Lottoland Nigel Birrell slams DCMS for ‘judgement with no evidence’ on EuroMillions betting

Nigel Birrell, the Chief Executive of online lottery operator Lottoland, has slammed the UK government’s decision to ban betting on non-UK EuroMillions’ games. 

“We believe that today’s decision is unjustified, and sets a dangerous precedent for policy-making on the basis of no evidence,” he said. “It will do nothing but stifle innovation in the sector.”

Yesterday, remote lottery operators were handed a shock as the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) moved for an outright ban for betting on EuroMillions lottery draws by third-party operators.

In its industry update, DCMS stated that it wanted to safeguard the EuroMillions game, and protect its funding for UK national causes and charity initiatives.  

DCMS states that its decision follows an industry consultation launched in March 2017, in which it has gathered wide support to restrict betting on EuroMilllions draw.

Gibraltar-based Lottoland was one of the five remote lottery operators considered by DCMS to have ‘run counter to the spirit’ of the National Lottery and its mandate for helping good causes.

Issuing a media update, Birrell defends Lottoland’s services stating DCMS lottery review is flawed with ineffective evidence against remote lottery stakeholders.

He added: “DCMS itself recently stated in the FOBT consultation that any decisions on the outcome must be based on clear evidence. In today’s consultation response from the Government, they clearly state that the current evidence base is not conclusive.

“We believe a review period was a proportionate and a responsible way forward that would have allowed for a final decision to be made on real evidence. Given the significant impact to our UK business of this decision, we are reviewing all available options before determining our next steps.”

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