of the UK’s Peers for Gambling Reform group told Independent.ie.
Bettors can use the National Lottery’s ‘take-a-break’ feature to self-exclude from gambling activity for a set period of time but as those concerns over online instant games grow, it is unclear how many users are opting-out of gambling.
In 2020, online instant games grew from 9% of the lottery’s total sales up to 15%, catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic closing retail stores in Ireland.
Meanwhile in the UK, Camelot has received criticism from MPs and campaigners over its own portfolio of online instant games, with critics pointing out that it can lead to further problem gambling.
Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, has argued that the online instant games provided by Camelot now resemble other ‘harmful’ products available and should not bear National Lottery branding.