RGDATA urges government to support Bill to ban bookies betting on National lottery

RGDATA has again called on government to tackle bogus insurance claims, which are harming small businesses
“It is utterly disheartening for retailers and other SMEs to sometimes hear Ministers talking about piling on more costs on their businesses which are under real pressure," said RGDATA director general Tara Buckley

Bookmakers' actions not only frustrate the generation of funds for Good Causes, but also create significant risks for members of the public, says RGDATA

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29 June 2022 | 0

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RGDATA has written to Minister Michael McGrath to seek Government support for Senator Barry Ward’s bill to ban bookies taking bets on the National Lottery.

In the letter, RGDATA made several pertinent points, including that one of Ireland’s leading problem gambling organisations, Extern Problem Gambling, has extended its support for a ban on lottery betting.

“The organisation said that it regularly works with people who gamble on lotto draws in bookie shops,” RGDATA wrote. “They also said that placing relatively harmless gambling products in environments where much more harmful gambling is occurring increases the chances of people using these draws as a gateway to more addictive forms of gambling.”

In summary, RGDATA concluded: “It is perverse that the National Lottery, which is State owned and run under licence for you as Minister, can be effectively expropriated by third parties to generate substantial revenues and increase the risks of problem gambling. Their actions not only frustrate the generation of funds for Good Causes, but also create significant risks for members of the public. There are plenty of other opportunities for bookmakers and gambling companies to offer bets, without undermining or expropriating the National Lottery.”

A spokesperson for the National Lottery told ShelfLife that currently, 90% of all National Lottery sales return to the community (players, good causes and local retailers) and the National Lottery (Amendment) Bill 2021, currently under consideration at Committee Stage by Seanad Éireann, could increase levels of funding for these important groups.

Approximately 1.3 million adults play National Lottery games and draws regularly. For every euro spent on National Lottery games in Ireland, 90c is returned to Ireland’s communities in the form of prizes, Good Causes and retailer commission. Last year, over €289 million was raised for the Good Causes fund which directly impacted thousands of charitable and community groups in towns and villages across Ireland.

With almost 5,500 retail partners, the National Lottery retail network contributes significantly to the Good Causes fund and in 2020, retail sales amounted to €783.1 million. Retailer commission also grew to almost €50 million which benefited retailers all over Ireland. Banning of lotto betting would also help increase footfall into local shops to buy a lottery ticket supporting both retailers and of course good causes.

 

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