Lotteries Generally Unlawful
It is an offence to promote or assist in the promotion of a lottery other than in the limited circumstances authorised by the Gaming and Lotteries Act.
It is an offence to import, print, publish, distribute, sell, offer, expose for sale, invite to buy or have possession of any ticket, counterfoil or coupon for use in a lottery or any document containing information relating to a lottery. If any such tickets, coupons, counterfoils, etc. are found in a search it is presumed that the person having control of the premises had them in his possession for the purpose of sale or distribution.
It is an offence to print or publish in a newspaper, publication, cinema, broadcast any notice or announcement concerning a lottery other than a lawful lottery. It is an offence to cause or procure the same.
The above provisions do not apply to a lawful lottery or for lotteries printing of documents and lotteries held wholly outside the State.
A lottery is not unlawful if it is confined to members of a single society whose purposes are not connected with gaming, waging or lotteries. A lottery confined to persons working or residing in the same premises is not unlawful. In these cases, there must be no written notice or announcement other than on the premises of the society or other persons concerned or members of the society.
A lottery is lawful if promoted as part of a dance, concert or like event and the persons holding the event derive no personal profit and the total value of prizes do not exceed a specified maximum. The specified amount is relatively small.
Lawful Lotteries II
A lottery is lawful
- if promoted as part of a circus or travelling show,
- carnival, bazaar, sports festival or event in which gaming is permitted and the persons holding the event derive no personal profit
- if promoted by a licensee of a licensed amusement hall or funfair as part of the entertainment.
- not be sold outside
- be sold on the same day or night as the draw and announcement,
- the price of each ticket is not more than a specified minimum,
- maximum prize is no more than the specified maximum and
- taking part nor the result does not entitle any person to take part in any lottery or game.
Licensed Lottery (Garda Licence)
Certain lotteries are permitted under licence. Below a specified financial threshold, an application is made to the Superintendent of An Garda Siochana for the area with a right of appeal to the District Court. Above that threshold, an application is made to the District Court.
An application to the Superintendent of An Garda Siochana for the area may be made for a permit:
- the permit holder must not derive personal profit from the lottery;
- total value must not be more than [£3,000];
- the value of each prize must be stated on the ticket or coupon.
The permit will not be granted more than once in six months to the same beneficiary. Where there is a carnival, bazaar, sports meeting, festival etc the permit may authorise the promotion of more than one lottery in conjunction with it. However, the total value of prizes for the week must not exceed the maximum. There is an appeal to the District Court against a refusal.
Licensed Lottery (District Court)
The District Court may grant a licence for the promotion during a period of not more than one year, periodical lotteries. Each of the series of lotteries must comply with the following conditions:
- must be for a charitable or philanthropic purpose or purposes;
- licensee shall derive no personal profit;
- total value prizes must not exceed [€12,700];
- value of each prize stated on ticket;
- not more than 40% of gross proceeds must be used for the expenses of promotion including commission and any free entry shall be deemed payment of commission.
28 days; prior notice must be given to the Superintendent of An Garda Siochana specifying certain details of the lottery. It is an offence to give false or misleading information or representation.
The Court shall have regard to the character of the applicant, the number of periodical lotteries already in operation in the locality. A Superintendent of An Garda Siochana or other interested persons appearing may adduce evidence.
There is provision for an appeal to the Circuit against refusal of the licence or imposition of conditions.
Tickets, coupons and counterfoils must have details of the licence holder or permit holder and number together with certain other information.
The holder of a licence or permit for a lottery need not have a bookmaker\’s licence. There are restrictions on the export of lottery tickets and counterfoils.
An Post may detain postal packets suspected of containing documents relating to an unlawful lottery. They may open and examine packets. They must do so in the presence of the addressee unless having given notice of their attendance the person does not attend.
An Garda Siochana Commissioner may make regulations in relation to the keeping of accounts. Regulations have been made regarding furnishing of returns to An Garda Siochana for the district for which lotteries are returned.
Gaming and Wagering
Any contract by way of gaming and wagering is void. No action lies for the recovery of anything won or alleged to have been won or deposited. A promise, express or implied to any person or payment of commission fee or award is void.
This restriction does not apply to an agreement to subscribe or contribute a sum of money to be awarded to the winner or winners of a game, sport or pastime, not prohibited by gaming and lotteries legislation.
Powers of Garda Siochana
An Garda Siochana may seize gaming instrument which can be fraudulently operated, have been fraudulently operated or used for unlawful gaming. A person may not operate or permit to be operated or possess any gaming instrument having any such device.
An Garda Siochana may enter at all reasonable times amusement fairs, funfair, circus, travelling shows, festivals etc in which gaming or lottery is believed to be carried on. A search warrant may be issued authorise An Garda Siochana enter any place or premises by force if necessary to inspect any books or documents and take names and addresses of any person, seize any gaming instrument, books or documents appearing to relate to gaming or lottery.
An Garda Siochana may arrest without warrant a person conducting or assisting in the conduct in a public place of any kind of gaming contrary to be Act. An Garda Siochana may arrest a person without warrant who refuses to give their name or address or gives a name or address which he believes to be false and misleading. It is an offence to obstruct or impede An Garda Siochana in the exercise of powers under the legislation.
Upon conviction, under the legislation, any gaming instrument used in connection with the commission of an offence or found on the premises (in respect of certain events) may be forfeited.
Any person who contravenes the legislation is guilty of an offence subject up to two months imprisonment or fine. Where an offence is committed by a company, any officers, directors, secretary, etc. who consent or approve with the offence are also guilty.
A gaming machine licence must be obtained for each gaming machine in an amusement hall or funfair. The licence must be displayed at or near the entrance to the premises. it is an offence to fail to have the requisite licence or display it.