Lottoland’s anger over UK lottery competition rules

  • UK government intent on closing down a loophole allowing operators to offer betting on EuroMillions draws
  • Lottoland responds by accusing the government of working in Camelot’s best interest

Lottoland, one of the leading secondary lottery operators providing players with opportunities to bet on the EuroMillions lottery, has been very vocal in its criticism of the UK government’s announcement they’ll be looking to close the ‘loophole’ allowing for such activities.

Chris Tarrant
Lottoland is keen to be allowed to a be a true competitor to Camelot. (Picture: Lottoland.co.uk)

In the consultation document they sent out, the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport invokes section 95 of the Gambling Act, which serves to create a distinction between betting and the National Lottery. By offering bets on the EuroMillions draw, which takes place in Paris, the DCMS claims operators are creating confusion with the players and are threatening good cause returns for The National Lottery.

Namely, various charities in the UK benefit from The National Lottery purchases, with a third of every £1 ($1.21) spent going towards good causes. Since The National Lottery was established in 1994, numerous charities have received assistance to the tune of £36 billion ($44 billion).

When buying EuroMillions tickets through Lottoland, there are no charity deductions.

Lottoland strikes back

After the government’s announcement, Lottoland’s CEO Nigel Birrell came out with a public statement, accusing the government of working in the best interests of Camelot, The National Lottery operator. Birrell was very sharp in his initial response, claiming Camelot is lobbying to protect their monopoly, looking to squeeze out all competition, without any regard for the customers.

The Lottoland CEO also tried to explain that the lottery has lost its magic for many people. He believes that this situation was created exactly due to monopoly, lack of choice, an outdated offering and failing to meet customers’ expectations. Birrell tries to bring his point home by looking at other industries, explaining how companies like Uber, Netflix, or Airbnb have broken the pattern and started offering choice and true value for the consumer.

Although Birrell accused the UK government of being in cahoots with Camelot, the fact remains that the UK isn’t the first country where Lottoland came under scrutiny. After the new set of gaming regulations had come into force in the Czech Republic earlier this year, the Czech Ministry of Finance warned the company their actions were not in line with the laws. Lottoland chose to ignore the warnings, continuing to offer their services in the country, which led to official administrative proceedings against the company.

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