Betting Ban Could Boost National Lottery by €228 million

National Lottery bosses in Ireland may be in for a €228 million boost in their revenues. That is the amount they could make if a new law is passed that bans bookmakers from being able to take bets from their customers on the Irish Lotto draw.

It’s believed that such a move could see as much as an additional €63.8 million be paid to good causes. The figures are included in a Red C report that was commissioned by National Lottery operators Premier Lotteries Ireland.

The private members’ bill aimed at banning bookmakers accepting bets on the Irish Lotto has been presented by Senator Barry Ward of Fine Gael.

The senator told how after looking at what was happening, he realised that there is substantial amounts of gambling on the Lotto. The report revealed that around half of all players visit bookmakers to play the Lotto on their sites.

Mr Ward admits that bookmakers are “perfectly entitled” to take these bets. However, the problem that he sees is that the profits made from this betting on the Irish Lotto goes to the bookmakers. That means the contributions made to the good causes fund are lower than they should be.

He added: “I don’t have a vendetta against gambling companies. But they don’t contribute in the way the National Lottery does, and because they are not regulated in the same way, they don’t have the same safeguards.”

The way in which people play the Irish Lotto is also different. The study found that many players just bet on one of two numbers rather than making an entire selection. This is because the odds of making a profit or receiving any return are higher.

The study revealed that 18 per cent of Irish adults use bookmakers to bet on the Irish Lotto. That figure is slightly lower than recorded in 2021. However, the total betting revenue for Bookmakers’ Lotto is now 13% of the total betting revenue in Ireland of €4.34 billion, a figure double that seen three years ago.

Back to that figure of €228 million that the National Lottery may receive. That comes from the survey revealing that 40 per cent of people said if the ban goes ahead, they’ll spend the money playing National Lottery games.

The National Lottery say that around €400 million is bet on the lottery with gaming and gambling companies. They’re obviously not too happy about this and call it “a parasitic practice that damages the National Lottery.”

This loss of revenue “essentially siphons money from the National Lottery.” This in turn affects the prizes that can be given out, commission to their retailer network and of course the amounts given to good causes. Also affected is the protection that players receive due to the lack of regulation.