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Irish National Lottery Operator Hit with EUR150k Penalty

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Premier Lotteries Ireland, the Irish National Lottery’s operator, has been fined EUR150,000 ($160,880/PS128,130) for violating self-exclusion rules.

PLI has been found to have violated its license terms by allowing previously self-excluded customers to create new accounts and purchase tickets.

PLI was not required by the regulator to provide a self exclusion option for players who were licensed under PLI. After the operator introduced the self-exclusion option in 2019 it was said that PLI had to ensure the system functioned correctly.

The lottery regulator chose to hold back EUR150,000.00 in payment to PLI. The money was sent to the exchequer in good faith. This is the first sanction the National Lottery Regulator has imposed on PLI.

Operator removes accounts that have been self-excluded

This issue began in 2021, when an algorithm of PLI deleted 126 self-excluded accounts. Normaly, operators must remove closed accounts within two years in order to meet GDPR regulations.

The regulator stated that the accounts which were self-excluded should have been left aside in order to stop the owner from creating new profiles.

Regulator of National Lottery has highlighted 16 customers that were self-excluded and who could open a brand new account. Ten of these customers purchased tickets and spent a total amount of EUR3,292. Four of the users also received PLI marketing emails.

Carol Boate, the chief of the regulatory body, said: “After considering the report from the investigator and the operator’s statements, I found that the license had been violated.”

The operator must ensure that the person wishing to buy tickets has not already opted to be permanently excluded.

FDJ purchases PLI pension fund

Francaise des Jeux group, the French lottery operator announced in July that it was acquiring PLI for EUR350m. FDJ purchased the operator from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, An Post Pension Fund and An Post Pension.

PLI has exclusive rights until 2034 to Irish National Lottery. PLI, which was awarded the contract in 2014, said that the agreement would not impact the license of the company.

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