Could the UK government be about to quash third-party EuroMillions lottery betting?

  • UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport leading the crackdown
  • Says that third-party betting is ‘against the spirit’ of UK betting laws

Everyone is familiar with the EuroMillions lottery, and many of us have bought a ticket for the mega jackpot draw at some point.

Third-party EuroMillions wagers? All bets are (nearly) off and Lottoland fronted by Chris Tarrant aren't happy
Third-party EuroMillions wagers? All bets are (nearly) off and Lottoland fronted by Chris Tarrant aren’t happy

But did you know that you don’t even have to buy a EuroMillions ticket to be in with a chance of pocketing a packet? There is actually a thriving market for third-party betting on the lottery draws, and it’s one that the UK government is now seeking to crack down on.

“Prohibiting Third Party Betting on Non-UK EuroMillions Draws” is the distinctly unambiguous name of the consultation launched by the UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport yesterday.

Its gripe? That such betting is against the spirit of the country’s gambling laws, which prohibit betting on National Lottery results. While EuroMillions is technically formed out of a partnership of lottery operators from multiple European nations, there’s a case for saying that it’s essentially the same.

Given the sudden move to clamp down on such third-party betting, you would think this was a lucrative trade that is draining money from the licensed lotteries themselves, but figures would suggest that this isn’t the case.

Eliminating confusion in the market

In fact, the British government has even conceded that there is no evidence that third-party betting deleteriously affects the good causes that benefit from the National Lottery and EuroMillions draws.

If the government does move to outlaw such bets, it seems its primary reason will be to eliminate the confusion that surrounds the existence of this market. Some punters may be purchasing tickets for third-party betting, so the theory goes, under the misconception that they are actually purchasing tickets for the EuroMillions draw.

Predictably, the companies that have been profiting from operating third-party betting markets are in no hurry to see their revenue stream cut off, and have been vigorously fighting their corner.

“We are licensed, we pay our taxes and we are creating jobs,” before going on to accuse Camelot of being “averse to healthy, licensed, tax-paying, and, above all, fair competition at the same time neglecting customer needs in the worlds we live in today.”
Lottoland CEO, Nigel Birrell

Birrell also averred that Lottoland was “not here to take Camelot’s customers away; we are here to provide more choice, bigger jackpots and better value. Ultimately, this is what is going to drive the market forward.”

Depending on the outcome of the consultation, it seems likely that Lottoland’s number could be up.

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