Lottoland app taken down amid fake ratings allegation

Lotto betting website denies allegations, says app was removed for technical reasons

Bet-on-lottery operators such as Lottoland allow consumers play National Lottery and EuroMillions draws here without actually buying a ticket. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Bet-on-lottery operators such as Lottoland allow consumers play National Lottery and EuroMillions draws here without actually buying a ticket. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Controversial lotto betting website Lottoland, which launched in Ireland last year, has had its app removed from Apple stores amid allegations of fake ratings and artificial downloads.

The Gibraltar-based group, which is aiming to capture a share of the National Lottery’s market here, denied the allegations, insisting the app had been taken down for technical reasons.

“We are currently experiencing some technical problems with Apple that has affected our account in Australia, ” a spokesman told The Irish Times.

“We’re in constant dialogue with the Apple team – to date we haven’t had any specific reason from Apple, as to why it has been taken down.”

Media reports in Australia, however, suggested the firm’s app had received a flood of positive reviews just before it was removed on February 27th.

Manipulated

There was also a query submitted to Apple in relation to the app’s standing in the App Store’s table amid suggestions its downloads were being manipulated.

Lottoland believes it is the victim of a smear campaign by incumbent lotteries, fearful of its growing influence.

Bet-on-lottery operators such as Lottoland – there are now 15 operating in Ireland – allow consumers play National Lottery and EuroMillions draws here without actually buying a ticket, relying on a complex formula of hedging and insurance to cover potential payouts.

It is not known how much of the National Lottery’s traditional player base is being lost to these operations, but Lottoland said recently it had seen a 200 per cent jump in customer sign-ons last year and had recently paid out €220,000 to an anonymous winner of a EuroMillions secondary draw in Cork.

Overhaul

Lottoland’s Irish operation is led by Betfair’s former Irish regional manager Graham Ross, who has called for an overhaul of the current regulations to allow for the new wave of innovation.

However, the National Lottery has described the bet-on-lotto operators as “parasites” and has called for a clampdown to protect money for good causes.