A controversial lottery website that allows punters play lotteries in other jurisdictions, including the high-value US PowerBall and MegaMillions draws, has launched in Ireland.
Lottoland has been described as an Uber-style assault on the traditional lotto industry.
The Gibraltar-based operator, which is headed up by Betfair's former Irish regional manager Graham Ross, offers consumers the chance to bet on the outcome of 28 big state lotteries without purchasing an actual ticket for the draw.
If a player hits the right numbers, Lottoland pays out the equivalent prize money as if the customer had a ticket for the draw.
To cover major payouts, it takes out insurance policies with companies including Lloyd’s of London.
Mainstream national lotteries claim so-called secondary lotteries such as Lottoland erode their ability to generate funds for good causes.
In Britain, Lottoland has already crossed swords with UK operator Camelot for selling discounted tickets to the weekly EuroMillions draw.
The company, which secured a remote betting operator licence for Ireland last year, said its move here would allow consumers here play the biggest and best lottery draws in the world including EuroMillions and the supersized US PowerBall and MegaMillions draws as well as National Lottery draws here.
“This is great news for Irish consumers who love playing lottery generally but who are going to be even more excited to be able to play the biggest jackpots in the world all quickly, easily and safely on the Lottoland app,” Mr Ross said.
“Add in the great value that Lottoland offers, particularly the €2 line on EuroMillions, plus a US PowerBall special jackpot that is set to reach $499 million before the end of April, and it is clear why we expect huge interest levels right from the start,” he said.
Retailers’ umbrella group RGdata raised concerns about the growth in online lotto sites with no links to the actual licensed national lotteries at an
committee hearing last week.
"They offer punters the chance to gamble on the results of lotteries all around the world. These sites have no obligations to contribute toward good causes," RGdata's Tara Buckley said.
“This has huge implications for how people play national lotteries and I make no bones about the fact that they are a huge threat to retail agents selling legitimate tickets that do deliver funds to good causes,” she said.
Lottoland also said it was actively developing a charity partnership programme to lead its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach in the market and expects to make an announcement soon.