Play Responsibly, Play for Fun

We are committed to operating the National Lottery in a socially responsible way. Our aim is to provide exciting and engaging lottery games that bring fun and entertainment to everyone, while ensuring as far as possible that individuals play within their means and that the vulnerable and persons less than 18 years of age are protected.

Here are some of the ways we work to ensure that our games do not encourage excessive or underage play:

  • Every game we wish to introduce is subject to an approval process. Once a game has been designed, we must ensure that our advertising strategies do not target under 18s or low–income players, and that marketing of all lottery games complies with the relevant codes of practice.
  • Marketing of all lottery games must comply with The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland which covers activity in both print media and on broadcast channels. This means games must adhere to an extensive range of measures to take player protection into account.
  • All Game Rules specify that a Player must be over 18.
  • The Terms & Conditions and Prize Rules also specify that no prize will be paid out to a minor. 
  • Game Design: We use GAM-GaRD and ASTERiG to test how risky a game might be when it comes to certain characteristics such as the return to player, jackpot size and sensory features. If a game poses a risk that is above average then we will review either the game or other factors such as our advertising and marketing strategy.

Responsible Play

How Our Games Work

Winning a prize is always a matter of luck. There is no skill required in order to win a prize and therefore, no matter how you play, you cannot influence the outcome. It is not possible to work out or control an outcome that is based on chance and people who try to do this risk losing a lot of money.

For example, when you flip a coin, the chance of it landing on heads is the same as the chance of it landing on tails i.e. there is a 50% chance. If you repeatedly flip a coin, and heads comes up a number of times in a row, it is easy to think that tails might be “due” on the next flip. This is often referred to as the “Gambler’s Fallacy” – when someone mistakenly believes that the onset of a certain random event is less likely to happen following an event or series of events. This line of thinking is incorrect because past events do not change the probability that certain events will occur in the future. In this example, each coin flip is an independent event, which means that any and all previous flips have no bearing on future ones. 

This can also be applied to Lottery Games – whether you are playing online or buying in-store. Although our games have an “odds on winning” statement, you cannot increase your chances of winning by playing or buying more. For example, a scratch card might state that the odds on winning are 1 in 4. This does not mean that buying four scratch cards will guarantee a win. The prizes are randomly spread throughout an entire game, and winning a prize is purely a matter of luck. 

Remember to play responsibly and to play for fun.

Tips on playing for Fun:

Whilst the majority of people play within their means, a few may encounter difficulties. Players should always remember the following:

  • Playing National Lottery games should be entertaining and fun and is not a means to invest money. Sometimes you will win and other times you won’t.
  • If you win, it is a bonus. If you don’t win, try not to chase the money you have lost.
  • Only play an amount you can afford. When you hit your limit, stop.
  • Keep track of the time and amount of money you are spending through your player history.
  • Playing continuously without a break can impair your judgment. If you need to have a break from play, remember that you can exclude yourself from the website.
  • If you need to talk to someone about problem play then contact www.gambleaware.ie or telephone the National Gambling Helpline 1800 753 753. You could also contact www.gamblersanonymous.ie which provides support and resources to anyone whose life has been negatively impacted by problem play.
  • For more information on the tools we provide to help our players play responsibly, click here.

Worried about yourself or someone else?

Problem gambling is defined as a compulsion to continue gambling despite the negative consequences it may have. Whilst most people do not experience any difficulties with play, we know that for a small few people, there is a risk that they might have such difficulties.

PLI has also consulted with the Rutland Centre, which specialises in support and treatment of those experiencing addiction difficulties. If you wish, you can email any concerns you might have to responsibleplay@lottery.ie and a support specialist will respond to you directly. Please note that messages sent to this address will be reviewed internally by a member of PLI staff only to ensure that messages that do not relate to problem play are not sent to the Rutland Centre in error; PLI is not responsible for any advice given by the support specialist.

We understand that some people who might be experiencing difficulties with their play might not realise it straight away. If you are concerned about someone close to you, see the external resources below for details of where to get help.

How we help

Here at the National Lottery, we know that we have a responsibility to help our customers to play responsibly and for fun. We are committed to doing all that we can to empower our players with the tools that they need to protect themselves. We have a player protection panel who meet regularly to review the responsible play measures that we have in place. Our measures are regularly reviewed and improved upon to ensure that we are best in class when it comes to responsible play. Below are details of some of the tools which you might find useful when operating your online account:

Deposit Limits

National Lottery Play Online encourages its players not to play beyond their means. We accept deposits as low as €10. You will be subject to a daily maximum spending limit of €75, a weekly maximum limit of €300 and a monthly maximum limit of €900. Remember that these are maximum limits, not targets.

You can choose to self-impose a lower limit to the system limits above. A downward revision will take effect immediately, while an upward revision will require a 24hour waiting period before it is activated.

In addition, the amount in the Wallet in your Player Account shall not exceed €750 at any one time or such other sum as we may specify to you from time to time. If your online wallet balance exceeds €750 at any time you will be prevented from playing/purchasing any further games. You must reduce your wallet balance below €750 to continue playing; any amount withdrawn will only be issued by cheque. All cheques issued by an Interactive system are sent to the Name & Address contained in the Player’s Interactive Profile, all cheques issued are stamped ‘Account Payee Only’.

To change your spending limits, login to your account and select 'Spending limits' from the left-hand menu.

Self Exclusion

You can choose to lock yourself out of any or all Interactive Instant Win Games for a minimum period of 2 days and then for as long as you like.

All Games – Minimum Six Months
If you choose this option your account will be closed for a minimum of six months and the balance in your online wallet will be returned.  You will receive no marketing messages for the period of their exclusion.

All Games – Minimum One Month (Take a Break)
If you choose this option your account will be suspended for a minimum of one month. The balance in your online wallet will be held for you but you will receive no marketing messages for the period of your exclusion.

Account History

You can view your transactions on National Lottery Play Online by clicking on "Manage My Account" section of the Website. You will be able to access certain data from the Website relating to your previous ninety (90) days Game play.

Protecting minors

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to open an account or to play National Lottery Online. All new users are required to agree to our Terms and Conditions and click a separate check box confirming they are at least 18-years of age at the time of account creation. At the National Lottery, we recognise that the internet is readily available in many homes and because of this, we must work together with parents to prevent children from underage gaming. Below are some tips which you might find useful for helping to protect minors:

  • Keep your username and password out of reach of children
  • Be sure to always log out of your online account when it is not in use
  • Limit the amount of time your children spend online
  • Consider installing internet filter software such as NetNanny, which allows you to control and block access to gambling websites

Useful resources

If you need to talk to someone about problem play then contact www.GambleAware.ie or telephone the National Gambling Helpline 1800 753 753. You could also contact www.gamblersanonymous.ie or telephone Dublin on (01) 8721133, Cork 087-2859552, Galway 086-3494450, Tipperary 085-7831045 or Waterford 087-1850294. Another useful website is www.problemgambling.ie which provides support and resources to anyone whose life has been negatively impacted by problem play.