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The Irish Lottery Regulator Withholds Payment from PLI Due to Breaches

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A recent report by the regulator of the National Lottery for the Irish state lottery has revealed that Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) had breached its self-exclusion policy during the last year.

The regulator withheld a payment of €150,000 to PLI as a penalty because customers who had self-excluded themselves from gambling were able to buy lottery tickets.

The incident was caused because PLI stated that an IT system relating to self-exclusion accounts had failed and stressed that it had now corrected these procedures.

The operator was not required under the license to offer permanent self-exclusion to play-ers but had introduced this new self-exclusion option in 2019 as a responsible gaming practice to prevent problem gaming, Having offered a permanent self-exclusion facility as a responsible gam-ing measure, the operator was obliged to put in place the operational means to determine that persons seeking to purchase tickets had not previously opted for permanent self-exclusion.

Carol BoateRegulator of the National Lottery

Self Exclusion Accounts

In details of the report highlighted that the breach related to 126 accounts where players had regis-tered with a self-exclusion register that was offered by the lottery operator PLI. The customers had chosen to be permanently excluded from playing the National Lottery in 2019.

The IT system used by PLI treated these accounts as dormant due to inactivity, and as such, any accounts with two years of inactivity were removed from the system.

Some of these players were then sent marketing emails, and 16 players were able to create new accounts to play the National Lottery. 10 of these customers went on to purchase multiple lottery tickets with a total value of €3,292.

PLI Enhances Responsible Gaming Procedures

PLI initially introduced its self-exclusion register in 2019 to promote an environment of social re-sponsibility and has acknowledged the errors in its computer system led to putting vulnerable cus-tomers at risk from problem gambling and related harms.

The effect of the finding of a breach by the Operator in respect of self-excluded players has been to further tighten controls that detect and prevent such players from opening another ac-count, The creation of a new potential sanction before the High Court lays down a marker that says there can be no further breach by the Operator of its obligations to players who choose to self-exclude.

Carol BoateRegulator of the National Lottery

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