The UK Governments’ Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced it will ban UK players from using third party betting sites to bet on the outcome of Euromillions lottery draws.
Its decision follows an industry wide consultation that began in March on a proposal to close the regulatory loophole which allows betting on non-UK EuroMillions draws.
A total of 52 responses received by the DCMS indicated broad support for this proposal, noting both the importance of National Lottery funding to good causes across the UK, and the anomalous position of non-UK EuroMillions lottery draws in the law.
In its response report, the DCMS said: “Betting on non-UK EuroMillions draws is contrary to the intention and spirit of section 95 of the Gambling Act 2005, which seeks to preserve a distinction between betting and The National Lottery to protect returns to good causes and prevent consumer confusion.”
To preserve the distinction between the two forms of gambling and also to protect returns to good causes made via the National Lottery, the DCMS has indicated that it will include a licence condition banning UK players from betting on EuroMillions via online websites such as lottoland, Mylotto24, Annexio Limited and Jackpot.com.
Despite the obvious consequences to these businesses, the DCMS indicated that it “will tailor the licence condition to ensure it is in line with our aims to reduce consumer confusion and protect returns to good causes in the UK. Betting operators will still be able to offer bets on international lotteries.”
Issuing a statement regarding the outcome of the consultation, Lottoland CEO Nigel Birrell attacked the government’s decision, saying: “DCMS itself recently stated in the FOBT consultation that any decisions on the outcome must be based on clear evidence. In today’s consultation response from the Government they clearly state that the current evidence base is not conclusive.”
“We believe a review period was a proportionate and a responsible way forward that would have allowed for a final decision to be made on real evidence. Given the significant impact to our UK business of this decision, we are reviewing all available options before determining our next steps.”