Scratch card prizes omitted in three games due to human error

Regulator found failures to follow rules in three games in first ever breaches of this kind

The regulator, which was notified of the issue in November 2019, found that the operator acted transparently and in good faith. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

The regulator, which was notified of the issue in November 2019, found that the operator acted transparently and in good faith. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Scratch card prizes were omitted from three games operated by Premier Lotteries Ireland due to human error and inadequate controls, the regulator of the National Lorry has found.

The regulator found incorrect numbers of top prizes on two 2019 scratch card games, Congratulations 186 and Congratulations 223, and the Diamond Bingo Doubler game from 2015.

In the first ever breaches of this kind, the regulator found failures to hold the three lottery games in accordance with the rules in force, to ensure that statements on the games were true and to have adequate systems of internal control in place under the National Lottery Act 2013.

The regulator, which was notified of the issue in November 2019, found that the operator acted transparently and in good faith, that information had not been withheld from the regulator and that staff mistakenly believed that the games were correctly run.

Premier Lotteries incurred the financial cost of rectifying the mistakes by holding a New Year’s Special Draw, approved by the regulator, that returned €180,000 of the company’s own income to players in guaranteed prizes, all of which have been claimed. To ensure that that the company did not financially benefit from this game, a donation of €50,000 was made to a mental health charity.

New controls have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the errors. The company’s board has engaged external professional advisory firms to assist with implementing the controls.