No more buying National Lottery tickets online with credit cards.
The National Lottery has spoken. No longer will players have the option to link a credit card to their online account to purchase lottery tickets in Ireland. It’s a practice that has been going on for years, but National Lottery officials say it contributes to problem gambling, and therefore must come to a stop.
The National Lottery and its parent company, Camelot, is owned by a consortium that benefits the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan of Canada, who purchased it in 2010 for £389 million. The decision to remove credit card linking from its accounts menu comes on the heels of a similar declaration from t he the UK Gambling Commission earlier this month, in which credit card lottery sales were also banned in Great Britain.
No More Credits Cards for Buying National Lottery Tickets Online
According to local new reports, beginning February 4, 2021, Ireland’s online lottery participants will no longer be given the option to link a credit card to their account. Debit cards and prepaid cards will soon become the only viable card-linking option.
Linking a card to one’s account gives them the ability to automatically purchase per-selected numbers for each drawing, without having to fill out a lotto slip each and every time. By linking a credit card, players were able to charge their lottery purchases, making it far too easy to chase the lottery dream without paying for it up front.
What If I’m Already Using a Credit Card?
Any customer who already has a credit card linked to their lottery account will not be affected; at least, not yet. Officials said existing accounts with linked credit card will have to change “soon”, but no date was given.
An email that went out to customers advising them of the upcoming changes said: “Don’t worry, we’ll let you know closer to the time the change is about to take place.”
The email went on to reassure users with credit cards linked that no action needs to be taken at this time, but also encourages them to “switch to a debit card soon to avoid and disruption later on.”
All last year, the UK Gambling Commission made no secret of the fact that it was looking to ban credit cards for online lotteries and other gambling verticals. Studies were commissioned, evidence was gathered, proclamations of intent were made. Earlier this month, the UKGC put the plan into effect. It should come as no surprise that lottery officials in Ireland would follow the same regulatory protocol as their next of geographic kin.
It’s not just a matter of playing follow the leader, though. Ireland’s reasoning is the same as that of the UK – to promote greater responsibility. The UK’s research into the matter found that 22% of online gamblers who use credit cards were classified as problem gamblers.
When the British ban went into effect, UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur explained that “credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm,” adding that the ban “should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”
Similar sentiments were shared with Irish lottery customer. “We’re always looking at ways to promote and improve responsible play,” said the National Lottery in it’s email statement to customers. “It’s something we take very seriously, which is why we have taken the decision to phase out the use of credit cards and commercial cards as a means of payment for playing online.”
In its sign-off message, customers were reminded to, “Please continue to play responsibly, play for fun.”
The removal of credit cards as a linkable, automatic payment option is just the first phase in the National Lottery’s crusade to promote safer, more responsible gambling practices. The second phase – which, again, comes as no surprise – will be the removal of credit cards and commercials cards as an optioning for topping up an account, or ‘online lottery wallet’.
The goal is obvious – to eliminate the option of credit/commercial cards entirely when buying National Lottery tickets online.