Seanad Éireann votes for betting ban on Irish National Lottery

Irish National Lottery
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Seanad Éireann – the Irish government’s upper house – has voted in favour of prohibiting bets on the Irish National Lottery, according to the Irish Mirror.

The report claims concerns have been raised over money that has been drained from communities, following an increase of the number of people betting on lottery draws rather than buying tickets for them.

The National Lottery has cited its ability to generate funds for good causes in their complaint as well as the issue of protecting young and at-risk people from unregulated gambling and gaming products.

Allegedly, the money that would usually go towards good causes is being directly impacted by the growth in the practice of lottery betting.

The move was mooted earlier this year, prompting backlash from Irish bookmakers who voiced their opposition to any potential ban as Ireland advances its gambling reform proposals.

Research from Premier Lotteries Ireland – the operator of the National Lottery – suggests the practice could be generating up to €570m for sportsbooks, and a ban on lottery betting could generate an additional €63m in funding for good causes.

The research also estimates €13.7m could be generated for the 5,400 retail partners of the National Lottery across Irish communities.

If enacted, the National Lottery Amendment Bill 2021 will ensure sportsbooks cannot offer bets specifically on National Lottery draws.

However, it won’t prevent them from offering bets on multiple other products, including virtual lotteries, to their customers.

This latest news follows a recent plea from James Lawless, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, who has urged a ban on the use of credit cards for the National Lottery.