Irish TDs have been negotiating a proposal to ban local bookmakers from allowing players to place bets on so-called “lottery-type games”. According to claims, such games could drain about €110 million every year from the Good Causes funded by the National Lottery.
Reportedly, the number of people, who prefer playing these “lottery experience” type games in retail bookmakers’ shops and online, has been on the rise over the last few years. This has been the reason why some Oireachtas Justice Committee TDs, where the new gambling legislation has been for debate, are lobbying for a ban to be imposed on the lottery.
One of the advocates for the change, Sinn Féin TD Donnchdh Ó Laoghaire, presented the required that a chance is brought to the new Gaming and Lotteries Bill. He claimed that an amount of approximately €110 million on an annual basis is lost to good causes because of people who do not play the National Lottery and prefer lottery type experience games.
He further explained that betting on such games is illegal in most European countries. At the time when he tabled the discussion, he shared his hope that the issue would move on and eventually come to some kind of consensus.
About €400 Million Are Currently Spent on Lottery-Type Experience Games
For the time being, the National Lottery has estimated that €400 million are being spent on so-called “lottery experience” games outside of the official lottery games available. If the amount was spent on the National Lottery standard offering, €110 million would go to good causes in different areas of local community development, such as heritage and culture, recreation and sport, the natural environment, welfare and amenities, etc.
As reported by RTE, a submission from the National Lottery shows that for every euro which players spend on its services, 57 cents is paid out in prizes, 28 cents is contributed to good causes, 9 cents is paid out for administration and taxes, and 6 cents is received by retailers. Currently, Good Causes receive 28% of spending on the National Lottery games.
As the TD who tabled the proposal to the Committee explained, the largest beneficiaries of the National Lottery are communities, voluntary and charity organisations, as well as ordinary sporting clubs.
Irish Bookmakers’ Association Say Their Services are Different from the Ones of the National Lottery
Lottery-type betting is estimated to be currently accounting for 10% of the turnover of Irish betting shops and 5% of betting turnover generated online in Ireland. The betting industry, on its turn, opposes the moves of Irish TDs aimed at banning lottery type experience games.
The head of the Irish Bookmakers’ Association, Sharon Byrne, said in a statement to RTE that the amendment would only serve as an extension to the monopoly imposed via misplaced legislation. Ms Byrne further noted that their product is quite different from the one provided by the National Lottery and has been offered for two decades and a half.
She further explained that the Gambling Awareness Trust and the Dunlewey Centre are being funded by members of the Bookmakers’ Association in addition to the amount of almost €100 million which is paid as betting duty every year and is used by the Irish Government to fund various things, including the country’s horse and greyhound industries.