National Lottery faces crackdown on wealth and branding ads for scratch cards
National Lottery TV commercials depicting scenes of abundance and prosperity must be banned under strict new gaming industry advertising laws.
The lottery company is also facing the prospect of banning the display and in-store branding for scratch cards and lotto tickets under the new regulations.
Deputy Minister James Browne, who is leading sweeping changes in the betting industry, told the Independent Irish lottery advertisements will come under the same “scrutiny”.
The Gambling Regulation Bill will be released by the Justice Department next year and enacted by 2023, which will end certain types of marketing and branding by betting products and companies, this Who Mr Browne said he understood the national lottery.
Lotteries and bingo are included in the bill as forms of gambling.
The Dunlewey Addiction Service looks after a percentage of scratch card addicts, which it treats along with other problem gamblers.
Mr. Browne said the Loto is no different from companies like Paddy Power or BoyleSports, who are already prepared for unprecedented industry-wide changes.
“The national lottery is the game and the scratch card [and lottery] addiction is a real problem, ”he said..
“To do the lottery is to play. Yes, the money, or part of the money, goes to good causes for positive social aspects, results and projects.
While the National Lottery is governed by the Ministry of Public Expenditure, the way the company markets its products through advertising will fall under the remit of the Ministry of Justice through new betting laws.
“Because it is governed by its own tailor-made legislation, I believe that the aspects related to advertising and marketing will fall under the regulation of games of chance,” said Mr Browne.
“But there’s no doubt that will be the subject of further consideration. The lottery is something that is clearly a game. “
The problem of window and store advertising for scratch cards and lottery tickets is also expected to suffer under the new legislation.
The National Lottery will face the same window restrictions that will be imposed on bookmakers, where even the way a facade is presented could be drastically altered.
Mr Browne added, “What about lottery tickets with all the branding on display and in store around it?
“I think it’s something that needs to be done by the CEO, who will have to figure out what a commensurate level of restrictions is and how quickly are you bringing it in – immediately, or is it a step-by-step process?”
A ban on lottery advertising would pose a significant revenue problem for broadcasters and other media, given the large marketing budgets of the National Lottery.
It emerged this week that the company spent 90 million euros of unclaimed winnings on promotion between 2015 and 2020.
In an Oireachtas finance committee hearing by Premier Lotteries chief executive Andrew Algeo, the company declined to disclose its overall promotional budget, citing commercial sensitivity.
The use of unclaimed cash prizes to promote the business has been monitored by the national lottery regulator, he said.
the Independent Irish contacted the National Lottery, but no comments were provided at time of press.