National Lottery exists for 'sole purpose of raising money for good causes'
In response to the findings of the Prevalence of Drug Use and Gambling Survey conducted in 2014/15, a National Lottery spokesperson said it differs from other forms of gaming in that it is based on many people playing, but spending reasonably small amounts.
The spokesperson outlined, "We exist for the sole purpose of raising money for Good Causes all over Ireland – whilst offering the people of Ireland fun, responsible play.
"The National Lottery is committed to operating in a socially responsible way and protecting players’ interests is paramount. Unlike gambling companies, the National Lottery is regulated by the Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery and offers a number of levels of protection for participants so they can play responsibly and for fun.
"Our responsible gaming programme is independently audited by KPMG to the highest World Lottery Association standards. All National Lottery games, including scratch cards, are subject to regulatory approval. All game rules and the terms and conditions of online play specify that players must be over 18 years of age.
"In addition, advertising does not target under 18s. We constantly review our controls and in the last 12 months alone have strengthened these as follows:
* Online controls have been extended to equip players to be able to make informed decisions about their play, including for example: Customisable self-exclusion periods, Proactive notifications to players in advance of reaching their spend limits, Instant access to detailed transaction histories, Pop-up notices after playing 5 instant win games online and following periods of continuous play, Videos about our responsible play tools and access to self-diagnostic tests
* The appointment of a Retail Compliance Manager to ensure all retail agents are fulfilling their obligations under the National Lottery Act 2013, the Licence and the Codes of Practice;
* Branding National Lottery point-of-sale equipment in all stores with age control messaging;
* Including in the bi-monthly Star Game News newsletter, which is issued to all retailers, reminders to verify a player’s age;
* Reminder messages regarding age controls are being displayed on Retail terminals and all retail agent head offices have been emailed reminding them of their compliance obligations;
* Age control messaging appears on the 2,000 plus digital screens in stores around the country;
* Messaging has also been uploaded on the Retail Portal Home Page and sent to all retail associations;
* Field sales representatives, the contact centre, and telephone sales teams have been given age control messaging to incorporate in their discussions with retailers.
"The National Lottery was set up with the express purpose of raising funds for Good Causes all over Ireland. Nearly 30 cents in every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back into the areas of youth, sport, recreation & amenities, health & welfare, arts, culture & national heritage and the Irish language.
"In 2018 more than €227 million was raised for Good Causes, the equivalent of over €620,000 a day. In 32 years more than €5.4 billion has been raised, having a huge impact on communities’ nationwide and Irish life in general."