Enforcement

Part 6 of the National Lottery Act 2013 sets out enforcement provisions. Under the Act, if the Regulator is of the opinion that there are circumstances suggesting it is appropriate to investigate and report on any apparent breach of the Act or the Licence he may appoint a person (Investigator) to investigate the apparent breach.

Under Part 6 an Investigator has powers to enter the Operator’s premises and can access, inspect, and take copies of any records kept by the Operator which he/she finds or are produced to him/her. Failure to co-operate with an investigation, without reasonable excuse, is an offence under the Act.

Where the Investigator forms the opinion that there has been a breach of the Act or the Licence or where the Operator has refused to co-operate with the investigation he/she shall inform the Regulator and the Operator. The Operator would have 10 days to make representations to the Regulator.

Where the Regulator considers, having regard to any representations made by the Operator, that there has been a breach of the Act or the Licence or non-co-operation with the investigation, he may give a direction specifying the breach and require the Operator to carry out or cease carrying out a specified action(s) and the Operator shall immediately comply with the direction. Alternatively, the Regulator may apply to the High Court for an order restraining the Operator from breaching the Act or the Licence or to co-operate with an investigation. The Regulator has power to publish details of any breach and of any direction.

If the Regulator considers that the Operator has failed to comply with a direction the Regulator shall notify the Operator that he intends to apply to the High Court for a determination that there has been a breach of the Act or the Licence or non-cooperation with an investigation and that the court impose a financial sanction unless the Operator requests within 14 days that the Regulator deal with the matter.  The maximum financial sanction if the matter is dealt with by the courts is €500,000.  If the matter is dealt with by the Regulator the maximum financial sanction is €250,000.

Separately, under Part 6 of the Act, the Regulator has power to revoke the Licence if:

  • the Regulator deems that the Operator has acted in a way which materially damages the National Lottery or the State or the reputation of the National Lottery or that of the State
  • in the opinion of the Regulator a term or condition of the Licence or a provision of the Act has been contravened
  • The Operator has failed to comply with a direction of the Regulator as detailed above
  • Any information provided by the Operator in or in connection with its application for the Licence was false in a material particular
  • Operator is not taking, or proposing to take, steps that are necessary or desirable for preventing the commission of fraud with respect to the National Lottery, or
  • Any person who is managing the business or any part of the business of the National Lottery under the Licence is not a suitable person.

Prior to revoking the Licence, the Regulator shall afford the Operator a reasonable period to make any representations on the proposed revocation. If, having considered any representations, the Regulator revokes the Licence the Operator may appeal the revocation to the High Court.