In 2018, the Regulator commissioned major independent research to examine the Irish retail sector’s compliance with rules governing the sale of National Lottery products to under 18s. 

This research was the first of its kind in Ireland and the findings provided the Regulator with an important baseline measure from which to assess the impact of future actions to be taken by the Operator to improve compliance by retailers in this important area. 

While the majority of retailers were fully compliant, the percentage which were not implementing the rules properly was significant and unacceptable.

To measure the extent that minors may be actually purchasing National Lottery products, the Regulator commissioned Ipsos MRBI to carry out a second piece of research.  In this follow up exercise, a nationally representative sample of 1005 children, from age 10 to 17 years old, were asked whether they had ever purchased National Lottery tickets themselves with their own money. 38 children (3.8%) responded that they had. 

The Regulator published the results of the research in 2019 and said:

“The National Lottery Act 2013 prohibits the sale of National Lottery products to minors and codes of practice are in place to ensure this stipulation is observed. The findings of the research commissioned by my Office show that the current level of compliance with those codes in the Retail Sector is not good enough.  A key part of my remit as Regulator is to ensure the National Lottery is run with all due propriety and I am engaging with PLI to ensure that action is taken swiftly so that all Retailers comply in full with their obligations and PLI significantly improves its future monitoring of Retailers selling National Lottery products.”

The commissioning and publication of this research prompted the Operator to implement new measures to prevent the sale of National Lottery products to minors. This included a “Think 21” campaign and the implementation of regular mystery shopping exercises, which are ongoing.

Full details of the research and findings can be found in the link below.

Underage Mystery Shopping 2018