UK – British government looks to close lottery loopholeBy Phil - 6 March 2017
The British government is looking to close a betting loophole which allows online operators such as Lottoland to offer cheaper bets on the EuroMillions draw.
Some operators are currently running websites offering UK players bets on the EuroMillions in other countries, such as Spain. The government says this stems the flow of lottery money to good causes.
But the EuroMillions draw is exactly the same for all participating countries and happens every week in Paris. EuroMillions is run in partnership between a number of lottery operators in European countries.
Lottery players in the UK are only allowed to play the EuroMillions through buying tickets from official channels, priced at £2.50. Sites such as Lottoland though are able to offer tickets at £2.
Lotteries Minister Tracey Crouch said: “We want to act to ensure that money going to good causes is protected and that there is no confusion around the EuroMillions draw, providing the same levels of clarity as there is with the National Lottery.”
Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland, said: “We welcome the opportunity to be involved with the Government consultation to find a clear and fair route forward that provides the UK consumer with choice to meet their needs. Lottoland strongly believes in enabling the consumer to make the decision on how they pay for products, services and entertainment.
“For many people the lottery has lost its magic,” he added. “When the price of a EuroMillions ticket was increased to £2.50 we froze the price of betting on the main draw at £2, offering those customers who were dissatisfied with the price hike a viable alternative, something we believe the UK consumers deserve. We understand this clearly agitates the monopoly but giving choice and value is in the best interest of the consumer. “We represent fair competition and an alternative from those disenfranchised with the current monopolistic market and offer. We are licensed, we pay our taxes and we are creating jobs (more than 300 so far). We believe this agenda is clearly being driven by Camelot lobbying to protect their monopoly and bully any competition out of the market, a precedent we have seen with society lotteries and most notably the Health Lottery. We also believe the time has come to have a general discussion about the justification of the monopoly. Monopolies always hinder innovation and progress. The ones paying the bill are the UK consumers, especially in terms of lack of innovation and higher prices.”