Irish Bill Would Outlaw Betting On Lotto Draws

  • A new Irish bill has been introduced that would prohibit betting on lottery draws with bookmakers as opposed to the Irish National Lottery.
  • Proponents of the bill claim that bookmakers offering this type of service are effectively taking away money that would otherwise go to the Good-Causes Fund if spent on the Irish Lottery.

DUBLIN, Ireland - A new bill has been introduced in Ireland that would outlaw betting on lottery draws, something bookmakers in Ireland have been doing legally for the past 30 years. The bill is strongly supported by the Irish National Lottery.

In Ireland, bookmakers often offer customers the ability to bet on the lottery draw without purchasing a lottery ticket. Bookmakers allow customers to choose more numbers than lottery tickets do and choose their own stakes.

They also offer better odds on the chance of some numbers being drawn, except for the jackpot.

Betting on the lottery through bookmakers with online gambling sites  is very popular in the country as a result of the better odds; the Irish National Lottery’s low payout rate has been subject to much discussion in the country, as the jackpot has rolled over 47 consecutive times starting in June.

Barry Ward, an Irish Senator who is backing the bill, said that he began to consider backing the bill when he learned that one of his friends prefers to wager on the lottery through a bookmaker as opposed to playing the actual lottery. After he researched the matter further, he found that a considerable portion of the revenue goes to the nation’s “Good-Causes Fund.”

According to Irish media outlet RTE, 28% of the money spent on the Irish National Lottery goes to the fund.

The bill passed through the second stage of the Senate at the end of September. While there are no indicators for the bill’s further progress, Senator Ward “feels confident” about the bill receiving the necessary traction to turn it into a law.

Several states in the United States offer online lottery ticket sales. Similarly, the Irish National Lottery-run system that possesses the features that draw users to online bookmakers could be a useful compromise that bridges the gap between the desires of players and legislators.