Written Answers. - Lotto Betting.

Charlie McCreevy

Question:

16 Mr. McCreevy asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to prohibit betting on Lotto numbers by off-course bookmakers. [15172/95]

No decision to introduce legislation to ban lotto-based betting has yet been taken.

As Minister for Finance I have overall responsibility for the operation of the national lottery the surplus proceeds of which are allocated by the Government under the National Lottery Act, 1986. I would therefore naturally be concerned at any loss of sales to the national lottery as a result of the independent taking of bets on the outcome of the national lottery. This would reduce the resources available to the beneficiary fund which supports areas such as health, welfare, youth and sport.

In considering an appropriate response to this betting, I can assure the Deputy that all relevant factors will be taken into account including the revenue implications for the Exchequer, now and in the future, the interests of the betting industry and of those employed in it.