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Irish National Lottery hit by lottery betting growth

| By iGB Editorial Team
New research indicates lottery betting rivals are negatively impacting National Lottery sales

Ireland’s National Lottery accounts for little more than 10% of the nation’s gambling market, according to new research commissioned by operator Premier Lotteries Ireland.

National Lottery sales were at an eight-year high of €800.2m in 2017, according to figures compiled by analysts at Indecon, however that was just 13% of the country’s total gambling revenue of €5.6bn.

The report suggests that this is down to the growth of online gambling and especially “substitute products” such as lottery betting operators.

Indecon estimated that remote betting is worth €2.07bn in Ireland in 2017, with retail revenue at €2.81bn, making for a total market of €5.6bn when National Lottery takings are added.

In figures that indicate the growth of rival lottery products, Indecon found that public awareness of an unnamed competitor – believed to be Lottoland – grew from 19% in August 2016 to 32% in May 2017. Citing information from Harris Interactive France, 50% of Irish consumers knew of at least one lottery betting operator, compared to just 32% in the UK.

However this was much lower than Spain, where 66% of consumer were aware of at least one lottery betting brand.

The report highlighted the challenge which the National Lottery faces against rivals that can offer a wider service beyond its draw-based and instant win games.

“Whilst the National Lottery offers a European lottery game, EuroMillions, some of the National Lottery’s competitors offer participation in multiple lotteries around the world, including the US Powerball, the French lottery and the US MegaMillions,” the report explained. “These bet-on-lottery operators have introduced an offering that until recently was not available to players of the National Lottery in Ireland.”

The figures suggest the National Lottery contributed €1.97bn directly and indirectly to consumer expenditure last year, and accounted for more than 17,000 jobs as well as generating €226m for good causes.

The Irish National Lottery, which was launched in 1987, is operated by Premier Lotteries Ireland, which was handed a 20-year contract in 2014. The group is owned by a consortium involving Camelot.

Earlier this year Dermot Griffin, the chief executive of the National Lottery, warned the Irish parliament, the Dail, that “if offshore, unregulated bet-on-lottery operators” gained a significant foothold in Ireland, the amount it raised for charities would fall in a briefing.

“The National Lottery is concerned at the rapid growth of unregulated, offshore, bet-on-lottery operators in Ireland over the last 18 months,” he told Teachta Dálas. “The activities of these operators are posing a serious threat to the National Lottery, and in turn the millions raised annually for good causes, and we appeal to elected representatives to take urgent action to protect the National Lottery from this threat.”

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