The Regulator of the National Lottery must come before an Oireachtas Committee to answer questions surrounding the longest running roll-over in the history of the game, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Bernard Durkan called on the regulator to appear before the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee in the Dáil today and also raised the need for a full investigation into the current situation.
Deputy Durkan, a member of the committee, said, “Players who have been buying their Lotto tickets twice a week since June are rightly fed up. It’s high time to see what’s going on inside that machine – let’s see what is making those balls spin.
“We haven’t seen a winner of the top prize in almost six months. How long more will people continue to buy tickets if they don’t believe they have a fair chance of winning?
“We have to get to the root of exactly what’s at play here – are the 47 rollovers to date just pure chance, or are there flaws that need to be addressed?
“People have questions, and the regulator, who is responsible for the monitoring of the operation of the Lotto, must provide us with answers. The regulator must outline what steps can be taken to provide the public with clarity and reassurance.
“Based on last year’s numbers, the fact the Lotto hasn’t been won in almost six months is unlikely to be down to a fall in the number of players.
“The pandemic significantly boosted ticket sales last year; increasing from €884.5m in 2019 to €918.9m in 2020. Online sales grew by 68.28%, representing a total of 14.8% of total sales.
“Sales are up, yet the winners are down. The lotto is like Manchester United, cash being splashed about every week, but a long barren spell sustains with nothing to show for it.
“I have written to the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath, whose department oversees the National Lotto, to express my concern. I am aware he has commissioned a report into the transparency of the distribution of lotto funding, but we need to go further and investigate the operation of the game itself now.
“I am asking the regulator, out of respect to the public, to appear before the Oireachtas Committee and explain this situation so that players are provided with the assurance they need to continue playing our National Lotto,” concluded Deputy Durkan.