The issue of lottery betting in the UK is a thorny one, and recently there has been a new and very noteworthy development in the story. The UK has been on the front line in the battle for lottery pounds, as an innovative newcomer has taken on the established model, with quite considerable success. Now the UK lottery operators are fighting back, and they have registered a victory in one battle, although the war looks set to continue until such time as a peaceful settlement can be agreed.
Lottoland entered the British market in 2015, and made an almost immediate impact. Up until then, the lottery in the UK had operated as it had done for time immemorial, and so the introduction of a new lottery operator with some fresh and challenging ideas certainly created waves. Although the new lottery providers had minimal impact on the lottery ticket sales of Camelot, the national lottery operator, the incumbents certainly felt threatened by this new arrival. Since Lottoland arrived on British shores, Camelot have raised objections to their presence with the government.
In a technological age when everybody carries a computer in their pocket, there is no disguising the appeal of an online lottery operator as opposed to one which still sells paper tickets at the local newsagents. Lottoland came into the market like a breath of fresh air, offering bets on not just the locally available EuroMillions lottery, but also a wide range of international lotteries which were previously unavailable to British punters. The launch of the interloper was fronted by the familiar face of Chris Tarrant, and before too long Lottoland was becoming a recognisable brand in the online gambling world.
One condition imposed on Lottoland’s being granted a UK gaming license was that they were not permitted to offer bets on the UK National Lottery or the UK version of EuroMillions. Lottoland were able to argue that they were instead offering bets on the European version of EuroMillions, but this loophole was closed in late November of 2017. Another victory for Camelot, who seemed to wish to stamp out the threat posed by this competitor rather than make any effort to work with them. A monopoly is rarely good news for the consumer in any circumstance, and the British consumers lose out on the option to bet on lotteries online rather than via Camelot. When Camelot increased the price of their EuroMillions tickets to £2.50, Lottoland held their per line bet cost at £2, but again this is a price-saving that British punters will no longer be able to take advantage of.
Of course, Lottoland will continue to offer their wide range of international lotteries, scratch cards, live casino games, slot games and instant win games to their army of UK members. There will still be an online alternative to the status quo, offering bets on major (and not-so-major) lotteries such as the world-record PowerBall as well as the Irish Lotto, MegaMillions, EuroJackpot and many more. The removal of betting on EuroMillions may have been a set-back for Lottoland, but you can be sure that they are not going anywhere and will come up with new ways to shake up this staid and stifling lottery industry in Britain.
Article published in cooperation with Lottoland.