The operator of the Irish National Lottery – Premier Lotteries Ireland – breached the terms of its licence in 2021 by contacting a group of players who had excluded themselves from the game.
The breach was revealed by the Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery in its annual report this week and subsequently reported in the Irish Times.
National Lottery regulator Carol Boate said the breach had occurred as a result of a ‘time lag’ in the operator’s systems that meant marketing communications were sent in error to 48 players who had self-excluded themselves from playing National Lottery games up to 36 hours earlier.
It was established that none of the 48 players were able to play games during the period of self-exclusion as the suspension of play had taken immediate effect, and Premier Lotteries Ireland subsequently introduced measures to ensure that such an occurrence would not take place again.
Boate confirmed that no further action was required but that it was a ‘key goal’ to ensure that players of National Lottery games experienced ‘informed consumer interactions’ that minimise the risk of harm from problem playing and underage playing.
Premier Lotteries Ireland has also agreed to include the odds of winning the top prize on every scratch card and on every landing page of games on its website, as proposed by the regulator following its review.
Boate said: “I am confident that the oversight, monitoring and enforcement carried out in 2021 will further protect and safeguard players, and the propriety of the National Lottery.
“This remains my paramount focus in the period ahead.”
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that the operator has spent 96.7% of all unclaimed prizes in the last seven years on advertising and marketing.