Spain suspends lottery ticket sales during COVID-19 lockdown

Spanish state-owned lottery operator Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE) has issued a country-wide suspension on the sale of tickets across all points of sale and online.

The suspension comes after Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said he was imposing drastic measures to fight the coronavirus, including a national lockdown.

As of Sunday, the sale of all tickets as well as the payment of prizes less than €2,000 (£1,816) have been suspended, while draws taking place from 16 March will be postponed until a later date.

However, SELAE has confirmed that any tickets purchased for the postponed draws will remain valid until the later date. The EuroMillions and El Millón draws scheduled for 17 and 20 March will be held as scheduled, though no more tickets will be sold.

While the country is in lockdown, financial institutions such as banks will remain open, allowing those with winnings in excess of €2,000 to collect their prize. Nevertheless, SELAE has emphasised that players wait until the state of emergency is declared over, with an extended deadline to collect winnings in place.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching ramifications for the gambling and sports industries, with a number of sporting events cancelled or postponed.

The UK has seen gambling groups Flutter Entertainment and GVC Holdings predict substantial EBITDA losses, while a number of US casinos have been forced to close their doors to protect both customers and staff.

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