UK moves to ban third party bets on EuroMillions lottery with Lottoland branding decision unjustified

  • UK government bans online lottery operator from taking bets on EuroMillions draws
  • Lottoland claim the decision will stifle innovation and competition in the lottery sector

The UK government has dealt another blow to the online lottery betting industry by putting forward a move to block third party lottery betting sites from taking wagers on the EuroMillions jackpot.

Lottoland looks to have lost the battle on third party betting on the Euromillions. Euromillions Picture: Magnus D.
Lottoland looks to have lost the battle on third party betting on the Euromillions. Euromillions Picture: Magnus D.

The move comes just weeks after the Australian Northern Territory government introduced a ban on all third-party gambling on its domestic lotteries, and follows a consultation launched in March.

The consultation itself was a response to complaints from Camelot, the company that holds the franchise for the UK National Lottery, which complained that Lottoland, the most prominent third party betting site, was effectively undercutting its revenue by offering the opportunity for people to bet on the outcome of the EuroMillions draw at less than the cost of the official EuroMillions ticket.

On Thursday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) announced that it intended to alter the existing license conditions to ensure that consumers based in the UK could not bet on EuroMillions games through third-party operators outside the country.

The changes have not yet come in to effect, so Lottoland and other providers are still able to offer bets on the EuroMillions draws.

Impacted businesses

In explaining its decision, the DDCMS sad that lottery betting had the potential to affect the level of money raised for good causes if it became popular. The department also pledged to consider the effect of the changes on impacted businesses such as Lottoland when it draws up the new license condition, which it said would also aim to reduce customer confusion.

Earlier this year, the UK Gambling Commission issued a £150,000 ($202,539) fine to Lottoland for not being clear with its customers that they would be betting on a lottery draw outcome rather than taking part in the lottery itself.

In response, the CEO of Lottoland, Nigel Birrell, said that it was unjustified and that there was no evidence to support the policy.

He also claimed that the move would serve to stifle innovation in the lottery sector and said that Lottoland would be considering its next move.

The timing is also significant. UK Gambling Commission figures released this week show that there is $1.5 billion ($2 billion) less going in to good causes in the year to March 2017 than the previous year.

Though they did not state that the reason was due to third party competition or simply a waning interest in lotteries generally.

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