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Friday 23 February 2018

String of glitches has hit draw since takeover

National Lottery (stock photo)
National Lottery (stock photo)
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

Since the ink dried on the contract finalising the privatisation of the National Lottery, the game has suffered a number of issues and embarrassing glitches.

The license for the National Lottery was sold to Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) in 2014 after it made a successful bid of €405m to the Government.

However, the transition did not go smoothly as the new owners went about overhauling the ticketing machine system and installed new machines supplied by Greek firm Intralot.

In February of this year, the midweek Lotto draw was cancelled for the first time in the competition's 28-year history after a technical glitch meant the majority of the Lotto's 3,800 retailer terminals were out of commission for several hours.

The €10m draw was postponed to the following day and retailers voiced their concern over the impact this delay would have on business.

Just weeks later, a large number of terminals suffered "system outages" for up to two hours after a "firewall server malfunction" occurred on the same day as a €70m Euromillions draw.

An issue with a printer sensor in Co Carlow in April meant that one customer was issued the same numbers on four different Quick Pick tickets, despite the fact that each slip had unique identifier numbers. But PLI confirmed that this was an "isolated incident".

Representatives of PLI and the retail industry appeared before an Oireachtas Committee in March, where committee members heard about the extent of the issues, such as "machine freezes, flawed scratch cards and scanners suffering malfunctions".

PLI took over the operations of the National Lottery in October 2014 and retailers reported issues with the self-service ticket checkers scanning barcode. This issue was resolved by the end of February.

Irish Independent

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